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Review

Gordon's Export Gin

Distillery

Alexander Gordon & Co, Cameronbridge Distillery, Windygates, Leven, Fife, Scotland (Diageo Company), London, England, UK.

Website

Gordon’s Gin and Diageo.

History

Established 1769 by Alexander Gordon (of Scottish descent and the same year he married) in Southwark, London, UK. It is believed Gordon’s were possibly the first but certainly the early founders of the London Dry category of Gin. Alexander was followed by 2 further generations until Charles Gordon sold the company in 1877 to John Currie and Co. In 1898 they merged with Charles Tanqueray and Co (to form Tanqueray Gordon & Co.) making it the world’s largest gin company at that time. In 1941 their London Distillery was destroyed in a German bombing raid and the only piece to survive was a copper pot still called “Old Tom”, now over 200 years old.

The Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) bought them in 1922 and in 1986 Guiness bought DCL, creating United Distillers (UD) a year later. In 1997 UD merged with Grand Metropolitan to create Diageo. In 1998 all production for Gordon’s Gin was moved from England to Fife in Scotland. Diageo sell in over 180 countries and truly are worldwide.

The Gordon’s brand is the top-selling gin in nearly every European market and the number two selling gin in the world (Ginebra San Miguel currently holds top spot). 100 million bottles of Gordon’s gin are produced each year and it is sold in 150 countries across the globe – this is a tough act to follow – their slogan back in the 1970’s wasn’t far wrong: “It’s got to be Gordon’s”.

The export brand at 47.3% ABV is a different beast to the standard 37.5% (UK) or the 40% (USA).

Production

The base spirit is probably made from locally grown wheat, is distilled twice and has followed the same recipe for nearly 250 years. A third & final distillation with botanicals is carried out in copper pot stills using 100% natural ingredients. The Gin is presented in iconic emerald green rectangular bottles (domestic market) and clear bottles are used in all other markets.

Legend has it that members of the Gordon Clan saved the King of Scotland from a wild boar whilst out hunting. Since then the clan have been using a boar’s head on its coat of arms and their Gin bottles have a Royal Boars head crest on its packaging. This product is Vegan Friendly.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

47.3% (95 Proof).

Price Range

Variable. This is not available in most markets; the only place this seems to be found is in the duty free arrangements at airports (and similar). When entering North America or traveling amongst certain European countries, you might just find this for sale. If you do, we recommend getting several bottles (accordingly to any limits imposed).

Botanicals

The 7 Botanicals used are: angelica root, coriander seeds, juniper berries, lemon peel, liquorice, orange peel and orris root.

Name

Named after the original founder, Alexander Gordon, and the fact it is only available in duty free export markets.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is gentle juniper with citrus and spice (coriander). On the palate this softer spirit has strong juniper with spice and pepper. The close is long with a very pleasant light juniper and spicy pepper finish. Compared with the lower ABV versions, the citrus takes a backward step whilst the juniper steps forward. The stronger alcohol is prevalent but not as harsh as other versions.

This is a well rounded and nicely balanced drink, it is certainly ideal in a Gin & Tonic (perhaps the Gin coming through a little too strongly for some, although we enjoyed it tremendously). Similar to the original strength Gordon’s, it’s still not entirely perfect for a Martini but if you like it with a “bite” this is certainly your “man’. Subtle Gin based mixed drinks may find this too powerful but other mixed drinks where the gin is overpowered will be enlivened by this high-powered version.

Certainly open to debate but we believe this is the strength of Gordon’s Gin that would have been drunk by Ian Fleming. In his book “Casino Royale” he has James Bond ask for a type of Martini (called a Vesper): Three measures of Gordon’s, one of Vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet (now known as a Lillet Blanc). Why not try this for yourself.

Awards & Accolades

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1999.

Gold Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1998.

Gold Medal, Monde Selection Awards, 1998.

Gold Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1997.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1996.

Trophy & Grand Gold Medal, Monde Selection Awards, 1996.

Bronze Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1994.



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