gin, thy rather seedy reputation precedes thee. From gin mills,
to gin joints, to gin soaked (referring to drunks), to "mother's
ruin" (a common British name for gin), gin has undergone
some major shifts, and I admit, all of them are for the better.
For example, turpentine used to be a common ingredient in
Gin used to generate "resinous woody notes" but
thankfully is no longer used. Along those lines, distilling
Gin in the presence of sulphuric acid, which did not itself
distill, but imparted greater overall sweetness has also been
discontinued. Gone are the days of bathtub gin that may have
contained any number of lethal enhancements. Today, Gin is
one of the most popular spirits in the world, and London Dry
Gin heads up that group.
Dry Gin must be distilled from all natural ingredients, and
no further flavorings can be added after distillation; however,
it doesn't have to be distilled in London to qualify. Which
brings us to Greenall's London Dry Gin, these folks figured
it all out back in 1761, in London, and their recipe has been
used continually over the past 250 years by only seven Master
Distillers during that entire time. While some gin makers
use upwards of a couple dozen ingredients with some fairly
exotic botanicals, Greenall's uses only eight, with, of course,
juniper berries being the key ingredient, followed by cassia
bark and ground almonds in the mix.
Greenall's comes in a clear four-sided bottle, and the spirit
itself is the color of pure water: colorless. The rear label
is green and tends to impart an overall greenish cast to the
bottle and contents. The nose is quite laid back and very
mellow, with no particular botanical jumping out and claiming
dominance, but it does feature the juniper followed by the
lemon. The palate is also very subtle and smooth, with the
juniper again taking the lead followed by hints of citrus,
coriander and then almonds. The finish is also nice and smooth
with just the tiniest bit of spice, leaving an almond flavored
citrus, juniper aftertaste that lasts a modest amount of time.
This is one very laid back gin; actually, it's so laid back
that I fear it would get lost in most mixed drinks, but with
its very subtle flavors, it make for a decent little sipper.
This is not an overly complicated gin, and it gives you just
the right amount of combined botanicals to make it interesting.
Bolder, more complicated and layered gins are certainly available,
but on a hot summer afternoon this Greenall's London Dry Gin
would make a nice companion while nestled between two shady
trees and a hammock. The price is quite nice, too. However,
if you're looking for more intense flavor, be prepared to
Greenall's London Dry Gin can be purchased for around $14.40
to $19.99 per 750ML bottle at 40% ABV.
By George Brozowski
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