This review is for the 55% ABV version of Old Raj Dry Gin. It begins with a classic set of botanicals among which are juniper, citrus, coriander, cassia, and other classics. But what really sets it apart is is slight golden tint, which is a result of the post-distillation addition of saffron.
Saffron Gins are not altogether unusual. Gabriel Boudier, Indian Summer— but while some lack balance, I find that Old Raj Dry Gin manages to incorporate the saffron with subtlety and does come out nicely integrated.
First thing I noticed is that it tasted perceptibly stronger. At 110 proof Old Raj Dry Gin is truly a bartender’s gin, capable of retaining character in nearly any cocktail. It has a nice warmth to it, with the orange surprisingly dominant. The juniper stands out in the gin’s scent and holds up well upon tasting. The saffron is sweet, earthy and subtle. I think it’s a good compliment to the orris root and almond. In other words, its a background player, that doesn’t do more than it needs to.
Straight, in a strong martini, or paired with a more bitter tonic such as Q, the saffron is there and part of what is a very nice blend of traditional gin ingredients. Sadly, mix it with anything more poignant and the saffron is gone.
This is not to say that Old Raj Dry Gin doesn’t hold up as a fine gin in these cocktails (it most definitely does), but the point of difference isn’t necessarily there when compared to other top-notch, high-proof gins such as Plymouth.
Overall, Old Raj Dry Gin
Overall, I really enjoyed Old Raj 55%. For some the muted-Saffron may not be enough to justify the price; however, I would encourage those to give it a fair shot. I think it does the Saffron exceptionally well without compromising what a gin should be. I think the only question I have from here, is just how does the 55% compare to the 46%. I guess for now I leave that to my respected gin-drinking colleagues.
6 thoughts on “Old Raj Dry Gin”
I hope FoodiePilgrim isn’t storing his Old Raj in a lead crystal decanter.
Nice Graphics, this did really well in our Scottish Gin tasting. I’ve not said yet but I really like the site’s new look. Nice one.
Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your kind words. Impressive amount of very good gin coming out of Scotland these days it seems.
I really, really like the Old Raj 55% for a sipping gin. In my opinion, it loses too much when chilled. I sip it in a snifter with a little water, more or less depending on how I feel. This is a gin that invites contemplation and relaxation. I have Old Raj 55% in a decanter on my bar.
My first try of Old Raj was at a fancy restaurant north of Point Reyes, CA. I wanted to taste it carefully, so I asked for the same amount as in a Martini, but served neat. The bartender got all flustered and wouldn’t do it. Finally our server made it work, and then they didn’t charge me for it!
When I tried it, I had it neat at room temperature, then I added some icewater and it flattened out a bit, then I added ice and it lost much of its aromatic glory. Now I only drink it at room temperature.
A fabulous gin! Makes the best martini on the planet – the Old King Cole! And, hands down, offers the richest, most flavorful gin & tonic too. I’m a big fan of Plymouth, Ford’s, and Beefeater as well – for different reasons. But, Old Raj is simply the best gin anywhere. Period. And it out to be at the price point! But, while it costs twice as much as Aviation, for example, it provides at least five times the flavor. American gin still has a long, long way to go ….
You are absolute.y correct.A great Gin for sipping and special cocktails .