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Review

Old Lady's Gin

Distillery

Marie Brizard & Roger International, Bordeaux, France but made in England, UK by an undisclosed distillery.

Website

Marie Brizard Group

History

Bordeaux is the 9th largest city in France and is for many, one of countries most beautiful cities. It is a deep port harbor sitting on the River Garonne and is accessible to ocean liners from the European side of the Atlantic Ocean. In the past it was a submarine base during World War II and home to tall cargo sailing ships from a bygone age.

It was in Bordeaux that in 1755 Marie Brizard came across a young sailor unconscious on the streets with a fever. She saved him and as a thank you he gave her the only thing of value he had, a recipe for an aniseed liqueur. Marie decided to create this recipe and with her nephew, Jean-Baptiste Roger, founded the company Marie Brizard & Roger. In 1801 Marie Brizard died aged 86, and with Jean-Baptise having predeceased her in 1795, the company was left to his widow Anne Roger and her three children. The company was to stay within the Roger family for 10 generations until 1998, and is renowned throughout the world for its tradition of quality wines and is one of the world's most venerable producers of liqueurs and drinks based on plants, fruits and spices.

The firm made its name with the aniseed liqueur that was later to become Marie Brizard Anisette, but its real growth period came when it branched out into a wide range of cocktail-based liqueurs, spirits, syrups and wines. They now have 6 production units:

(i) Bordeaux Fondaudège for production of classical and modern liqueurs, London Dry Gin Old Lady’s, Marie Brizard Anisette, and industrial spirits.

(ii) Bordeaux Lormont where they produce San José tequila, Odin vodka, William Pitterson cocktails, Litchao liqueur, Punches, alcohol-free aperitifs, and bottle whiskies.

(iii) Aigre (Charente) for production of cognacs (Gautier), brandies (Cortel), pineau, armagnac, whisky, eaux-de-vie, and Berger aniseed liqueurs.

(iv) Beaucaire (Gard) for the Les Chais Beaucairois range where they assemble and bottle wines and produce cordials.

(v) Zizurkil (Spain) for producing Marie Brizard aniseed liqueurs and Olatz pacharan.

(vi) Fuenmayor (Spain) their vineyard Marqués del Puerto where they mature, assemble and bottle Rioja wines.

In 2006, 100% of the shares of Marie Brizard & Roger International were acquired by the Polish group Belvedere. Today, the group sells some 230 million bottles per year, via two distribution subsidiaries (France and Spain) and around 25% of its revenue comes from exports to over 120 countries, across all five continents. The key export markets are the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Russia and Northern Europe.

Old Lady’s Gin was originally launched during the 1960’s and today is found in both France and Spain. In the early fall of 2013 they produced a limited run for Europe, using the original label from the 1960’s as part of a relaunch of their nostalgic products with history and heritage.

Production

The Gin is made from neutral grain spirit and is double distilled. The botanicals are steeped for an unspecified time prior to the second distillation.

In France the Gin is presented in a clear squat rectangular shaped bottle with a red and yellow label. “Old Lady’s” is written large at the top in black colored text and there is an outline drawing of a large sailing ship in the middle.

In Spain the Gin is presented in a matte black squat rectangular shaped bottle. The bottle is screen-printed in white colored text with an outline drawing of a large sailing ship at the top and medium sized writing “Old Lady’s” in the middle.

The relaunched version, from the fall of 2013, was restricted to a run of 30,000 bottles. The Gin is presented in a clear squat rectangular shaped bottle with a large yellow label. There is a picture of Marie Brizard at the top; vertical columns of juniper berries flank both sides of the label and it has “Old Lady’s Dry Gin” in clear red colored text.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof) and 37.5% (75 Proof).

Price Range

$ - $$. Not available in the USA and we have been unable to find a suitable supplier to ship to the USA. It can be found predominately in France and Spain and a few other European countries.

Botanicals

7 botanicals are used including: angelica, blackcurrant, coriander, iris root, juniper berries, lemon peel and orange peel.

Name

Old Lady’s is the slang name used by the British Royal Navy to refer to their sailing vessels.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is pine (juniper) and citrus (lemon & orange) with floral hints. On the palate this sweet Gin has juniper with citrus (lemon & orange) and some spice notes plus hints of alcohol. On the close the sweetness gives way to a dry spicy finish. Whilst not a smooth sipping Gin, this is a low price one making it popular with people on restricted budgets. It is best used as a spirit to mix in long drinks and punches and may be found in a bartenders’ “well”.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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