Made by Thames Distillers Ltd., Clapham, London, England, UK on behalf of SG Spirits Ltd. (SG) and Silvester Wyatt-Nicolle Ltd. (SWN) both based in St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands.
Managing Director Keiran Wyatt-Nicolle and
Creative Director Peter Silvester of SWN designed and created Oliver Twist Gin
in partnership with Stuart Gunn of SG providing the technical support (being
already established in the world of Spirit Production). Their creation has been
entrusted into the hands of Thames Distillers, run by Charles Maxwell who is
the 8th generation of the family (founders of the Finsbury
Distillery) who have been producing Gin since 1700 – making them the oldest
unbroken lineage in Gin distillation.
Oliver Twist Gin was launched on 25th November 2011 at the Star At Night, Soho, London. The Star at Night is a specialist Gin Bar and the date was significant as it is the date of their opening from 2002 and what better way than to have a Gin launched on their 9th anniversary.
The Gin is presented in a squat circular
bottle with a faint blue tint to it (the Gin itself is clear). It has an oval
shaped dark blue colored label with Oliver Twist written in large white colored
London Dry Gin. They refer to this as a “Distilled
London Gin” as a means to emphasize it is also made in London.
40% (80 Proof).
$$$$. Not available in the USA. Try The
Whisky Exchange based in the UK but prepare to pay an additional 100% for
4 botanicals are used including: angelica
root, coriander seed, juniper berries and savory.
Although not stated, it is relatively easy
to understand how a Gin can be associated with author Charles Dickens and his
classic book Oliver Twist. Charles Dickens had a relatively hard start to life
and some of this is echoed in the story of Oliver Twist. The good and
altruistic Dickens went on to develop a darker side: he was disappointed with
his wife (although this did not stop them produced 10 children in 15 years) and
took up with prostitutes and a mistress known as “Nelly”. He smoked cigars and
drank (no doubt to excess) and included amongst these various liquors was a
During Dickens’ Victorian lifetime (1812 – 1870) Gin was a very popular drink. No doubt this was encouraged from the 1830’s by the rise of Gin Palaces, described by Dickens as "Perfectly dazzling when contrasted with the darkness and dirt we have just left." It is unsurprising references to Gin can be found scattered throughout his books. In Oliver Twist book Mrs Mann at the workhouse gives the children “daffy” a medicine called Senna (made from cassia tree root) mixed with Gin, plus Fagin gives his pick-pocketing children (including Oliver) Gin & Water to help them sleep. In the 1968 musical “Oliver” there is a scene where Fagin tells the children to “Shut up and drink your Gin!” which can be seen on this 4 second clip from Utube.
Obviously today, giving Gin to children (even in diluted form) is not an acceptable practice. However, back in the 1800’s (and before) water quality was extremely poor and Gin was extremely cheap, so using Gin it in place of water (or as a sterilizing mixture in water) was the standard approach.
On the nose is clear juniper with spice
(coriander) and citrus (lemon). On the palate this smooth and lightly sweet spirit
has juniper, coriander and light lemon citrus. Although not noted by us, some
reviewers find there is a little saltiness to this Gin – see review by Summer
On the close is a nicely bitter and dry lingering finish with some light
alcohol heat plus herbal and floral notes (savory & angelica). This is a
juniper forward Gin with notes of complexity despite using only four
A classic London Dry Gin style. This is fine to drink neat but it is not the best way to use this Gin. Instead try a Gin & Tonic where is seems be very much at home, we found a lime garnish seems to work best. Where the Gin is less diluted (e.g. Martini or Pink Gin) the familiar juniper “bite” is found, for the enjoyment of Gin lovers everywhere (and certainly were our drinks of choice). It also manages to “stand its ground” in more strongly diluted mixed drinks where the juniper still manages to surface (unlike many weaker drinks).
This is a very presentable Gin and is recommended as an everyday drink for real Gin lovers. It also maintains the ability to “spill over” into specialist cocktails for more ardent traditionalists.