Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tanqueray Old Tom Gim

Tanqueray Old Tom Gin...$31.99 / Liter
Limited Edition
"Old Tom Gin is a style of gin that bridges the gap between Dutch Genever and London Dry Gin. At its core, Old Tom Gin has a weight, sweetness, and lushness that’s reminiscent of Genever but with a drier finish that’s more akin to a London Dry Gin. Old Tom Gin was an extremely popular style of gin during the heart of the classic cocktail heyday in the 1800s, and can be found in many key classic drink recipes like the Martinez and Tom Collins. Unfortunately, Old Tom Gin was one of many spirits which fell victim to Prohibition, and post-prohibition production of Old Tom petered out in the 1930′s and 40′s. It was considered a “lost spirit” in the US until just a few years ago when cocktail historian David Wondrich helped encourage Ransom Spirits, a small Oregon distiller, to try to re-create the classic spirit.

Tanqueray Old Tom Gin (47.3% ABV / 94.6 proof, $32.99 per Liter) – unlike Ransom Spirit’s Old Tom Gin, which was a recreation of Old Tom Gin, Tanqueray’s special Limited Edition release comes directly out of Charles Tanqueray’s famed recipe book, with notes on Old Tom Gin that date back to 1835. These notes and subsequent recipes were the basis for Tanqueray Master Distiller Tom Nichol to create this limited Old Tom Gin release for Tanqueray.

From the first nosing, it’s clear that Tanqueray’s Old Tom Gin is distinctly different from Tanqueray’s other gins. Juniper is definitely a lead note, but it’s accompanied by a distinct lushness that includes bright lime, almond, and orris root. The core of Tanqueray’s Old Tom Gin nose is sweet citrus (reminiscent of honey tangerine) supported by a layer of spice which includes juniper, black pepper, coriander, and licorice root. The entry is lush and sweet, two words you don’t expect to be associated with gin. The initial softness is amazing considering that this gin is 47.3% ABV; it’s perhaps one of the most sippable gins on the market. What’s remarkable is that the sweetness doesn’t seem to be coming from any added sugar. It would have been perfectly acceptable to add sugar to an Old Tom Gin, as many classic Old Toms were sweetened, but instead the sweetness is one of those great magical things that can happen in a spirit where it tastes sweet but isn’t sweetened.

The entry is all sweet lime and soft juniper. The way in which the juniper is presented here is so approachable, it’ll make even the most ardent ginaphobe reconsider their take on the spirit. As we head towards the midpalate there’s a wonderful handoff between the lush, sweet opening and the full, round, spicy midpalate. In the midpalate the juniper ramps up and is joined by black pepper, coriander, licorice root, orris root, and a eucalyptus note. Even with all this spice, Tanqueray’s Old Tom Gin maintains the silky undercurrent of citrus sweetness established in the opening. The finish for Tanqueray’s Old Tom Gin is long and dry, solidly in line with the house style for Tanqueray.

One of the cornerstone’s of Tanqueray’s taste profile is balance, and it’s one of the things that Master Distiller Tom Nichol does best. Nichol manages to find balance in an Old Tom, something that’s nothing short of remarkable. While Tanqueray Old Tom Gin is being billed as a Limited Edition, it’s still a Diageo product, so for them “limited” means “a hundred thousand bottles”. This is a hearty amount for something that’s limited, but that’s a good thing. Tanqueray’s Old Tom Gin is an important addition to the gin category. It’s an expertly crafted gin that sits side by side with Tanqueray London Dry and Tanqueray Ten in terms of quality and execution. We hope Tanqueray will consider adding both Old Tom and Malacca to the permanent Tanqueray line up." -- Drink Spirits

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tanqueray does add sugar if I'm not mistaken.