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Tanqueray Gin

Review: Tanqueray Gin   88.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
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 badly damaged 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 Gin, is a London Dry Gin distilled four times with the botanicals infused prior to the fourth distillation. According to the Tanqueray website, juniper, coriander, angelica root and licorice are the four major botanicals used in the gin’s construction. The spirit is bottled at different proofs for different regional markets.

As I live in Canada, the bottling proof  of my sample bottle is 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

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.”

I like that the bottle is widened just above the label as this makes the bottle easier to grip when I grab it out of my fridge.I also think the idea of making the bottle an homage to the classic cocktail shaker is a great idea and it represents the ultimate destiny of the spirit well, a classic cocktail.

Of course, I am not enthusiastic about the metallic screw top, which is my opinion should be replaced by a plastic cap.

In the Glass 8.5/10

Tanqueray is a clear spirit which when poured into my glass displays a nice combination of assertive juniper and lemon citrus at the forefront of the aroma. There is also a firm, but mild spiciness rising from the glass which hints at cardamom, ginger and citrus zest with more than a few hints of anise and licorice as well. As I let the breezes above the glass drift and change, I am reminded of old spruce trees with mossy backed trunks which seems to imply a soft earthy side to the gin’s character as well. All in all, this is a very pleasant spirit to nose which demonstrates a nice balance between the assertive juniper and the lemony spice.

In the Mouth 54/60

Tanqueray Gin has a very obvious juniper flavour which comes forward in the initial delivery; yet the bitterness which so often accompanies juniper seems to be for the most part, absent. Instead, there is a soft lemony sweetness melding into that juniper flavour giving the gin an approachability I was not expecting. Light citric spices add a mild effervescence, and a soft earthy flavour reminiscent of damp soil or humus seems to lie underneath supporting the melded flavours of juniper, lemon and spice. This is quite nice to sip, being neither to aggressive nor too laid back.

I jumped into a few cocktails, and was very pleased with the results. I mixed a Gin and Tonic, a Lime Gimlet, and a Gin Martini. Of the three, I preferred the Gimlet, but any of the three would be welcome on my back deck on a hot sunny day. Tanqueray is a great mixing gin destined for classic cocktails.

In The Throat  13.5/10

When sipped neat the gin finishes with a nice push of lemon citrus. A lightly glowing spiciness lingers afterwards which is, I am sure, one of the reasons the gin mixes so well in those classic cocktails.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

Everything about the Tanqueray Gin is pleasing. It has a firm juniper flavour which is tempered and accented by a nice lemon spiciness and a gentle earthiness lies underneath adding to the approachable flavour. As a cocktail gin, it mixes very easily into each of the classic bar drinks I constructed for myself.  Tanqueray is pleasant in all aspects, had a bit of a “wow factor” been present, I would have allowed my scores to rise up into the stratosphere.

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


Suggested Recipes

Although it is customary to use a squeeze of lime in the classic Gin and Tonic recipe, the use of lemon juice in the mixed drink is testified to as early as 1938 when an advertisement for Gilbey’s Gin in Punch Magazine displayed the classic Gin and Tonic as served at the Shepheard’s in Cairo with a squeeze of lemon juice rather than lime.

Although my recipe is not the same as the recipe served at Shepheard’s, I too find a hit of lemon juice rather than lime to be a welcome addition to the Gin and Tonic  Cocktail.

Gin and Tonic #4 (Lemon)

1 3/4 oz Tanqueray Gin
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (or to taste)
2 oz Q-Tonic
Lemon slice

Add the first three ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with a lemon slice

And please remember to enjoy responsibly!


Gin Martini (with Lemon Peel Garnish)

2 1/4 oz Tanqueray  London Dry Gin
3/4  oz  Tawse Vermouth
Thin coil of Lemon 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 thin coil of lemon peel

Of course, you should enjoy responsibly!

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


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.

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.

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!


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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