Gordon’s London Dry Gin
Review: Gordon’s London Dry Gin (82/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on May 19,2011
Alexander Gordon founded the Gin Distillery in London in 1769, and although the company is now part of the Diageo conglomerate, they have apparently remained true to their original Gin recipe which includes handpicked juniper berries and other secret botanicals. (According the company website, only 12 persons in the world know the secret recipe.)
I picked up a 375 ml bottle of Gordon’s London Dry Gin a few months ago, and I decided that it was finally time to publish a review here on my website.
In the Bottle 4/5
Gordon’s Gin is not an expensive indulgence as it is quite affordable in my locale. This means that I will not nit pick very much over the bottle presentation as I understand that affordability is more important than pretense. The bottle I am reviewing is a clear glass, flask style, bottle with attractive labels and fonts which are pleasing to the eye. I admit, I do not like the metal screw cap (especially after a recent trip back from Miami where every bottle I brought back which was sealed with a metal screw cap leaked in my cargo luggage); but, as I said earlier I will not judge an inexpensive spirit too harshly with respect to presentation.
One interesting note which I found on the label was the following statement, “Distilled in Canada“. I believe that Gordon’s Gin is not a single distillery gin, and so it is worth noting that the particular bottle which I am reviewing is the Canadian distilled version. Although the worldwide recipe is the same wherever this gin is produced, I believe there might be subtle regional differences in the final flavour due to regional factors like the water source and variations in the distillation equipment.
In the Glass 8.5/10
I poured myself a small shot of the Gordon’s Gin and gave my glass a tilt and slow swirl. A nice oily sheen was imparted on the inside of my glass, and to my surprise long slender legs developed. This is an indication of a mildly oily texture which should give this gin a nice finish.
As I nosed the glass a nice piny juniper aroma climbed out of the glass into the breezes. This scent was quickly surrounded by sweeter lemon and lime citrus aromas. As well a light, almost birch-like aroma was hinted at, and the overall effect is quite nice; although I do recognize that the birch aroma has added a slightly harsh tinge to the air above the glass.
In the Mouth 49/60
The flavour of Gordon’s Gin is quite assertive with a piny (and mildly bitter) juniper leading out in front. A sweeter lemony citrus flavour follows. A certain dry bitterness is evident, and as I sip my glass, my mouth puckers, and I receive vague impressions of wild elderberries and fresh birch sap. I seem to taste a little coriander as well, although this impression might be a phantom conjured up in my imagination as a friend of mine who was tasting with me noticed the flavour. I noticed it only after it was mentioned.
As part of my tasting regimen I mixed a Key Lime Gimlet to test the performance of the Gordon’s Gin in a cocktail. The assertiveness of the gin pushed through the lime, and the resulting cocktail had a very strong piny mildly bitter flavour. I also made a Gin Martini, and again the piny and lightly bitter gin flavour seemed very strong to me. For the well indoctrinated gin enthusiast this assertiveness on the part of the gin will probably be very welcome, but I found myself struggling to finish two cocktails which I normally enjoy.
I did construct a nice Fizz style cocktail (see the recipe below) which was very enjoyable; so my conclusion with respect to the Gordon’s London Dry Gin is that it is important to experiment and find a style of cocktail for the gin which suits your particular palate.
In the Throat 12/15
The gin has a moderately long finish with citrus and juniper flavours settling into the palate for a time period well after the glass is consumed. However a birch-like bitterness settles in for an even longer time period which diminished the experience for me.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
Gordon’s London Dry Gin would not be the first gin I would serve a novice gin drinker; however, it certainly would be up for consideration if I was to serve a drink to an experienced gin aficionado. The stronger piny juniper flavour and the lasting bitterness would certainly appeal to a more experienced gin palate. I however, prefer a softer gin more akin to Tangueray No. 10 or Bombay Sapphire Gin. But I certainly can appreciate that Gordon’s Gin will have a wide appeal to those who like to relish a stronger flavour experience.
You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
I prefer a less assertive, and perhaps slightly sweeter flavour when I serve gin, and so I constructed the following cocktail to which seemed to suit my palate just fine. It is a Fizz style cocktail which is particularly refreshing.
The Lime Fizz
1 1/2 oz Gordon’s London Dry gin
1 oz fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup
Half a glass of Cracked Ice
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 consume my cocktail responsibly!
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)