Ford’s Gin

Ford's gin bottle

You’re starting to see more and more of this: call it a bonafide trend if you must. Simon Ford made this gin for mixing. For bartenders. For mixologists. For the way that most people drink their gin.

Simon Ford comes with some rather lofty credentials. Some of the gins he’s recently worked with and on include: Plymouth ()Dorothy Parker () and Perry’s Tot (). In fact, in this gin blogger’s opinion not anywhere near a bad gin between them. Out of this experience, Ford’s Gin arose. London Distilled at Thames Distillers, the bottle and feel is steeped heavily in British Colonial icongraphy. References to India, travel, and empire are all prominently placed— and why not? After all, London Gin was distinctly colored by colonialism. The juxtaposition of Eastern hemisphere botanicals, Western Europe botanicals, and the lore of being consumed by shipmen of the British Navy, to do anything less would be a disservice to the history behind it? No?

But oddly Ford’s gin stands against a trend we’re seeing in gin distilling. While many distilleries are going local, or seeking to create a notion of place, Ford’s Gin uses history and lore to create a sense of place [and tradition]. Instead, “Distilled in London; Botanicals from Everywhere” graces the bottle. The botanicals come from Spain, Haiti, Morocco, China, Italy, and so on.

Tasting Notes for Ford’s Gin:

Juniper and bright spice on the nose, some floral hints as well. Mild, fresh, hints of lavender and cream on the close. Nice, smells a touch contemporary in style, but the presence of juniper is immediately detectable. The flavor is actually rich and thick, it spreads thickly and evenly throughout the palate. Florals on the front. Viscous citrus, bright juniper build in the mid palate, This part of the taste is very gin like, reminds me of the mid-palate notes of Plymouth, thought the finish differs radically: complex earthy notes, intimations of angelica and orris root, a building floral punch redolent of rose and lavender, with a lingering citrus finish, fresh zesty peel. Quite nice, with a lot of layers. Rewarding in terms of complexity, and in depth. Quite nice.

Mixing Notes for Ford’s Gin:

Quite pleased with how it works in mixed drinks and cocktails. The martini immediately occurred to me as a great idea, and I was not disappointed: mixed it up with some Vya Extra Dry Vermouth. Floral notes on the mid-palate and finish were prominent, with only a touch of juniper. Well balanced and nicely executed cocktail. Would highly recommend it.

Flavorful in the Negroni as well: candied orange and grapefruit rinds, a hint of creamy richness and a pop of juniper. It’s actually quite a nice Negroni. Robust, rich, and well balanced. A bit of heat on the finish, but it finished quite clean with a restrained bitter finale.

It sure seems able to handle itself in cocktail craft, presenting a balanced flavor profile that leads ever so slightly with a contemporary edge. I decided to try it in a more common drink: the G&T [as if I wouldn’t!]. It was warm and bright, true to its taste neat. It still maintained a surprisingly thick and oily mouthfeel. Something which I think can be underestimated in a gin. When a gin does this well, it’s worth noting upon and here, you get that even in a mixed drink. Bright, citrus, and juniper, with a bit of the florals coming on mid-palate and in the finish. Reads more readily as jasmine, and bright summer daisy here. Tastes “summery” and “fresh.” Quite like this.

In the Gimlet, I was less impressed. The flavors seemed a little muddy. The citrus lost in the edge of the lime cordial, not much juniper popping. I find this to be a more difficult mixed drink, but not one which I think played to Ford’s Gin’s strengths. It was really somewhat overpowered here with few notes of interest to pass on.

Concluding Thoughts

Actually quite a nice drink which I think, true to its distiller’s intentions, is quite excellent in cocktails and mixed drinks. I’ll add to that, it’s also quite stellar neat if you’re into that. I was quite impressed by Ford’s Gin. If it was aiming to be a nice addition to the bar and a good cocktail mixing ingredient, mission accomplished. Although it doesn’t do anything which hasn’t done anything before, and doesn’t do much to stand out from other similar slightly-contemporary styled mixing gins, it’s a worthwhile addition to your home bar or just plain bar. Comes with a strong recommendation.

Price: $31/  1L
Proof: 90
Origin: 
[flag code=”GB” size=”16″ text=”no”] United Kingdom
Best consumed: 
Martinis were particularly outstanding to me, since I quite enjoyed this gin neat- but I found it to be a worthy inclusion in every cocktail I tried it in.
Availability: UK and US
Rating: I’d put it in a class of gins straddle the line between classic and contemporary styles. Although it might not wow me by doing anything radical, I have to admit of these middle-type gins [or trans-Atlantic types] this is among the better examples and one which I would not hesitate to recommend to someone if they weren’t able to find another locally distilled option. In terms of nationally/internationally available gins of this style, I think this is one of the best options out there: traditional enough for the purists; but has a couple of novel notes to appeal to folks who have got into gin via Hendrick’s and their ilk.
[Rating:4/5]

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Readers' Reviews

Last updated December 9th, 2013 by Aaron

6 thoughts on “Ford’s Gin

  • December 10, 2013by DTS

    I don’t think you can get this in the UK despite it being made here.

  • December 21, 2013by Sam Featherstone

    Hey there
    A true gin-geek/affectionado here. I’m impressed with Ford’s for the classic flavor profile, but nothing really stands out. It’s a good, solid, gin, but it doesn’t take any chances. I can think of half a dozen gins that are better than Ford’s (including Tanqueray Ten). I wanted it to take a stronger stand with it’s flavors, but on their own in a martini, I’m bored. Very smooth, nice aftertaste. But not memorable.

  • July 29, 2014by Stephanie

    My workhorse. The price point is excellent, as it comes in 1L bottles in the States as opposed to a .75, and I can usually find it for around $25.

  • August 27, 2014by Ellie

    Now available to buy at Selfridges in the UK

  • September 1, 2014by Okker Bozo

    $31 in the UK, $25 in the USA, $110 in Australia. Amazing.

  • October 5, 2016by Daniel Bloom

    Makes for a great French 75!

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