Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen


Black Death Gin


G & J Greenall International (Quintessential Brands, Risley, Warrington, England, UK.


G & J Greenall and Quintessential Brands.


Established back in 1761, Greenall’s are the oldest continuously producing London Dry Gin distillery in the world. Thomas Dakin built the distillery initially, Edward Greenall started using it and in 1870 it was purchased completely (The G&J comes from Edward’s younger brothers – Gilbert & John). The previous chairman, Lord Daresbury, was a direct descendent of Edward Greenall. The family motto “Alto Peto” translates as "I Strive Higher". This once cottage based industry is now the second largest gin distillery in Britain, producing over 50% of the UK’s Gin and almost 15% of the world’s Gin. In 2011 the business was bought by Quintessential Brands.

This Gin originated in 1906 from the Sigurdsson family in Iceland and was called Svarti Daudi (Black Death in Icelandic). There were a series of different spirits under this brand name and were manufactured by different companies across various countries. In the late 1980’s and early 90’s the brand encountered various legal difficulties, the main crux being the use, and some people’s dislike, of the branded name. This was especially true in the USA and whilst an initial ban was short lived it has seen the brand disappear from the US market.

Greenalls produce Black Death white spirits (Gin, Tequila & Vodka), and following a £2 million lawsuit back in 2005, is selectively careful with regard to countries they distribute to – and may have dropped Black Death Vodka entirely. To us it seems governmental agencies have unfairly picked on a branding which even though vindicated has resulted in some cases in it’s own Black Death (i.e. the Vodka). Let’s hope we see a revival for a truly original design brand, dating back over a century.


Made from neutral grain spirit and distilled four times.

Presented in a tall clear cylindrical bottle with squared shoulders. The label, designed in 1992, is large and black with gothic writing and a picture of a “smiling” skull wearing a dark blue Derby (Bowler) hat.


London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$. Not available in the USA, found mainly in continental Europe. Try Vinus Vinis although no shipping to the USA. 


The botanicals are a closely guarded secret but we believe they include: angelica, coriander, ginger, juniper berries and orris root.


During medieval times juniper based spirit (the forerunner to Gin) was thought to be a cure for the plague or Black Death. Perhaps the name comes from this prior history.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is juniper, citrus and spice (coriander). On the palate this slightly sweet and bitter spirit displays dry juniper and citrus (lemon) with mild fiery spice. The close has a dry slightly fiery, peppery and spice finish.    

This smooth and traditional style London Dry Gin is a versatile drink. It makes a refreshing Gin & Tonic, an interesting Martini with bite and is at home in many other Gin based mixed drinks.

Awards & Accolades


Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Get In Touch

Have a question, query or need clarification...

Contact Us

Monthly Newsletter

Keep up to date, hear about unique items and have gentle reminders on being "The Complete Gentleman."

Sign up here:

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Complete Gentleman.

Don't Miss A Post

Keep up to date via RSS or another web-based reader:

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines