None other than Old English Gin swept away the grand prize at the World Gin Awards as it was elected the world’s best gin in 2015. The people at Hammer & Son should be proud of their spirit. Next to their lovely Geranium Gin, Old English gin is definitely worth your while. Enjoy the review, but above all, enjoy a nice Old English Gin & Tonic. Cheers!
A Little Bit of Old English Gin History
When talking about gin, things were much simpler during the 18th and 19th century. Local dram shops only provided two kinds of gin: English Style or Holland Style, nothing more. Holland’s Gin is the equivalent of Genever, just like we know it today. English gin on the other hand could be obtained in various fancy names such as Young Tom or Old Tom or named after the distillery from where they were produced (Booth’s or Warrington). At that time, England was also the largest importer of Champagne. The bottles were recycled to bottle gin, so as you can see, the link with the Old English Gin is becoming clearer and clearer.
Old English Gin is based on a recipe that dates back to 1783, in which eleven botanicals are used. Among these botanicals, juniper, coriander, lemon peel, angelica, cinnamon, licorice, orange peel and cardamom are used, including one ingredient that Henrik Hammer likes to keep secret. The “John Dore” pot still which Hammer & Son distil Old English Gin is also the oldest in use and it carries the name “Angela”. Along with the use of recycled Champagne bottles and sealing wax, the creators try to breathe new life into old traditions. It’s clear that the people at Hammer & Son know their history in detail.
Old English Gin Tasting Notes
Old English Gin is a clear spirit. There is no evidence that after distillation any additions have been made. The aroma is interesting, to say the least. Juniper comes first, but then I smell quite a lot of warm earthy notes. Not your typical gin, but we’re off to a good start.
On the pallet, Old English Gin is a bit more traditional: lots of juniper in combination with fresh lemon and sweet oranges. And yet, it all tastes very soft and round, a nice reference to an Old Tom gin. Mid-body, earthy flavours such as cinnamon and nutmeg, peek around the corner. The finish is quite long. Very tasty, especially in combination with tonic, but that’s a story I’ll tell you another time.