The gin shelf was looking a little low on clear liquid, somewhere near the bottom of several quality gins, and half a bottle or more of those that I am less keen on, but intend to re-visit with different tonics at some point. But for now I needed something new for the shelf, and while shopping for wine for my Easter Sunday lunch, I asked the very helpful shopkeep at Theatre Of Wine in Greenwich about the various curiosities he had on their gin shelves. After hearing several descriptions for a variety of London Dry and Old Tom style gins I plumped for a bottle of Jensen’s London Dry Gin from the local distillery based in an old railway arch at Bermondsey. I think it was the word ‘peppery’ that sold it to me as it wasn’t an adjective I could readily apply to any of the other gins I had tried in recent memory.
The bottle is simple and sleek, clear glass, silver screw top and white labels front and back with a few notes on both the distiller and the gin itself. The 70cl bottle is a shade under £30, my hopes are pretty high. The 43% volume is higher than bog standard, and sometimes this can mean added harshness, but when I taste my first measure poured over ice cubes then I get none of that, but I do get the ‘peppery’ I was warned about.
I half fill one of my new Balloon glasses with lumps of large ice cubes and pour a measure in. My Ginventory and Ginto apps both recommend tonic water I do not currently have, so I add Fever-Tree Indian Tonic water and the result on the nose and in the mouth is pleasant enough. Another mouthful and I’m hooked, and by the time my glass is empty I am certainly wishing I had another.
Botanicals include Coriander, Juniper, Liquorice root, Almond and Violets. The distillers have attempted to re-create a classic old-fashioned London dry style and recommend its use in a dry martini, and so I will do that soon and update this post then. I’ll also get some of the recommended mixer and see if they elevate this fine gin even further. This is a really classy product, a gentleman of a gin that is a pleasure to share an evening with.
And another thing to try – they do, by arrangement, distillery tours – so that is something to put on the wish list. Wish #1 – I wish I had enough time to do a distillery tour.
More details about where to purchase or taste at their web site www.bermondseygin.com
Jensen’s Bermondsey London Dry Gin – £28 for 70cl
Gin & Tonic Rating: 4.5/5 (Provisional based on Fever Tree Indian only)
Buy Jensen’s Dry at The Gin Box Shop