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Review

Gordon's Gin

Distillery

Alexander Gordon & Co, Cameronbridge Distillery, Windygates, Leven, Fife, Scotland (Diageo Company), London, England, UK. Imported into the USA by Diageo North America, Norwalk, Connecticut.

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”.

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)

40% (80 Proof), USA and Canada.

37.5% (75 Proof) since 1992 in the UK; 47.3% (97 Proof) Europe & Duty Free; 37.2% (74 Proof) in Australia and New Zealand since 2011.

Price Range

$ - $$. Available online, try Bevmo and Binny’s Beverage Depot.

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.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is pine (juniper) with some citrus (lemon and some orange), faint spice and (if one tries really hard) a touch of aniseed (liquorice). On the palate this lightly sweet spirit shows bitter juniper and lemon with a dry pepper, citrus and spice finish. It is known as the “Ginnest of Gins” and our tastings concur with this description.

This is an honest classic London Dry Gin with a pleasantly strong basic delivery. To us it is fairly similar to Beefeater, just slightly stronger, and certainly a gin lover’s drink. This is neither rough nor smooth but still has a “bite” to it and so is only moderately OK in a Martini. However, due to its strength, it doesn’t become drowned in a Gin and Tonic, making it ideally suited for this drink – a classic for a classic – the same results were true for a Gimlet, Negroni and a Pink Gin!

If you ever wonder why Gordon’s is so successful just think: G&T, Price and simplicity of Gin profile. Whilst this will never really excite a true aficionado it is the best selling house Gin in the western hemisphere for a reason.

Awards & Accolades

80-84 Points, Wine Enthusiast.

Double Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2010.

Bronze Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1999.

Gold Medal, Monde Selection Awards, 1998.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1998.

Grand Gold Medal, Monde Selection Awards, 1996.

Bronze Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1996.

Gold Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 1995.

Grand Gold Medal, Monde Selection Awards, 1994.

Grand Gold Medal, Monde Selection Awards, 1992.

The only gin to have held two Royal Warrants - a Royal Warrant from HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Queen Mother (until her demise in 2002).



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