Tesco Gin

tesco GinCheap Gin. I don’t have a problem with it. In fact, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by many bottom shelf options I’ve tried. New Amsterdam is a bargain. Rather inexpensive but a good gin on its own. Not just for the Price. So I have an open mind. I’m not biased against a gin which is cheap for cheap sake. “Supermarket gin” is not inherently bad in and of itself.

So of course when David at Summer Fruit Cup told me this gin had a Molasses base, I was pretty excited. Experimentation with bases (things other than neutral grain) are among my favorite trends in modern gin. So how did this molasses-base hold up in tasting?

The beginning is rather pleasant. A tingle of citrus and a prickle of juniper. This all gives way to an intense and sudden burst of heat. The sharp heat blurs the mid notes and gives away to a finish which is lingering, slightly burning, and leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. Though the aftertaste has intimations of the juniper and citrus, its not altogether  too pleasant. There’s not enough subtlety to say if there is anything in the molasses base which adds or subtracts from the drink. Unlike the whiskey mash bases and the grape bases, this one is neutral in character and if I hadn’t known ahead of time, I would have never guessed it was there.

But you’re not going to drink this gin neat like I am right now. It mixes nicely. The bitter juniper finish isn’t completely done away with, but a nice element of sweetness like a tonic water or some citrus cuts it. But the only way to really make it go away I guess is to use a super sweet sour mix or something. If you’re buying Tesco, that might be what you plan on using it with. If you’re looking for a gin for a proper Tom Collins, I might recommend you look elsewhere.

Best consumed: Mixed with something sweet and strongly flavored.

Rating: Its a cheap gin with a certain audience in mind. If you’re having a party and you need a lot of cheap gin, then you probably already know what you’re in for. 



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Readers' Reviews

3 thoughts on “Tesco Gin

  • April 25, 2012by jellydonut

    I just love that ridiculous ‘value price’ packaging. It makes it look like charcoal lighter fluid or some sort of odd chemical.

  • April 25, 2012by Aaron

    I haven’t had the pleasure, but look at the packaging of Trader Joe’s gin: http://blog.undisputed.net/2011/03/booze-of-week-trader-joes-rear-admiral.html

    Yep, it’s a supermarket brand. But there’s nothing about being a supermarket brand that says you have to look like one. I mean, sadly Tesco gin didn’t stand on its own- bottle design aside. But I think that it could inch towards credibility with a little bit of a makeover.

  • December 25, 2014by Michael Strorm

    @Jellydonut and @Aaron; The entire “Value” line (including this gin) has since been updated with “Everyday Value” labelling that’s less wilfully harsh, but still semi-generic and identifiable as such.

    *However*, it should be noted that this is the cheaper of Tesco’s *two* own-brand gins. The non-Value one has much more presentable (and less generic) labelling, so it’s probably sensible on their part that they differentiate the lower-midrange regular own-brand from the *really* cheap stuff.

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