I find this whole notion of “men’s” and “women’s” gin to be bollocks. Nothing short of ridiculous. The notion that taste has something to do with gender is preposterous. Men who like cocktails think nothing of a pink colored drink, just as woman who likes whisky thinks nothing of a solid Islay Scotch or for that matter— Berkeley Square Gin.
G & J Greenall expanded their gin offerings in the early 2010’s. Berkeley Square is the yin to (the quite excellent) Bloom Gin’s Yang. In other words, Bloom Gin is marketed towards women and this gin is designed to be appeal to men. Olivier over at the Gin Blog likened the packaging to a giant “aftershave bottle.” and I admit- I think his assessment is right on.
The nose of Berkeley Square Gin is actually** quite striking, very inviting. Bright lemon, some juniper and a touch of floral sweetness, violets and lavender. Smells contemporary with a couple of classic botanicals making their appearance. Fortunately for Berkeley Square Gin, the aftershave parallel runs no further than the bottle.
The taste is quite nice and brings it back a few steps towards classic. Juniper and robust earthiness up front, quiet and never sharp. There’s a bit of heat in Berkeley Square Gin’s middle notes, but fades gently. A touch of herbal citrus on the close, crisp and refreshing. And this is just neat. I’m quite impressed.
Mixing Berkeley Square Gin with tonic, a bit more or the herbal and floral notes come out. I’m a touch surprised at how varied the tastes can be. Sage, lavender but only a hint of juniper. This is quite nice, remarkably accessible.
I mixed it up in a martini, and the flavor was a bit spicier, a touch more heat coming through. Juniper predominantly, but again hints of herb on the close really set this apart. Highly recommended martini and one that I could quite see myself enjoying on a regular basis.
I thought again these herbal characters came out when mixed in a Negroni, but they were harder to detect in this drink. Perhaps altering the sacred ratio north to 2 parts gin, you get a little bit more, with the juniper coming out. But for the most part it’s a good Negroni with not a lot of the gin character really shining through the noise.
Overall, Berkeley Square Gin
Berkeley Square Gin is versatile, has a nice juniper forward flavor, but also a unique touch that sets it apart from other juniper forward gins. I wouldn’t say it’s quite an opposite of Bloom. It’s more or less a halfway point between the punch of Greenall’s classic gin and Bloom. I’d easily recommend this to any gin fan in search of a smooth, easy to drink gin that puts the juniper up front but embraces some of the creativity of contemporary styles.
*should that be in caps? Seems like a proper name to me.
** That’s actually not just mansplaining there.