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Review

Foxdenton 48 Gin

Distillery

Foxdenton Estate Company Ltd., Winslow, Buckinghamshire (made by Thames Distillers Ltd., Clapham, London), England, UK.

Website

Foxdenton Estate.

History

Foxdenton Estate Company Ltd is a small family business established in 1935 by Major Charles Radclyffe. This was envisaged as a way to further commercialize his ancestral Estate of Foxdenton based in Lancashire, which had been in the family since 1367. In 1923 the Foxdenton Estate was leased to the local council who permitted public access to the grounds. In 1960 the house itself was sold to the local council and is now a tourist attraction. The business was taken over by his son Alexander Radclyffe and in 2001 his son the present owner, Nicholas Radclyffe, inherited the family business.

With a love of shooting and drinking, Nick thought the fruit liqueurs too sweet whilst at shooting events and wondered if he could produce his own. Making them at home he turned up at shooting days with his and found people really liked them. This spurred him on and he set up a small-scale production of these fruit liqueurs, using Gin as the base spirit, all made to traditional English recipes.

Undertaking a collaborative approach with Thames Distillers, with fellow Director and business partner John (Jo) Simpson, Nick started down the route in producing a traditional London Dry Gin. It took six months of varying recipe formulations, trying distillation after distillation, before reaching their goal. Their first bottle of Foxdenton 48 was finally available in July 2009. Today it is sold by it self but is also used as the base for the fruit liqueurs.

Thames Distillers (who also produce the Foxdenton flavoured gins) is run by Charles Maxwell. He is the 8th generation of the family (founders of the Finsbury Distillery) who have been producing Gin since 1700 – making them the oldest unbroken lineage in Gin distillation.

Production

The actual production process is undisclosed.

Foxdenton introduced a new look for their spirits in early 2013. The old traditional style whisky bottles were replaced with clear squat cylindrical bottles, the same as used for Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin. The label is a large white one with black and burgundy colored writing and line images, including their logo (a bull and crown) and Foxdenton Hall.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

48% (96 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$. Not available in the USA. Try Master of Malt in the UK and expect to pay an additional 60% for shipping.

Botanicals

6 organic botanicals are used including: angelica root, coriander seeds, juniper berries, lemon peel, lime flower oil and orris root.

Name

Named after the family’s ancestral home, the Foxdenton Estate, and the Gins ABV of 48%.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is strong juniper with earthy spice notes. On the palate the strong juniper continues with citrus (lemon & lime) coming through plus spicy coriander and earthy angelica notes. The juniper and zesty citrus (lime) carry through to the close with a refreshing lingering peppery dry grassy finish. This is a nicely crafted and rounded Gin, it has a simple complexity.

This is a great traditional London Dry Gin and is smooth enough to be drunk neat, though is not for the faint hearted. In a Gin & Tonic it is strong enough to shine through the bitterness and you may wish to consider a 3:1 ratio of Tonic to Gin, a slice of lemon seems to be the best garnish. This works extremely well with Vermouth to make a strong straightforward Martini (some might say its perfect), again we suggest using a lemon twist for garnish although an olive or two works fine. We tried quite a few other mixed drinks with this Gin and enjoyed Aviations, Negroni’s and Pink Gins, however this seems to work particularly well with citrus-based ones and can recommend a Gimlet and Tom Collins accordingly.

A true Gin lover’s spirit, we like this a lot and are sure many classic London Dry drinkers, who like a bit more of a punch, will too. Very versatile and so, whilst it has a low marketing profile, we hope to see this finding it’s way behind many bars in the future. Jo Simpson has connections within the Asian markets and no doubt strides are being made to promote this Gin in these countries, we trust however the USA will not be forgotten!

Awards & Accolades

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2011.



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