GSN Review: Tanqueray Old Tom Gin

Salespager_Tanqueray_Old_TomTanqueray continues its series of limited edition gins with an Old Tom style.  If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a brief introduction to Old Tom.

Created in England during the 1700’s, Old Tom is a sweeter style of gin bridging the gap between Dutch Genever and London Dry.  Supposedly this was originally to disguise a poor distillation.  In fact, many bottom shelf spirits still add sugar and caramel flavoring to hide a low quality product.  Which is why the Old Tom style faded away as distillers realized that customers wanted better spirits.

As to why it is called Old Tom, it apparently has to do with pub signs that had the image of a black cat on them.  Interesting, since the black cat is thought to be a harbinger of bad luck.  Old Tom is also called for in the 1891 classic cocktail guide The Flowing Bowl: When and What to Drink.  What is the drink?  The Tom Collins, of course!

See my previous reviews of Tanqueray, Tanqueray 10, Tanqueray Rangpur and Tanqueray Malacca.

Tanqueray Old Tom Gin (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Immediate juniper nose with fresh cracked pepper, citrus peel and cucumber. There’s also a slight flowery scent reminiscent of a florist shoppe.
Taste: Quite sweet, but tempered by a hefty dose of bright and bracing juniper.  Definitely leaning towards a simple syrup kind of sweetness.
Finish: Long notes of barley sugar overshadow any herbal or spice notes.  Interestingly, you can still detect the overall flavor profile of Tanqueray.
Overall: Less malty than a Genever, but certainly way more sugary than a London dry style.  I’d suggest using this in cocktails that call for very little in the way of liqueurs or juice based modifiers.  It’s tasty, but the sweetness almost seems overwhelming.  I think a bit of barrel aging would add just the right touch of tannins to balance it out a bit.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Tanqueray

GSN Backbar Review: June 9-13, 2014

old_tomDiageo is adding a limited-production Old Tom Gin to its Tanqueray brand this month, created by master distiller Tom Nichol. According to Diageo, the Old Tom style “bridges the flavor gap between the original, malty Dutch genevers and the more juniper-forward London Dry styles” and is lighter than a genever but more full-bodied and sweeter than a London Dry. Tanqueray’s Old Tom, which is limited to 100,000 bottles globally and will be distributed primarily in top bars, was inspired by a 19th century recipe from brand founder Charles Tanqueray. The pack design is also based on an original Tanqueray Old Tom label dating back to 1921. Each bottle is individually numbered. Tanqueray Old Tom Gin follows the brand’s revival of its Malacca edition in 2013.

icemintBerentzen USA has launched a new premium flavored peppermint schnapps, Berentzen Icemint. The new offering uses an authentic German peppermint schnapps recipe and is 100 proof. Berentzen Icemint is available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $24.99 a 750-ml. bottle. It joins Berentzen’s portfolio, which also includes Wild Cherry, Apple and Pear liqueurs as well as Berentzen Bushel & Barrel, Kentucky straight Bourbon blended with apple liqueur.


crown-royal-monarch-75th-anniversary-blend-320x320Diageo has unveiled Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend, the latest limited release from the Canadian whisky brand that celebrates its history tied to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Canada in 1939. Master blender Andrew MacKay hand-picked whiskies from the brand’s stock, including one from the historic Coffey rye still in Manitoba, to create the blend. Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend is packaged in a silver embroidered bag with gold accents and a taller and broader bottle than Crown Royal Deluxe. The limited release is 40%-abv and retails at about $75 a 750-ml. bottle, each of which is individually numbered.

284607Fishbowl Spirits has extended its Blue Chair Bay rum brand with a new Banana flavor. Hitting national distribution this week, Blue Chair Bay Banana joins White, Coconut and Coconut Spiced varieties in the brand line. The white rum is 40% abv, while Blue Chair’s flavored variants are at 26.5% abv. The brand, created and owned by singer Kenny Chesney, retails at around $19 a bottle.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily