That Boutique-y Gin Company’s Very Old Tom is yet another unusual offering from the team behind the series of innovative one offs, limited edition and other peculiar gins.
Very Old Tom is a blend of spirits, which is described on the Master of Malt site as “some unaged, some aged, and some very-well aged.” [source]. This is described as the base spirit to which the botanicals are added. It is sweetened with cane sugar, as would be the hallmark of the Old Tom style.
Fans of one off lines from Master of Malt may recognize the name, “Very Old Tom.” A previous incarnation was released under the “Batshit Mental Ideas” line a few years ago.
Oak is easily recognizable on the nose at first whiff. Resiny juniper, cinnamon sugar, and a slight hint of anise as well. I’m not sure I would know what this is just by the nose. It’s exotic, spicy and slightly fruity. Unusual. Perhaps more spiced rum like? Or a spiced whiskey? It has a note which also reminds me of mulling spices and the holidays.
The sweetness is nicely balanced and adds a lightness to an intense assortment of botanicals. Cinnamon at first, licorice, and menthol and sweet orange zest. Tangy mid-palate— like an oaky pumpkin spice latte— and a slight smokiness as well. Tannic back half, with licorice, baking spices and burnt orange rinds. There is a touch in the finish that reminds me a bit of rum— just as it did on the nose.
Very Old Tom is clearly aged, but I wouldn’t say it tastes very old. The oak is nicely integrated, but I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like Spirit of the Coquet’s Mytle Ten-Year-Aged gin. It’s lighter, but it does have that similar smoke profile.
This Very Old Tom Gin isn’t really a cocktail gin in my estimation. The botanical blend is eccentric and somewhat unusual— it doesn’t lend itself very well to mixing. Despite the sweetness, neither does Very Old Tom acquit itself as an Old Tom style gin. It is something unto itself. I’d recommend drinking it neat or on the rocks.
If you must mix with it (and you know, I tried), might I suggest a Negroni. It adds a lot of richness, spice and flavor to it.
That Boutique-y Gin Company is establishing a solid recommendation for unusual and worthwhile one-offs. Very Old Tom might not deliver as an Old Tom would— but as long as you know you’re getting a slightly smoky aged, and gentle sweetened gin, I think you’re going to be pretty impressed.
I could see myself easily sitting down and drinking this neat. Very Old Tom is a great gin for those who turn to brown spirits, as they hunker down for the winter.
What other cocktails can I make with aged gin?
The first cocktail book dedicated to barrel aged gins is now out! Featuring 25 Cocktails!
Including historical re-interpretations like the Fallen Angel cocktail from 1941 (which originally featured barrel-aged Booth's Gin).
...and completely new creations like the Cola Approval, the best way to make a gin-and-tonic like drink with aged gin.