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Review

London 40 Gin

Distillery

Old Saint Andrews Whisky Ltd., Kemsing, Sevenoaks, Kent (made by G & J Greenall, Warrington), England, UK. Imported into the USA by Niche Import Co. based in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey.

Website

Old St. AndrewsG & J Greenall and Niche Imports.

History

Established in 1984, between the Haswell family (see Haswell Gin) and The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd, Old St. Andrews was focused on designing and marketing blended Whisky made in Scotland. It has gone through ownership by several different people, the most recent in 2008, when Bob Gorton bought the company. Old St. Andrews designs its products from its UK headquarters in Kent, in conjunction with the world’s leading whisky blenders in Scotland and gin distillers, G & J Greenall, in North East England.

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.

This Gin was launched in 2012 (we think) and uses the same recipe, botanicals and production as Pink 47 except the ABV has been reduced down to 40%.

Production

Crafted under the watchful supervision of Master Distiller Joanne Moore (nee Simcock) it is distilled three times from neutral grain spirit. Next the botanicals are steeped for an unspecified amount of time before the fourth and final distillation in a copper pot still. The resultant distillate is then blended with neutral grain spirit and demineralized water. The water is taken from the River Dee in Wales, fed from the Snowdonia National park, and is filtered and purified whilst preserving its essential character.

The Gin is presented in a tall clear rectangular bottle with a large green label (it’s sibling London 47 has the same but blue colored label). There is black colored text, clearly stating “London 40” at the top, with a picture of a gentleman in top hat and morning coat (with his back towards us) regarding a profile of the City of London in the distance. The changes from the distinctive Pink 47 packaging provide for markets seeking a more traditional London Dry Gin image, is in an easy pour format for the on-trade and provides for markets requiring a lower ABV.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$ - $$$. Not widely available in the USA. Try online with Hi-Time Wine Cellars.

Botanicals

Uses 10 botanicals including: almonds (Spain), angelica (2 different types), cassia (Indochina), coriander (2 different types), cubeb berries (Java), juniper berries (Italy), lemon peel (Spain), liquorice root (China), nutmeg (W. Africa), orange peel (Spain) and orris root (Italy).

Name

The name is simply used as a means of identifying with the heritage of London Dry Gin and the ABV %.

Tasting Notes

On the nose are citrus (lemon) and juniper with earthy herbal floral notes and hints of alcohol. On the palate this slightly smooth and sweet spirit has dry juniper, fresh citrus (lemon), parma violets (orris root) and a spiciness (coriander) making a crisp refreshing drink. On the short close is a spicy, peppery (cubeb berries), juniper dry finish. A well delivered Gin, with aspects of complexity and a smooth rounded end.

This is a good classic London Dry Gin and yet has additional little nuances not always easily found in other Gins plus little difference with its sibling Pink 47. Whilst not recommended for sipping neat (it’s strongly forthright) it makes a good strong Gin & Tonic. We suggest using either 1724 or Fever Tree plus the ubiquitous lime garnish. In Spain a popular garnish is a sliced strawberry (or two raspberries) with an orange or tangerine twist. This stands nice, strong and proud in a Martini. This has a powerful versatility for most mixed Gin drinks and we would find it hard to identify something it wouldn’t work well in, thus making a useful house Gin.

Awards & Accolades

92 Points, Beverage Testing Institute.

Gold Medal, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Tasting Competition, 2012.



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