Ahhh, gin, thy rather seedy reputation precedes thee. From gin mills, to gin joints, to gin soaked (referring to drunks), to “mother’s ruin” (a common British name for gin), gin has undergone some major shifts, and I admit, all of them are for the better. For example, turpentine used to be a common ingredient in Gin used to generate “resinous woody notes” but thankfully is no longer used. Along those lines, distilling Gin in the presence of sulphuric acid, which did not itself distill, but imparted greater overall sweetness has also been discontinued. Gone are the days of bathtub gin that may have contained any number of lethal enhancements. Today, Gin is one of the most popular spirits in the world, and London Dry Gin heads up that group.

London Dry Gin must be distilled from all natural ingredients, and no further flavorings can be added after distillation; however, it doesn’t have to be distilled in London to qualify. Which brings us to Greenall’s London Dry Gin, these folks figured it all out back in 1761, in London, and their recipe has been used continually over the past 250 years by only seven Master Distillers during that entire time. While some gin makers use upwards of a couple dozen ingredients with some fairly exotic botanicals, Greenall’s uses only eight, with, of course, juniper berries being the key ingredient, followed by cassia bark and ground almonds in the mix.

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Greenall’s comes in a clear four-sided bottle, and the spirit itself is the color of pure water: colorless. The rear label is green and tends to impart an overall greenish cast to the bottle and contents. The nose is quite laid back and very mellow, with no particular botanical jumping out and claiming dominance, but it does feature the juniper followed by the lemon. The palate is also very subtle and smooth, with the juniper again taking the lead followed by hints of citrus, coriander and then almonds. The finish is also nice and smooth with just the tiniest bit of spice, leaving an almond flavored citrus, juniper aftertaste that lasts a modest amount of time. This is one very laid back gin; actually, it’s so laid back that I fear it would get lost in most mixed drinks, but with its very subtle flavors, it make for a decent little sipper. This is not an overly complicated gin, and it gives you just the right amount of combined botanicals to make it interesting. Bolder, more complicated and layered gins are certainly available, but on a hot summer afternoon this Greenall’s London Dry Gin would make a nice companion while nestled between two shady trees and a hammock. The price is quite nice, too. However, if you’re looking for more intense flavor, be prepared to pay more.

Greenall’s London Dry Gin can be purchased for around $14.40 to $19.99 per 750ML bottle at 40% ABV.


By George Brozowski