When I first picked this up last year, I naively, despite the name, didn’t realize this was the house brand at a Astor Place Wine and Spirits in New York City. Those of you who follow me on social media know that it’s one of my favorite liquor stores in the city and that I do often go there and I’ve extolled their virtues before. Little is shared about the details behind the gin. It’s 100% Grain neutral spirits [says the label], it’s distilled in England [says the label] in a copper still [says the website].
Designed to be of good quality at an affordable price, the appearance is simple enough, but how does it taste?
Sweet citrus candy greets the drinker on the nose, with lemon and orange chiefly, but hints of lime hard candy as well. Juniper and pine notes as well. Overall, simple and straight forward, albeit all of this is highlighted by just a touch of ethanol. Don’t dig your nose in too deeply, there’s a slight hint of burn.
The palate is quite a lovely classic gin. Juniper at first, with some of that pine and resiny sparkle, but not too intense. Nicely restrained. Citrus mid-palate, with a zestier, sharper orange rind flavor that is the dominant note through the finish where a standard gin accord of angelica root, orris root, and other earthy, but slightly spicy notes round out the lows. There’s some fiery notes in here that might not be expected at a 40%, but it’s nothing too intense. The finish is medium length. Clean and dry, it doesn’t pull a lot of surprises, but I do enjoy the piney/juniper notes that are present all the way through. It’s a really nicely done classic style gin, and at a good price point too.
Cocktail drinkers will find that Lord Astor Gin is a workhorse of a gin. It works well across the board in cocktails: Gin and Tonic, Gimlets, Tom Collins, Aviations. It lacks perspective or novelty, so expect it to operate below the level of notice. It doesn’t do anything that will leave you saying “here it is!” but I think that as a quiet gin that does its job and does it well, it’s a great deal and a welcome addition to any home bar. The only cocktail that I felt something was lacking in was the Martini, where its shortcomings as a sipping spirit were at the forefront.
If you’re looking for a high quality sipping gin, Lord Astor might not be the answer. But if you’re looking for a good priced workhorse mixing gin that’s head and shoulders above most of the competition at this price point, the Lord’s going to be a welcome visitor at your next party.
Rating: Workhorse mixing gin that hits all the expected notes on the palate for a classic style gin, though with a touch more citrus (but not enough to be contemporary). Well priced, what it lacks in unique perspective it makes up in its ability to round out the expected gin hues in any cocktail. Highly recommended at its price point.
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