Hammer London Dry Gin is produced at Oslo’s biggest distillery. Arcus is perhaps best known for Linie Aquavit; however, they also make several other spirits including Hammer Gin. The spirit is Double pot distilled and vague about other details. Supposedly the recipe dates back to the late 18th century as well.
Delicate pine-forward juniper, it’s overwhelmingly one note at first but there’s a hint of bitter orange zest and coriander in there as well.
The spirit is smooth and light with a straightforward classic approach heavy-pine forward juniper with a hint of citrus zest, the juniper lasts through the mid-palate and into the finish. Hammer London Dry Gin finishes with a long dry, and “sticky,” juniper note. It lingers pleasantly with a hint of warmth.
As an almost by-the-numbers juniper-forward gin, it works well enough in most cocktails; however the lightness of flavor and the 40% ABV means Hammer London Dry Gin tends to get lost. I think it’s a nice refreshing Gin and Tonic and Gimlet. I found it to hold up somewhat in a Tom Collins as well, with a pleasant juniper note buoyed by the amplified citrus from the Collins.
It’s a little too light to come through in a Negroni, so you won’t get a ton of juniper through in there. It’s smooth enough to make a surprisingly light Martini as well, with the juniper still holding its own over the Vermouth even down to a 3:1 ratio.
Hammer London Dry Gin is a fairly basic classic style gin. It’s a one note, subtle juniper gin. At the right price point, this gin has potential as a house pour at home or in bars. Fans of classic style gins looking for a slightly more juniper forward alternative to the Beefeaters and Gordon’s of the world Hammer London Dry Gin is worth taking a closer look at.
For everyone else, this is a solid gin that works as a utilitarian mixing gin.