Firstly and foremost folks, this is the first review I’m doing custom for this new layout. What do you think of the bigger, higher-res images? Or do you prefer the tighter more focused bottle photos? Let me know in the comments what you think.
Now on to the gin. A classic that you’ve probably seen. It’s won a lot of awards, it’s an enduring name on the gin scene, and damn if that hat isn’t the classiest bottle top I’ve ever seen.
Very flavorful and very bright. Sweet bright citrus on the nose, and a bright dose of juniper as well. Possibly a hint of spice and florals around the edges, but it maintains a straightforward classical character.
The palette is hot and spicy juniper. A good deal of heat and warmth. 94 proof, enough to keep you toasty on a winter’s eve. Starts with a hint of juniper before the citrus aromas absolutely flourish. Nicely balanced with a slight sweetness akin to violet coming out, but it’s only slight. The fruit note here is well tempered and squarely in the sweet citrus camp. Juniper comes back for a second burst, this time bringing with it a hefty dose of heat and power. Nice flavor, and the closing is well balanced. There’s an earthy counternote that keeps the juniper from being too overwhelming. It fades pleasantly until all that remains is a little bit of heat. Tastes clean and fresh, and is exactly the kind of juniper forward gin you’d expect from a 200 year old distillery. I like it quite a bit, and its exceptionally well balanced and stands out among the sub $20 gins from England in terms of this.
I started out with the Gin and Tonic and it quite much caught my fancy. Bright notes of juniper and a touch of citrus. Well balanced with the tonic water. When I think of classic style gin, this is very much the kind of drink I’m looking for. That pine tingle is here, but so is the flavor and depth of the gin. Quite a nice drink, though I think with a touch of lime it really is sublime.
Martini is nice, but I find it good and not exceptional. I’m looking for that one thing to stand out here and quite unfortunately, complimented with Vermouth, it seems to take on an “everyday” sort of feeling. Where’s that balance, that bright citrus and earthy finish? It just seems to be simply okay.
This is the point where I think the gin really begins to take off. Take it in any number of classic prohibition era cocktails, or modern classics and it works well. Ranging from good to sublime. I think Broker’s Gin mixes really well. It also is able to compliment and harmonize, fitting in nicely into a complex drink without overpowering. I’m not sure you’ll convince ardent anti-gin fans to drink an Aviation, but I think that (yes, it’s a delicious Aviation if you like Classic style gins) it won’t be so overpowering as to be objectionable. It’s well balanced.
I tried it in a Negroni, and found that those earthy notes were amplified: think cinnamon merengue, or carmelized oranges with a touch of fresh juniper. Very nice, and quite frankly: although I know what I paid for this drink, I would never have guessed it if you told me. It tastes on par with many gins which cost 10-15 dollars more. Although I think there’s better classic styled gins out there, at the price point, it stands out. And even if it did cost $10 more? I’d still say it was a good buy and worth seeking out.
PRICE: $19/750 mL
ORIGIN: [flag code=”UK” size=”16″ text=”no”] England
WHAT TO DRINK IT IN: Beautiful gin and tonic, but it was hard to find a drink where it didn’t work.
AVAILABILITY: Worldwide, keep your eyes open.
RATING: Very well balanced, a classic style gin that recognized that “classic” doesn’t mean that things like “balance” and other ingredients are a bad thing. And damn that’s a classy hat.
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