Flavor ProfileLemon Gin ad, Ironwood, Michigan 1975
Flavored Gins like Bloomsbury Lemon Gin were once rather fashionable. many of the big brands (like Gordon’s) had once had one out there. The style came into popularity especially after 1940 in the United States, so much so that many local/regional brands had their own lemon gin variants on the market.
Lemon, orange, (and other more obscure ones like Mint) endured for a better part of the century, only falling out of fashion after the 70’s and became so unprofitable that even Gordon’s, perhaps the gold standard for the style discontinued their Lemon Gin after 1988. Lemon gin was regulated to the “once was” and “no-longer-cool.” That is until the Gin Renaissance, And with that we’ve seen a resurgence in gins featuring citrus prominently, and notably in this case, gins making a specific lemon/orange variant.
Bloomsbury has both and Orange and a Sloe variant available as well, and all are built off their primary grain-based Bloomsbury Gin.
A bit of ethanol greets the nose at first, though it settles down with vanilla, juniper and lemon zests. The aromas are nice, though a bit of harshness is evident.
The palate is rather predictable. Juniper, a somewhat fake and acidic lemon taste is present as well, the finish has some creamy vanilla and grain hints, along with a fair amount of heat. The finish unveils some complexity on the palate, with angelica and dusty coriander. The finish is medium length, with a a hint of sourness and hay bringing things out. The spirit is rather thin overall, though its flavor is definitely neutral enough to let the flavors shine.
While Bloomsbury Lemon Gin gets the job done: it’s a lemon flavored gin, the lemon flavor is completely un-integrated with the rest of the botanicals. It tastes like there was lemon flavoring added post-distillation rather than it having been distilled with the rest of the ingredients. The lemon is a little fake tasting, and the ethanol on the nose is a bit off-putting. That being said, it tastes like it would work well in mixed drinks your next party, and that it’s a good get-the-job-done gin. I advise fans of citrus-forward contemporary gins to look elsewhere to the veritable bounty of citrus-forward gins out there now, and perhaps skip past Bloomsbury Lemon Gin.