Master’s London Dry Gin coins a new term on the front of their bottle: tridistilled gin. And trades on a very familiar one: London Dry Gin. As a reminder, London Dry Gin can be made anywhere— Master’s is distilled in Spain at Destilerías MG who can trace their origin as spirits producers back to 1835. Some sources on the internet suggest that Master’s London Dry Gin has been made continuously since 1982. To me it seems while possible that the recipe dates back to 1982, there’s scant mention of it in historical sources. I think it’s more than likely Master’s Dry Gin was released sometime around 2013–14.
Destilerías MG takes three kinds of citrus, including lemons, and both sweet and bitter orange— and macerates the peels in neutral grain spirit for forty days and forty nights. The remaining three botanicals are added to the citrus-macerated-spirit and allow to rest for 24 hours. The botanicals matter is filtered out and Master’s London Dry Gin is distilled to 79% ABV before being diluted with neutral grain spirit and mineral water to bring it to final proof.
Despite what I expected, there’s a shockingly front-facing note of juniper on the nose. Now make no mistake, the rest is all oily citrus, primarily bitter orange; however, with the juniper and citrus notes Master’s London Dry Gin boasts a relatively inviting balance. Though with time, the orange rises and the juniper subsides.
The palate certainly brings a bit of heat. Despite being only 43.9% ABV, there’s a bit of bitterness and burn often associated with just straight ethanol. It overwhelms the botanicals, especially at first.
Generally, the palate is dominated by citrus, though you get a bit more depth. At one moment it’s lemon, then bitter orange, and then back to lemon again. There’s a touch of coriander notes mid-palate and some pine-forward juniper. The finish is moderately long with mostly just an unabashed burn. Again, I get some bitterness and notes of just pure ethanol here.
The flavor profile is generally lacking balance. It’s all in the middle. With very little up front, and just heat on the end, Master’s London Dry Gin doesn’t suggest the type of gin you may sip. But then again, my bottle came with a pour top under the screw cap, so perhaps I should have known what I was looking for here.
That being said, although I may not recommend a Martini with Master’s London Dry Gin, I think Destilerías MG have made a decent mixing gin. Master’s comes of nicely in a Gin and Tonic, especially with citrus garnish on the nose, and the quinine adding character on the finish. The warmth and citrus-forward notes come through in a Negroni as well. You’ll be able to taste the gin in there. But aside from that, it lacks distinctive character.
Master’s London Dry Gin is a reasonably priced gin that is well suited to the mid-price crowd who wants something better than the bottom shelf, but isn’t willing to go all the way up to $30. Overall. it’s not bad. Fans of citrus-forward contemporary style gins will find plenty to like here.