The Oxley Spirits Co. (Bacardi Ltd), Thames Distillers Ltd., Clapham, London, England, UK. Imported to the USA by The Oxley Spirits Co., Coral Gables, Florida.
Thames Distillers is 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.
Bacardi was founded in 1862 by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó in Cuba and today is run by Facundo L. Bacardi, since 2005. He is the great-great grandson of the company’s founder and a fifth generation family member. Famous for their white colored Bacardi Rum they have gone from strength to strength (despite having had their production plant illegally confiscated by the Cuban government in 1960) and have grown by acquisition across the years.
Bacardi is the third largest spirits company in the world, as well as the world’s largest, privately held Spirits Company. The company sells over 200 brands, in more than 150 global markets and operates 27 production facilities - for bottling, distilling and manufacturing - in 16 countries. It is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.
Oxley was released in 2008 - Initially in New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco and Las Vegas in the USA. Launched fully in the USA during 2009, we liked their marketing slogan: “A Gentleman’s shirt should never shine more than his shoes”.
This is really known as recipe No. 38 because this
was their 38th try at different combinations of ingredients, a
process that with their innovative distillation, took 8 years! 14 botanicals are steeped for over 15 hours in
neutral grain spirit, before the final distillation, taking 5 – 6 hours. This
final stage is unusually undertaken by cold distillation. This is where
the natural flavors of the botanicals are captured and preserved in the spirit
at a temperature of 23 Fahrenheit (-5 Centigrade). This is achieved by
distilling in a vacuum where distillation can still take place i.e. the lower
the pressure the lower temperature needed.
Besides the benefit of distilling without the use of heat, each batch is produced to such a degree of quality there are no heads and tails to be discarded (no waste) as all the resulting spirit is used. These handcrafted batches are so small only a maximum of 240 bottles can be produced per day (4 days a week).
Presented in a tall clear glass bottle, slightly tapering from the bottom upwards to broader shoulders. The finishing touch is being “garnished” with a green leather tag wrapped around the top and a galvanized metal cup at the base – it pleasantly reminds us of something you might find in a greenhouse or “potting” shed!
London Dry Gin. It is labelled as an
English Gin as a marketing tool to make it stand out from other London Dry
47% (94 Proof).
The 14 botanicals are: angelica root, cassia
bark, cocoa, coriander seed, grains of paradise, fresh grapefruit peel, juniper
berries, fresh lemon peel, liquorice root, meadowsweet, nutmeg, fresh orange
peel, orris root, and vanilla beans.
On the nose is fresh citrus (lemon and
orange) and mild sweet pine (juniper) with notes of aniseed. On the palate this
clean, dry, medium bodied spirit has sweet zesty citrus (grapefruit and orange)
and mellow juniper with herbs and spices providing “bite”, plus a hint of
almond (meadowsweet). The very dry close has a complex finish: lemon, herbs,
spice and faint chalky mineral aspects. A word we see repeatedly used to
describe the Gin by some is “Elegant” and it is very apt to define just how
smooth this is!
Whilst the juniper is soft it is strongly in the forefront, the brightness clearly brings to mind how much of a London Dry Gin this is. This is nice taken neat and (whilst we’re not sure we want to hide this Gin) it also makes a good Gin & Tonic - Oxley recommend garnishing with a grapefruit twist. We really like this in a Martini, it has all the elements of a London Dry and a New Western Dry combined – the only real questions left are: how dry to make it and if not using an olive garnish, just what citrus fruit twist does one choose to employ?
This is extremely versatile and we have no hesitation in recommending it in any classic or traditional Gin based mixed drink. Overall, this is excellent for a Martini and given the price, taste and quality we’re not sure we would wish to add this to anything that might negate the overall beauty of this Gin enthusiasts Gin.
92 Points, Beverage Testing Institute.
90 Points, Wine Enthusiast.
Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2013.
Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2012.
Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 2010.
Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2010.