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Review

Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

Distillery

Charles Tanqueray & Co., Cameronbridge Distillery, Windygates, Leven, Fife, Scotland (Diageo Company, London, England), UK. Imported into the USA by Diageo North America, Norwalk, Connecticut.

Website

Tanqueray and Diageo.

History

The Tanqueray family were originally silversmiths from France but immigrated to England during the early 1700’s. They settled in Bedfordshire and for three generations were clergymen. A young twenty year-old Charles Tanqueray established a distillery in 1830, in Bloomsbury, London, UK. Tanqueray was obsessed with producing a premium product, and after some research and success, he gained substantial recognition for his gin. It was Charles Tanqueray's innovation to combine his mix of botanicals with a small amount of the neutral grain spirit, redistilling this mixture into a flavor concentrate, which was then distilled again to achieve the rich complexity of the final product.

In 1868 Charles Waugh Tanqueray, at the same age of 20, took over the running of the business when his father died aged 58. In 1898 they merged with Alexander Gordon and Co (to form Tanqueray Gordon & Co.) making it the world’s largest gin company at that time. In 1941 their London Distillery was destroyed in a German bombing raid and the only piece to survive was a copper pot still, called “Old Tom”, now over 200 years old.

They merged with a group of 6 other distillers to form The Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) in 1922. In 1986 Guinness bought DCL, creating United Distillers (UD) a year later. John Tanqueray, the great great-grandson of the founder retired from the business in 1989, being the last remaining member of the family to work with the company. In 1997 UD merged with Grand Metropolitan to create Diageo. All production for Tanqueray Gin was moved from England to Fife in Scotland in 1998. Today Diageo sell in over 180 countries and can truly be said to be a worldwide company.

This product was launched in the USA, initially in Maryland, Delaware and Washington DC during 2006, and across the states from early 2007. The real origin of this Gin is based on a story from the British Empire days in India. It is said the British liked to take the edge off of their Gin & Tonic by adding a squeeze of Rangpur juice to the drink.

Production

Tanqueray uses neutral wheat grain spirit distilled three times in copper pot stills according to a secret family recipe. This is followed by incorporating the botanicals into the spirit and distilling in a copper pot still for a fourth and final time. The resulting spirit goes through a mirco filtration process plus a little additional sugar is included, exempting it from being categorized as a London Dry Gin.

Tanqueray Rangpur uses the distinctive iconic cocktail shaker styles bottles (introduced in 1948) but in a much lighter color green (you might even call it lime green!). It also has the Tanqueray family crest on the packaging, showing a pineapple and two crossed battle-axes. The pineapple represents hospitality (in the 1800’s they were rare and expensive) and the battle-axes are said to represent the family’s participation in the third crusade.

This product is glutten-free.

Category

Distilled Dry Gin.

With a name like Rangpur Lime one might be excused for thinking this is a lime flavored Gin. Most flavored Gins are infused but this Gins flavor is distilled into the spirit. However, this alone would not in our view excuse it from being described as a flavored Gin. To us it rather depends upon the intensity of the flavor, and in the case of Tanqueray Ranpur we believe it is not so heavily flavored as to include it in the flavored Gin category.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

41.3% ABV (83 Proof).

Price Range

$$ - $$$. Available online, try: Bevmo.

Botanicals

The standard 4 original Tanqueray botanicals are used: angelica root (Saxony), coriander (Russia), juniper berries (Tuscany, Italy), and liquorice. In addition, a further 3 botanicals are used: bay leaf, ginger and rangpur.

Many are unfamiliar with rangpur, yet besides being the name of this Gin, it is important to understand what it is - with regard to the flavor profile. Rangpur is a fruit, native to the India continent. It is often incorrectly referred to as a rangpur lime but it is not a lime – yes, Tanqueray refer to it as rangpur lime but we’ll grant them this marketing artistic license! The Rangpur is a spectacular ornamental tree and can fruit year round for up to 40 years. It’s a hybrid of a lemon and a mandarin, the fruit is orange colored and looks like a mandarin. It has an acidic juice, tastes very sour, is used like a lime and has a very pronounced lime like flavor and aroma, but is as juicy as an orange. Recently the tree has begun to be cultivated in the USA – in the warm states of Florida and California.

Name

Named after the company founder Charles Tanqueray and the key botanical fruit flavor, rangpur. The name of the rangpur fruit comes from the town of Rangpur, and the district of Rangpur, found in the furthest North of Bangladesh (part of Pakistain 1947 to 1971 and prior to this, part of the Indian Territory of the British Empire).

Rangpur, pronounced locally as “rang-poo-r”, in Bengali means “full of color”.

Tasting Notes

On the nose this has a similar aroma to the original Tanqueray Gin but with additional scents of lime, ginger and herbs. On the palate this reasonably smooth, light bodied and slightly sweet spirit discerns fresh lime, juniper, spices and herbs. The dry close has a long lasting warm ginger, juniper, spicy (coriander), lime and lemon finish.

This has a subtle Gin taste and is ideal for new people to Gin or those who like a softer citrus flavored Gin. It does have a reasonably strong lime flavor profile and may overpower some drinks. In a Martini you will either like it or not and in a Gin & Tonic you may be pleasantly surprised at its crisp refreshing nature.

If you do not like lime then this will not be a Gin for you, however if you like a Gimlet you may simply enjoy this neat! Many traditional Gin drinkers will find the citrus hides and overshadows the juniper too much for their liking. In our opinion this is best treated as a specialist Gin and have found we enjoy it with simple mixers like  lemon-lime soda (Sprite, 7-up etc.) or ginger ale. Tanqueray also recommend ginger ale (with a dash of bitters) and cranberry juice (which is worthwhile trying).

This is certainly a different Gin and not your usual run of the mill drink. It has enjoyable elements, in specific drinks, rather than being an all rounder (like many Gins are). Our praise goes to Tanqueray in breaking out of the usual mold and helping many transition from Vodka to Gin.  

Awards & Accolades

86 Points, Ultimate Beverage Challenge.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2012.

Platinum Medal, World Spirits Competition, 2009.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2009.

Double Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2008.

Gold Medal, Drinks International Gin Master, 2008.

Gold Medal, Spirit Masters Awards, 2008.

Double Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2007.



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