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Review

Boodles Gin

Distillery

G & J Greenall International, Risley, Warrington, England, UK. Owned and Imported to the USA by Mark Teasdale and Elwyn Gladstone of Proximo Spirits, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Website

Boodles Gin and Proximo Spirits.

History

Greenall's, established back in 1761, 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 current chairman, Lord Daresbury, is 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.

Launched in 1845 this brand of Gin has international renown and is associated with a certain degree of sophisticated elegance. Originally owned by Cock Russell & Co. it then changed hands to James Burroughs Ltd (of Beefeater fame). Most recently it has ended up owned by Seagrams in 2000 and then Chivas Bros. Ltd on behalf of Pernod Ricard. In 2012 Pernod Richard sold the brand to Trade Winds Brands LLC of Florida, Miami (Proximo Spirits), who are in the process of setting up a new website and changing the labeling.

Production

Made by Greenall’s using a vacuum still – being one of the first, if not the first, to use this type of still in Gin production. The still creates pressure in the “pot” which lowers the level of temperature required for the alcohol to evaporate. The intended end result is for the botanicals to retain more of their flavor in the finished spirit. From here it is shipped for rectification and bottling at Hiram Walker’s (owned by Pernod Richard) production plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA. With the sale of this Gin Brand in 2012 we are unsure if these arrangements still continue.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

45% (90 Proof) and previously bottled at 47% (94 Proof).

Price Range

$$ - $$$. Available online, try: Merwin Liquors, Hi-Time Wine Cellars and More Wines.

Botanicals

Botanicals include: angelica, caraway, cassia bark, coriander, juniper berries, nutmeg, rosemary and sage.

Name

The Gin is named after the Gentleman’s club at 28 St. James’s Street, London, England, United Kingdom. Founded by Lord Shelbourne in 1762, it is the second oldest in the world, and is named after the first headwaiter – Edward Boodle. The club has had many distinguished and famous members (4 have won Victoria Crosses) and include: George Beau" Brummell, Ian Fleming, Charles Fox, Edward Gibbon, David Hume, David Niven, John Profumo, Adam Smith, Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington), and William Wilberforce. One honorary member Winston Churchill was a Gin drinker and this was said to be one of his favorite brands (along with Plymouth Gin).

Tasting Notes

On the nose are juniper and spice with hints of citrus (lemon) and woody herbal notes. On the palate this full bodied, oily, smooth and slightly sweet spirit shows herbal (sage), citrus and spice (coriander, cassia bark & nutmeg) with a softly lurking juniper and just a hint of rosemary. This finishes warm, long and dry, consisting of pine, lemon and pepper – we believe the lemon citrus may come from the coriander!

The Gin is renowned for its understated juniper and the tastings demonstrate this point fully (please do not mistake this as being weak, it’s not!). It is nicely balanced and flavorsome, a classic style Gin albeit with a slight twist on the juniper approach. This stands its ground in many Gin based mixed drinks that would otherwise drown others. In a Gin & Tonic this shines through nicely especially with the citrus profile, in a Martini it is quite sublime and a Dirty Martini is special – especially fine, given the wonderful price level! Trying to describe this is difficult but for strength, think Beefeater; for herbal flavor, think Tanquery; for lightness, think Bombay Sapphire; and for smooth sweetness, think Plymouth – this has elements of all four of these well known brands. This certainly makes a very good house Gin.

A marketing phrase used (at least when with Pernod Richard) is “a favorite among gin drinkers worldwide” and yet despite being produced in England it was only readily available in the USA (with effect from summer 2013, it is now available back in the UK). This brand certainly languished when under Seagram’s and Pernod Richard undertook little further improvement on this, as far as we can tell. This is unfortunate because it deserves to be better known, we wish Messer’s Teasdale and Gladstone of Proximo Spirits every success (they were after all the marketing successes behind Hendrick’s so we have high hopes).

Although not confirmed, according to third parties, the recipe/production of this Gin has changed during 2012 (which coincides with the sale of the brand). Our tasting notes are prior to this time and it seems the alleged change is to the overall detriment of the spirit, we sincerely hope this is not the case – we’ll update these notes once we sample a new bottle!

Awards & Accolades

93 Points, Beverage Testing Institute.

90–95 Points, Wine Enthusiast.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2013.



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