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Review

Finsbury Gin

Distillery

The Finsbury Distillery Company Ltd., London (Borco Marken Import GmbH & Co KG, Hamburg, Germany), made at Langley Distillery, Birmingham, England, UK.

Website

Borco.

History

Joseph Bishop established the Finsbury Distillery in 1740. Besides Finsbury Gin it was responsible for making numerous well-known drinks including Stone’s Ginger Wine. Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers is the 8th generation descendent of Joseph Bishop, making them the oldest unbroken lineage in Gin distillation.

Unfortunately, the Finsbury Distillery closed and at some point the company was sold. In recent times companies such as Constellation Europe Ltd have bought it and (we believe) Borco Import GmbH in Germany has owned it since 1994.

Borco was established in 1948 and is a family run business. In 1972 they entered into the wine and spirits business, today marketing over 60 spirit brands and is a leader in Germany, and a major player in Europe. Their marketing motto for Finsbury is "Originals don't change".

Production

Kept a closely guarded secret it is made to a 1740 recipe using a molasses neutral base spirit. Made in single batches in a 10,000-Liter copper pot still, affectionately known as “Jenny”.

Presented in clear bottle, shaped like a large hip flask (shallow back to front and wide across) with a yellow label and black colored writing. It also seems to be available in a tall clear cylindrical bottle with the same label design. The label has a coat of arms for the City of London at the top, no doubt in reference to Finsbury (see “Name” below).

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

60% (120 Proof) this is the export version, plus there is a domestic version at 37.5% (75 Proof).

Price Range

$ - $$. Not available in the USA. This is a little hard to find but is available in Germany and several other European countries. Try Uvinum for the 37.5% version but prepare to pay an additional 300% for shipping to the USA.

Botanicals

Unknown and kept a close secret.

Name

The name is no doubt a reference to the London Borough of Finsbury (now part of the London Borough of Islington), the center of gin industry back in the 1700’s.

Tasting Notes

On the nose are light lemon (citrus) and spice (coriander), this increases and includes juniper and alcohol in the 60% version. On the palate this sweet (liquorice) spirit has juniper, citrus lemon (and perhaps a little orange) and spice (coriander). On the close is a dry juniper, bittersweet citrus and spicy finish.

This is the epitome of a traditional London Dry Gin and is one if not the best selling Gin in Germany. Whilst this is perhaps a little bland neat (37.5%) it is invigorating neat in the 60%. This is without doubt best in a Gin & Tonic, where the juniper has the “bite” to be expected in a classic Gin, the 60% version will have traditional Gin lovers very pleased and satisfied. The 37.5% version is light and friendly in a Martini but the 60% version is strong and perhaps too much, so we suggest a wet rather than dry approach accordingly.

This is the best cheapest classic London Dry Gin we know; the 60% version certainly out shines the 37.5%. There is a little roughness around the edges but when in a G&T this is lost making it the best mixed drink choice overall.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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