Style: Old Tom

Old Tom is one of the most confusing terms in the world of gin. There is little consensus as to what constitutes an Old Tom Gin. Here’s a little about what you should expect:

Old Tom Gins often used a variety of techniques to cover the flavor of their base spirit. The style dates back to a time proceeding the invention of the column still. Neutral Spirits were often not quiet neutral and had significant residual character, sometimes even unpleasant residual character. Old Tom Gin makers would try to cover that flavor. Often times an Old Tom Gin will have a malty, Holland-style base. Modern day Old Tom Gin feature high quality base spirits that have been distilled to modern day tastes.

They’re a bit sweet. Often times Old Tom Gins have sweetening added after distillation such as sugar; however, other distillers of Old Tom Gin use perceptually sweet botanicals such as licorice to impart a sweetness of sorts.

They’re sometimes aged. Gins used to be stored in barrels and these barrels were used over and over again. The character the barrel would add to the gin would depend on how new the barrels was and ultimately how fast that gin sold. Others rest their Old Tom Gin in a barrel because the Vanillin from oak adds a perceptual sweetness that can replace/augment other sweeteners or cover off notes in a base spirit.

The Pharmacist Old Tom Gin

Last updated February 1st, 2018 by Aaron Knoll

Cannon Beach Distillery’s The Pharmacist Old Tom Gin fits into the “Botanically Sweetened” school of Old Tom Gin. Sugar was

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Queens Courage

Last updated November 8th, 2017 by Aaron Knoll

Queens Courage is a gin that reminds me of Astoria, New York City where I lived for ten years. Produced

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Icewine Old Tom (Batch 1)

Last updated September 17th, 2017 by Aaron Knoll

Icewine Old Tom is an unusual Old Tom. All Old Toms are sweetened, but That Boutique-y Gin Company opts for

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Very Old Tom (Batch 1)

Last updated September 11th, 2017 by Aaron Knoll

That Boutique-y Gin Company’s Very Old Tom is yet another unusual offering from the team behind the series of innovative

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Counter Old Tom Gin

Last updated August 15th, 2017 by Aaron Knoll

Counter Old Tom Gin is the Batch 206 Distillery’s take on the hard-to-pin-down Old Tom style. Distilled from grain, Batch

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Barr Hill Gin

Last updated July 28th, 2017 by Aaron Knoll

Barr Hill Gin is the acclaimed partnership of career beekeeper Todd Hardie and distiller Ryan Christiansen. Todd’s concept was to

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Ginbrew Blue Ruin (Old Tom)

Last updated May 21st, 2017 by Aaron Knoll

This is part of a series of three Gin Reviews where I experimented with Ginbrew’s Blue Ruin botanical blend. I

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Apiary Gin

Last updated December 29th, 2015 by Aaron Knoll

Price:  $55 / 750 mLABV: 46% Distiller: Tamworth DistillingOrigin:  New Hampshire, United StatesAvailability:  Limited Edition, New York and New HampshireRating:  Great neat,

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