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Review

The King of Soho Gin

Distillery

Made for West End Drinks Ltd. by Timbermill Distillery, Thames Distillers Ltd., Clapham, London, England, UK.

Website

King of Soho Drinks.

History

West End Drinks Ltd. established in summer 2012, is a business partnership between Directors Alex Robson and Howard Raymond - Raymond is also a 17% shareholder in Blavod Drinks. Their first offering made by Thames Distillers, The King of Soho Gin, was launched in the fall of 2013.

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.

Production

The Gin is quadruple distilled, using traditional methods, in two small pot stills at Timbermill Distillery – no doubt their two 500-liter stainless steel pot stills, called Tom Thumb and Thumbelina.

The Gin is presented in a beautifully striking peacock blue colored glass bottle, designed by Tim Holmes and Brand Agency 1HQ. The screen-printed images found on the bottle are symbolic of the rich background surrounding the area of Soho in London, UK. Besides the significance of Soho and its history with Gin, these images seek to encapsulate the spirit and vibrancy of the area and its colorful nightlife, including: The red velvet fashion suited figure, with trumpet in one hand, represents the areas jazz history; while the book in the other hand refers to the publishing and creative media industries found in the vicinity. The human figure has a fox's tail highlighting the areas reputation as a night time haunt for smart urbanities, but perhaps slightly naughty and unconventional people.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

42% (84 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$$ - $$$$$$. Not available in the USA but can be obtained from Master of Malt in the UK, be prepared to add another 40% for shipping. 

Botanicals

Uses 12 botanicals including: angelica root, cassia, coriander seeds, grapefruit peel and juniper berries.

Name

Named after the late Paul Raymond 1925 - 2008, known by many as “The King of Soho”, and father of the Gins co-owner Howard Raymond. Paul Raymond was a British entrepreneur with business interests in publishing, club & theater ownership and property development - buying large amounts in and around Soho (hence the name) - becoming listed as Britain’s richest man in 1992. However he is perhaps more infamously known as a soft porn baron, opening the UK’s first legal strip club in 1958 and publishing a stream of adult magazines, providing a hand in expanding Britain’s social liberations. The life of Paul Raymond was the subject of a 2013 film called “The Look of Love”, staring Steve Coogan and Anna Friel.


Tasting Notes

On the nose is strong piney juniper with woody herbal and spicy citrus notes (cassia, coriander & grapefruit). On the palate this slightly sweet and smooth spirit has juniper with warm citrus (grapefruit) and spicy (cassia) flavor, generating a feeling of 6-month old cut pinewood. On the drying finish the juniper and grapefruit continues with a sweet (liquorice?) and spicy (cinnamon) end.

This traditionally styled London Dry Gin does well with mixers e.g. tonic water, ginger ale etc. where the juniper, citrus and spice can shine – we particularly enjoyed this in a Tom Collins. However, in a Martini there is a perceptible imbalance, mainly (we think) originating from the cassia. This is a reasonably good Gin but the promise of excitement and vibrancy generated by the look of the bottle and the aroma leaves us feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the taste. Maybe there was too much expectation for something fresh and different, geared to challenge our perceptions of Gin in a new and exciting way!

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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