House of Botanicals Maple Old Tom Gin is inspired by an old pre-prohibition flavored gin produced out of Buffalo, NY.
In the modern day, as a sweetened gin, it’s best described as being “Old Tom” in style. The base gin is distilled with a fairly traditional set of botanicals. It is then infused with chamomile, ginger, saffron and maple syrup.
The level of sweetening is quite low, at a 25g / L (less than an ounce per quart).
Color: Perfectly transparent and pale shortbread in color.
Nose: Dry coriander, cinnamon and ginger. Generally quite spice forward, with a faint notes of caramelized sugar, citrus and waxy juniper.
Flavor: Thin mouthfeel with little added viscosity from the sweetening. Slight sweet flavor early, with the chamomile coming through most strongly early. Clean, chamomile tea notes with a hint of honey.
Terpey, waxy juniper forms a backbone, while the spices come through most strongly mid-to-late palate. Coriander, spicy cassia, and a touch of citrus.
Finish: Moderately warming with only the slightest sweetness. Background notes of cassia, pine and licorice root lend complexity.
Mixed, Maple Old Tom Gin’s botanical presence outshines any sweetening that might be there. The moment you mix it, the maple might as well as not be there. Especially if combining it with anything that has sugars in it.
Gin and Soda or Gin and Tonic buoys the maple/warmed sugar notes; however, especially early the chamomile is the boldest flavor.
Overall, House of Botanicals Maple Old Tom Gin
While it’s fun to see gins inspired by long-forgotten gins of yore, House of Botanicals Maple Old Tom Gin probably only bares a superficial resemblance to the Buffalo Distilling produced gin.
As an Old Tom, it comes up a bit short for the stylistic marker— it neither comes across as botanically sweetened nor sweetened.
Behind the bar, it’s best treated like a spice-forward contemporary style gin with floral nuance. It doesn’t mix like an Old Tom and I wouldn’t recommend treating it as such.
On its own, House of Botanicals Maple Old Tom Gin has a nice flavor and is best appreciated sipped on its own.