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Bulldog London Dry Gin

Review: Bulldog London Dry Gin  (82/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 26, 2019

The Bulldog Gin Brand was created in the USA by Anshuman Vohra in 2007. It was introduced in Europe in 2007 and is now owned by Campari Group and distributed in 55 countries worldwide.

This is a London Dry Gin produced from neutral grain alcohol which at 96 % alcohol by volume is infused with the natural flavours and aromas of 12 different botanicals inside a copper pot still. The botanicals used are lemon, almond, lavender, coriander, Angelica, white poppy, oris, dragon eye, lotus leaves, cassia, licorice,  and of course juniper.

These botanicals macerate in the neutral spirit before distilling which releases their essential oils. Next, the distilling process creates aromatic vapours which travel through a condenser and which are then liquefied producing an essence of the combined botanicals. This essence is then combined with a wheat-based grain neutral spirit and brought to bottling proof (40 % abv) with de-mineralized water.

In the Bottle 5/5

I really like the Bottle which houses Bulldog Gin. As you can see it is shaped pretty much like a cocktail shaker giving us a firm idea of the producers intent for the destiny of the gin. The bottle is saying, this ain’t no sipping gin, it is a gin for mixologists and cocktail fiends.

The bottle is sealed with a generous cap which when opened reveals a wide mouth made for easy pouring. And I am not sure, but I suspect the cap can double as a jigger to measure out the gin as you mix.

The black bottle is eye-catching and the white lettering upon the black background is easy to read.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When poured in the glass, the gin is clear. When I tilt and twirl the glass I see a light oily film on the side of the glass which disappears without leaving any trace of leglets at the crest. This is typical for London Dry Gin and at this point everything is as it should be.

When I take a sniff, I notice light zesty citrus aromas which are melded fairly well with a light juniper. A touch of earthiness is present with the licorice and the angelica making an appearance, but not disrupting the balance. A spiciness of coriander comes though a little later, with the other botanicals making wispy indistinct impressions.

The juniper is picking up a little steam and so far at least, although some of the botanicals (dragon eye and lotus leaves) seem exotic, the gin itself seems very traditional in style.

In The Mouth 50/60

There is a bit of a hard quality to the gin when sipped which reminds me of Gordon’s Gin. The dryness of juniper comes through with a lightly spicy edge of coriander and citrus zest. There is also a touch of astringency which of course confirms my initial impression me that the gin is meant for cocktails, not for sipping.  Martinis might be possible, but my thought is that Vesper and Reverse Vespers are perhaps more suitable for a gin with a bit of a hardened edge.

In The Throat  11.5/15

Overall, I would say the gin has a milder flavour profile than most, however the exit certainly is not mild. That hardened edge I mentioned earlier is very apparent when we take a swallow as bit of alcohol bite accompanies that spicy edge of coriander and citrus zest. In the after taste there is a light perfume quality which is perhaps of few of the other botanicals (oris root perhaps) having their say as well.

The Afterburn 8/10

Bulldog Gin is pretty much what the shaker-style bottle tells me it is, a cocktail gin. In fact, the Bulldog spirit works well in most traditional gin cocktails. A full-blown martini maybe is a little too edgy, but a Tom Collins is certainly not out of the question, nor is a gimlet softened with a bit of triple sec, or a Gin and Tonic.

See below my recommended cocktail to see which decision I made.

You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Recipe

Lime Fizz

The Lime Fizz is perhaps the most refreshing gin cocktail ever created. A perfect cocktail for a hot summer’s day.

The Lime Fizz

1 1/2 oz Bulldog London Dry Gin
1  oz fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Half a glass  of  Cracked Ice

Soda

Mix the three ingredients over ice in a rocks glass.
Lengthen the drink with soda
Garnish with a fresh lime slice added to the glass.

Please enjoy the cocktails I provide responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret that score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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