When I am deciding about what gins to review and feature on the website, it usually involves searching out gins that really stand out for their own reason. This could mean they are a little different in regards to botanicals used, it could be their name or even just an amazing bottle. What each does have however, is something of its own to shout about, and that’s the beauty of gin.
Recently I was asked to take part in judging for The Peoples Choice Drinks Awards, where I have been honoured to be part of the wine judging panel in Round 1 and Round 2. This year though, I was asked to help judge some new spirit categories which included the Classic G&T award.
For me what makes a good G&T can vary greatly depending on peoples tastes, however one staple is a great hit of juniper with some citrus and of course a little spice.
This gin is produced by Berry Bros & Rudd, the Fine Wine and Spirits Merchant based at No 3 St James Street London and who are the holders of two royal warrants, so it goes without saying that ithad a certain standard to maintain. It therefore came as no surprise, that the gin chosen as winner has actually won best gin at the international spirits challenge 4 times, so its good knowing that our tastebuds aren’t letting us down.
When they set about producing their own gin, they knew that their standards needed to be really high, so they set about their journey with a team of leading mixologists and distillers, along with Dr David Clutton, the only person to hold a PhD in gin!
After 2 years they came up with with what they describe as ‘gin as it should be’ a perfect combination of Juniper, Citrus and Spice, the 3 elements that fittingly match their door number and therefore the name of the Gin.
It wasn’t enough for them to come up with the perfect recipe for a classic gin, but they also wanted to ensure it was distilled in the right place too. This took them to the home of the original Gin, Holland. Where their gin is produced in a 100 year old brick-encased copper pot still.
The bottle is a beauty itself, with stunning lines and a striking key emblem, modelled on the actual key to the parlour at the back of no 3 St James Street, where the decision to make the gin was made.
Opening the bottle and pouring, on the nose the gin is classic to the core, with juniper singing its way out of the glass followed up with some sweet citrus and spicy cardamom.
On the palette this gin is strong and satisfying, partly down to the higher abv of 46% which really brings out a punch in the botanicals.
The juniper is pleasing and shows that this is a truly classic London Dry. Spice is represented with coriander seed which for me is easily recognisable and again very classic. This is very quickly combined by citrus, bought about by a combination of Seville Orange and pink grapefruit.
The finish returns to fragrant warmth of spice with cardamom, one of my favorite botanicals, which creates and long and sumptuous finish.
The botanicals are crisp and vibrant and bring a real freshness to the gin which would stand up so well in a martini.
I mix with an Indian Tonic and the bold botanicals still stand out. I garnish with some fresh rosemary from the garden which results in a quintessential classic G&T, which is smooth and perfect for sipping in the garden.
Amongst a world of ever expanding gins, sometimes its good to go back to a classic as this is surely the benchmark from where other gins are judged, for me No 3 does this perfectly.
I couldn’t finish the review however without a mention of the runner up of the classic G&T award, which was another classic London Dry. The London Dry Gin produced by The Wine Society.
As well as performing well in the blind tastings, the cost is a talking point as their gin costs just £17, which is outstanding value for money. For me it makes it worth becoming a member of the society for that alone. (Although I can also confirm their wines are also incredible value for money and delicious too)
It’s been great venturing back to some real classic gins, but fear not, I will still be searching out new gins that are standout, either for being an outstanding classic or something more contemporary that pushes the boundaries and brings something new to the wonderful world of gin. If you know of one, then please do let me know.
Name:- No 3 Gin (Berry Bros and Rudd)
Price:- £36 (70cl)
Proof:- 46% abv
You can also catch the online tasting with No 3 Brand Ambassador Ross Bryant here.
Disclaimer:- No 3 Gin and The Wine Society Gin were sent to me as PR samples to taste as part of an online tasting. The review is purely independent and the sole thoughts and opinions of Manchester Food Tourist