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Tanqueray No. 10

Review: Tanqueray No.10  Gin   90/100
Review by Chip Dykstra
Refreshed March, 2020

Tanqueray Gin was originally produced by Charles Tanqueray in London, England in 1830 at the Bloomsbury Distillery. The distillery prospered through the nineteenth century; but after being in production for over one hundred years, it was almost destroyed in the bombing raids of World War II by the German air force. One still survived, and this still affectionately called “Old Tom” was moved to the new facilities in Cameron Scotland where Tanqueray gin is currently produced.

Tanqueray No. 10, is produced through a quadruple distillation process with the botanicals infused prior to the fourth distillation. Rather than using only the citrus peel for their infusion, Tanqueray 10 is instead made with the whole fruit. Thus entire grapefruits, oranges and limes are used along with juniper, angelica, coriander, licorice and chamomile in the production of the No. 10 Gin. It is named for the “Tiny Ten” still, from which all of the No. 10 Gin is distilled, and is considered the most premium gin in the Tanqueray line up. Tanqueray No. 10 is bottled at 47.3% alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Tanqueray No. 10 has underwent a bottle redesign recently. The older bottle which can still be seen on store shelves is taller and more statuesque. The new bottle is thicker and shorter and according to the Tanqueray website:

“Tanqueray’s iconic bottle design is a contemporary update of the original 1948 design, which in turn, was inspired by the shape of a classic cocktail shaker. The famous Tanqueray family crest embossed on the glass of each bottle features a pineapple, a historic symbol of hospitality and warm welcome.”

The shape of the bottle does make it easier to grip when I grab ii from my gin shelf, and the homage to the cocktail shaker is a nice nod to the ultimate destiny of any good gin, that is a classic ingredient in your favourite cocktail.

In the Glass  9/10

The breezes above the glass bring light juniper smells which remind me reminds me of the scents and smells of spruce and pine trees which I encounter when I go camping in the forests of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. There are some sweet floral notes which are hard to identify (probably some chamomile in there); but the floral character combines well with the citrus aromas of lime and grapefruit (especially the grapefruit). I also sense a light ribbon of orange liqueur and the subtlety of other mixed botanicals.

Nosing this Tanqueray Gin is relaxing and enjoyable, as everything seems well balanced with no sharp notes and no elements causing disharmony.

In the Mouth 54/60

The gin is soft and approachable when I sip it. Juniper leads out in front with impressions of pine and spruce boughs accompanying the berries. A bit of spicy heat is present; but only enough to let you know that the gin carries a higher than normal alcohol content (94.6 proof). Grapefruit zest gives the gin a welcome ‘freshness’ on the palate, and I can taste a light orange sweetness akin to Triple Sec in the background. Bits of licorice and angelica add a light earthy touch to the spirit.

I appreciate the softness of the citrus and the mild floral character of the gin. The combination makes Tanqueray No. 10 a great gin for Martinis and other classic cocktails. I have shared a Martini suggestion as well as a simple gin and lime recipe which tastes great with the No. 10 Gin.

In the Throat 13.5/15

The beginning was all juniper and pine; but the exit adds sweet oranges and tangy grapefruit. A touch of spicy coriander add to the freshness of the finish. The spirit is surprisingly smooth considering the 94.6 proof bottling strength.

The Afterburn  9/10

Tanqueray No. 10 is a great spirit for mixing in cocktails; but what really sets it apart from other gins is that it is also enjoyable when sipped neat a room temperature or with a dash of ice. It’s a step up from gins like Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire and should be a staple of every serious home bartender’s gin collection.

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 Cocktails

Traditional Gin Martini

For this Traditional Gin Martini recipe, I have chosen to use a 1:2 ratio of gin to vermouth as my base for construction. I strongly suspect that it is experiences with bad vermouth that have led many people to decrease its volume in the classic martini cocktail, not understanding that the vinegary component they are tasting is not a normal flavour component of good vermouth. Please use fresh vermouth whenever you are serving Martini cocktails.

Gin Martini (with Orange peel Garnish)

2 oz Tanqueray No. 10 Gin
1 oz Tawse Vermouth
Ice
thin coil of Orange Peel

Add the gin and vermouth into a large mixing glass with ice
stir for about two minutes until the sides of the glass are very cold
Strain into a chilled martini glass
Add a coil of Orange Peel

Of course, you should enjoy Responsibly!

Note: I have made this point with respect to the Vodka Martini, and it bears repeating with respect to the Gin Martini. Once you open any bottle of vermouth, it is important that you realize that all aromatized wines have a very short shelf life. This is because the wine will begin to oxidize immediately, and after only one short week (even if the bottle is refrigerated) its flavour will have undergone an undesirable change.

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Gin and Lime

1 1/2 oz Tanqueray No. 10
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Slice of Lime

Add Tanqueray No. 10 to a small Rocks Glass
Add Ice
Add fresh squeezed lime and sugar syrup
Garnish with a slice of lime

Stir and Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my 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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