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Review

City of London Dry Gin

Distillery

Jamie Baxter and Jonathan Clark of (C.O.L.D.) City of London Distillery Ltd., London, England, UK.

Website

City of London Distillery.

History

This Distillery was opened at the end of 2012 and their Master Distiller, Jamie Baxter, previously worked for the William Chase Distillery. Whilst there are other distilleries in London, this was the first one in the City of London to open in over 200 years. By way of explanation, Central London is comprised of two cities (also known as Boroughs, there are 32 London boroughs in total): The City of Westminster with Westminster Cathedral found just across the road from (and in the same architectural gothic style of) the houses of parliament and the famous clock tower called “Big Ben”; and The City of London with St. Pauls Cathedral designed by Sir Christopher Wren with it’s big dome, which sits in the financial area of London known as “The Square Mile”.

This, their first Gin, was launched at the start of 2013.

Production

The Gin is produced in small batches (200 bottles per run) using two copper pot stills, lovingly called “Gog” and “Magog” - the mythical giants said to protect the city. Gog is used to produce Vodka from neutral grain spirit (bought in), and Magog to convert this vodka base into Gin. Rather unusually, the citrus (grapefruit, lemon and orange) is not the usual dried peel but is fresh chopped fruit.

The Gin is presented in a clear squat cylindrical bottle with a white label and black writing towards the bottom. This also includes the red and white City of London crest in the middle. A sketched drawing depicting a London scene (including the landmark of St. Pauls Cathedral) can be seen through the front, from the back of the bottle. Each bottle is marked with its bottle and batch number.

A tour of the distillery is available for a small fee; and shares the site with a bar run by the London Bar Consultants, Lewis Hayes & Nate Brown. The distillery can be viewed from the bar via fire safety glass (a requirement due to potential fire and the need to protect the commercial and residential properties directly above the distillery).

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$ - $$$$$. Not available in the USA. Try Master of Malt in the UK but be prepared to add another 50% for shipping.

Botanicals

The 7 botanicals used include: angelica root, coriander seeds, grapefruit (pink), juniper berries, lemon, liquorice root and orange.

Name

Clearly due to the location, City of London, and it being the first distillery here in over 200 years.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is strong citrus with juniper and a little herbal spice (coriander). On the palate this slightly anise sweet (liquorice) smooth spirit has citrus (grapefruit) with juniper and spice (coriander). The close has bitter citrus (lemon & orange), juniper and a little sweetness in the finish with faint herbal peppery spice notes. This is well made and well balanced.

This is a light Gin with plenty of citrus supported with dry juniper. It is a good choice for Gin drinkers, although some traditional Gin lovers may find it a little too heavy on citrus and less so on juniper for their preference; it is still close to a traditional London Dry. In a Gin & Tonic the juniper comes through with handfuls of citrus making for a very refreshing drink. COLD recommend using a slice of citrus (especially grapefruit) as garnish but we think this might be overkill. In a Martini the same taste profile is evident with dry juniper and plenty of citrus and slight peppery spice - again a slice or twist as garnish may be overkill - the traditional olive should be more than suitable. Perhaps the best place this Gin is at home is in a Tom Collins. Whilst not tried by us yet, we hear from third parties that this is very nice in a Negroni, let us know what you think.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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