There are some common gins that have escape my careful eye over the years. And although I’m going to keep the focus on primarily gin innovation in America in 2012, I’m going to take an early year detour to Warrington, UK and look at a 250 year old gin: Greenall’s.
A little about Greenall’s
I usually try to go easy on the history section because this is available on every other cocktail review site and the product’s own personal website. But Greenall’s has a couple of very interesting notes in its history. 1761 was the first year that gin making was legal in England. Hence that’s the year Greenall’s incorporated. In 2005 the Distillery experienced massive fire, which despite the scale of the fire, only shut down production for six days. Nice work! And finally, they’ve only had seven master distillers in two and a half centuries. (sounds like an impressive nearly 40 years per master!) The current master distiller Joanne Moore is one of a small (but rapidly growing) number of women master distillers around the world.
It has a pleasing, but mild aroma. Its not particularly strong or intense.
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Let’s be honest. You’ve probably heard of this gin before. If you’ve ever had gin before you’ve probably had this gin before. If you’ve been to a bar, you’ve seen this gin before. The tell-tale green bottle is usually what I scan a bar shelf for to find their gin selection. (This and the shimmering blue of Bombay Sapphire are among the most distinctive bottles at a bar). Among all gins, Tanqueray I think is the one with the most wide-scale advertising campaign– but despite its commonness, it somehow slides below the radar of most liquor review sites.
Tanqueray first and foremost is a London Dry Gin. Its distilled in Scotland, and has been made more or less in its current incarnation since the 1830s. It is a classic and as expected it has a strong bite of juniper with a hint of acid sharpness. Its not that the acid hearkens to any specific citrus fruit, but it is there, ready to be accentuated in the right cocktail. But it is sharp and does not go down smoothly. I think that Tanqueray due its combination of ubiquitousness and intense bite is one of the reasons for gin’s relative lack of popularity.
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