Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen

Review

The Dorchester
Old Tom Gin

Distillery

Made exclusively for The Dorchester Hotel by City of London Distillery Ltd. (C.O.L.D.), London, England, UK. It was previously made for The Dorchester by William Grant and Sons - of Hendrick’s Gin fame.

Website

The Dorchester Hotel.

History

The Dorchester is one of London’s finest hotels and is frequently listed in the top 100 hotels in the world. This 250 room Art Deco building was originally opened in 1931 and guests have included royalty, the rich and the famous – too many to mention here. It’s opulent splendor and superior service permeates throughout including the spa, three dining rooms and bar (simply called “The Bar”).

The Bar has been home to many a famous Bartender (including Harry Craddock from 1938 to 1947) and for over three decades has been managed by the expert mixologist Giuliano Morandin. In 2006 The Bar was refurbished and Giuliano wanted to include the old time favourite cocktail, The Martinez, to the new bar but using an Old Tom style Gin for authenticity. Unfortunately Old Tom Gin had ceased to be in production by distillers since the 1970’s but collaboration with William Grant & Sons resulted in a special production run for this style of Gin, exclusively for The Dorchester. Continued interest in this style of Gin from guests has led to a new partnership in summer 2014, with Jonathan Clark from the City of London Distillery. C.O.L.D. opened at the end of 2012, to become the first new Distillery in the City of London for over 200 years.

Production

The Gin is based on a recipe found by the hotel, dating back to the 1700’s, and while it does contain a small amount of sugar the majority of the sweetness comes from the choice of botanicals. Little detail is provided regarding the production process but it is made in small artisanal batches of 220-liters, a trademark of the craft style approach of many small distilleries including C.O.L.D.

The Gin is presented in a clear squat cylindrical bottle with a black wax seal cap. It has a white label and black writing, including a handwritten signature and batch number details demonstrating it’s artisanal originality and craftsman style approach. It was previously presented in a tall traditional style clear whisky bottle, with a large silver/gray label with black lettering.

Category

Old Tom Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

43% (86 Proof). The previous version was 40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$$$$$$$ - $$$$$$$$$$$. Available exclusively from The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, UK and for shipping only within the UK from The Dorchester Collection, their online shop.

Botanicals

Uses at least 8 botanicals including: angelica root, cardamom, cassia bark, coriander, juniper berries, lemon peel (fresh), orange peel (fresh) and orris root. We understand two other botanicals are used but are held as a closely guarded secret by the distillery. If we had to guess, we think it is fairly safe to assume liquorice is included!

Name

Named after the hotel (The Dorchester) it is made for and the category of Gin it represents (Old Tom).

Tasting Notes

2006 Version

On the nose is citrus (orange) and strong floral notes (rose petals perhaps) plus mild juniper and woody spice including cinnamon. On the palate this lightly sweet and smooth spirit has a piney juniper and floral taste (now more like violets and lavender) with some fruity aspects. On the drying close the floral taste continues with orange zest, peppery spice, providing a light lingering silky sweetness and minty finish. This is a balanced, soft and flavorsome drink, do not let the floral aspects stop you from trying this one.

2014 Version

We haven’t had an opportunity to try this new production and are led to understand, while just as nice, it is different from the previous version. A suitable review of the 2014 version can be found on Diffords Guide.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



Get In Touch

Have a question, query or need clarification...

Contact Us


Monthly Newsletter

Keep up to date, hear about unique items and have gentle reminders on being "The Complete Gentleman."

Sign up here:

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Complete Gentleman.


Don't Miss A Post

Keep up to date via RSS or another web-based reader:

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • XML RSS
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines