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Review

Blackfriars Gin

Distillery

G & J Greenall International (Quintessential Brands), Risley, Warrington (produced exclusively for Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd), England, UK.

Website

G & J Greenall and Quintessential Brands.

History

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.

Production

Distilled four times from pure grain spirit base. Presented in a clear tall rectangle bottle with a long grey/opaque label. Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

43% (86 Proof).

Price Range

$$. Only available in the UK, and only from J. Sainsbury’s, a leading grocery store chain.

Botanicals

Uses 10 botanicals including: angelica root, coriander seed, juniper berries, lemon peel and orange peel.

Name

Sainsbury’s was established in 1869 and has been a family run business for nearly 150 years. For most of this time their headquarters has been in Stamford Street, on the South West edge of the City of London, the area known as Blackfriars. In the 1300’s this was the site of a Dominican Monastery and is on the South Bank of Blackfriars Bridge, spanning the River Thames. We can only presume this heritage led to the naming of this Gin.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is gentle juniper with citrus and aromatic hints. On the palate this dry soft-mouthed spirit has light juniper and citrus tones with a nice balance of spice. It is crisp with a little bitterness and leaves a pleasing peppery spice finish.

This traditionally styled London Dry Gin is a pleasure, particularly in this price range. While smooth, soft and rounded it is not really best as a sipping Gin but does remarkably well in a Gin & Tonic and makes a passable Martini. It is better in long Gin based mixed drinks and stands proud when compared with other Gins in this price point e.g. Beefeater, Gordon’s etc. This is a great party Gin and everyday tipple and recommended by us for this purpose.

Awards & Accolades

Gold Medal, International Spirits Challenge, 2013.

Trophy and Gold Medal, International Spirits Challenge, 2011.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2010.



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