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Review

Langtons No.1 Gin

Distillery

Langtons Gin Ltd. (M&M Spirit Craft Ltd.), Dalston, Carlisle, Cumbria (made by G & J Greenall International, Risley, Warrington), England, UK.

Website

Langtons Gin and G & J Greenall.

History

Langtons was founded by two Northern England friends, Nick Dymoke-Marr and CEO Tim Moor, who have adopted the Lake District in the North West of England as their inspiration for this Gin. And in particular Skiddaw Mountain, which stands a little over 3,000 ftis just outside the town of Keswick and is the 4th highest mountain in England. Taking nearly 2 years to develop, The Lakeland Gin Langtons No.1 was launched at the end of 2012.

Nick is from Bramhope, Leeds and has a background in Wine, first as a buyer for a large grocery chain and then as brand ambassador for Stormhoek wine, from South African. Tim, originally from Millbeck near Keswick, is a Design Engineer. He holds over 70 patents with a string of successful ventures to his bow. He has previously worked with Vince Wilkins at Spirit of the Lakes Ltd. where they created Bedrock Gin, another Lake District offering, before leaving at the beginning of 2011 to start this project (and others). Tim and Nick have used as many local products as possible in the Gin’s production, even using a Northern England based distiller. In spring 2013 they were joined by Paul Tollet, another Northern England gentleman and additional investor, as Chairman of the company.

As part of the development of this Gin, Langton’s had to drill a borehole 350 feet deep to access the local water they required. They even had to buy the small 35 square feet plot of land from Tim’s family. Water from the borehole is pumped into a holding tank, for the distillers Greenall’s to come and collect, in readiness to make their Gin.

Established back in 1761, Greenall’s are the oldest continuously producing London Dry Gin distillery in the world. Thomas Dakin built the distillery initially, Edward Greenall started using it and in 1870 it was purchased completely (The G&J comes from Edward’s younger brothers – Gilbert & John). The previous chairman, Lord Daresbury, was a direct descendent of Edward Greenall. The family motto “Alto Peto” translates as "I Strive Higher". This once cottage based industry is now the second largest gin distillery in Britain, producing over 50% of the UK’s Gin and almost 15% of the world’s Gin. In 2011 the business was bought by Quintessential Brands. Master Distiller, Joanne Moore, helped Langtons devise and develop the Gin.

Production

The Gin is distilled three times in English wheat grain spirit using a traditional copper pot still. Next the botanicals are steeped in the spirit prior to the fourth and final distillation. Lastly water from a local ancient aquifer (underground water source) is added. The ancient aquifer is under Skiddaw Mountain, Keswick and Derwent Water (a local lake) and is taken from their own borehole in the local village of Underskiddaw. This water is up to a million years old, and has filtered through the local black slate that is 450 million years old.

The Gin is presented in a tall rectangular smoky green-blue-gray colored bottle with Langtons No.1 screen-printed clearly in white at the top. It tapers upwards (larger at the top than the base) and whilst not dark green in color, it mimics the bottle design from the 1700’s referred to as a “Case Gin” bottle. This bespoke bottle also takes its design from a piece of the local slate, and it has ridged contours marked around the bottle to look just like the slate. Interestingly, and a nice touch, one of the contours on the front matches the profile of Skiddaw Mountain. The bottle is manufactured by Allied Glass Containers Ltd. based in Leeds (who also make the bottles for Bulldog Gin), and the actual glass also hails from the North of England.

Category

Distilled 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 50-60% for shipping.

Botanicals



11 botanicals are used including: angelica, anise, coriander, juniper berries, lemon peel, liquorice, oak bark (from 100-year old oak trees in the Lake District National Park) and orange peel.

Name

Co-founder Nick Dymoke-Marr’s grandmother used to live on Langtons farm, and his childhood memories are revisited in the use of Langtons for the name of the Gin.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is light pine (juniper), citrus (lemon) and floral notes with a hint of spice (coriander). On the palate this soft semi-sweet spirit has citrus (lemon), juniper with an earthy nutty taste, spicy (coriander) and herbal notes. On the close is a smooth sweet juniper with a little citrus and gentle warming spice finish. A very nicely rounded and soft Gin, it is fair to say they have managed to capture the essence of the Lake District in all aspects of this Gin to great effect.

This is a softly smooth Gin and is surprisingly easy to drink neat and on the rocks. It makes a very good Gin & Tonic (creating a base mark standard to measure other Gins by) with a dry pine (juniper), citrus and earthy herbal flavors clearly evident. Gins this soft are often overpowered by Tonic and yet this manages to nicely rise above it. We recommend using Fentimans as the citrus flavors are supported beautifully by this brand. Some people suggest using a slice of cucumber as garnish, however we agree with David Smith over at the Summer Fruit Cup and find an “Evans” (a slice of lemon and lime) a great choice. Strangely enough, the founders have also battled this one with Tim preferring Lime and Nick a lemon garnish; one wonders what they would make of an “Evans”! In a Martini it has a smooth light sweetness and a drying juniper with more herbal notes pulled out, no doubt due to the Vermouth. We suggest using a lemon twist for garnish rather than olives.

This gives the impression of being a very versatile Gin in mixed drinks, which is unusual for soft Gins as they are often overpowered, but this one still manages to shines. Both Gin lovers and non-Gin drinkers should find something to enjoy with this spirit. For those seeking to educate their Gin palate it makes for a good step up for other soft Gins such as Bedrock, Iceberg and London Hill. It is smoothly elegant and shows hints of spice, herbs and earthy notes – a useful introduction to these flavor profiles in a Gin.

Awards & Accolades

Silver Medal, Gin Masters, 2015.

Silver Medal, Gin Masters, 2013.



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