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London dry gin is not necessarily distilled in London; as a matter of fact, only one gin distiller is actually located in London: Beefeaters. London dry gin is considered dry because it doesn’t use sugar to make it sweet, although minute amounts of sugar are allowed. It must be distilled to at least 70% ABV. It must not contain any artificial ingredients and cannot have any flavors or coloring added after the distillation process. All of these requirements are the reason that London dry gin is so popular and why it is called London dry gin.

Boodles London dry gin is infused with juniper, nutmeg, sage, rosemary, coriander seed, angelica root, angelica seed, cassia bark and caraway seed but contains no citrus botanicals. In my not so humble opinion, gin is actually juniper flavored vodka. Now, that statement should raise a few hackles, but it is, in essence, the truth.

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Why in the world is this gin named Boodles? It was named after the Boodle’s gentlemen’s club in St. James, London, which was founded in 1762 and originally run by Edward Boodle. The gin was actually created in 1845 and today is bottled at two strengths: 45.2% ABV for the U.S. market and 40% ABV for the U.K. market.

Boodles London dry gin comes in one of the heaviest bottles I have ever hoisted. It is clear and stout and looks quite the part of the British Empire. The gin within is clear as water. The nose is a well balanced mélange of juniper, nutmeg and rosemary, and even though I know it doesn’t have any citrus in it, it does have citrus like notes. On the palate, I perceive a bit of spice and white pepper, followed by the juniper and then the nutmeg, sage and rosemary. The finish is slightly spicy and warm and leaves a taste of juniper and caraway seed and lasts a fairly decent amount of time. This is a well balanced gin that does not feature any one ingredient over another but blends them so that they complement one another. As a standalone spirit, it’s pretty potent, but it mellows right out in a martini or gin and tonic and becomes quite a delightful sipper.

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Next up is Boodles mulberry gin, which can be considered a type of sloe gin; however, Boodles does not use blackthorn (sloe) but instead utilizes mulberry. It is reddish in color and the nose is reminiscent of raspberries and pears, although I do get a sense of rosemary and nutmeg in the background. My, my, on the palate, it tastes just like a right and proper preserve of raspberries with a hint of spice and a whole lot of warmth and a touch of sweetness balanced nicely by a tartness that hints back at the raspberries. The finish is smooth, fruity, and warm and lasts just a short time. This is definitely a drink I could sip on a cold winter’s night in front of a fireplace or simply enjoy as a dessert drink after a good meal in place of a port.

Boodles London Dry Gin can be found for around $25.00 per 750 ML bottle and is 45.2% ABV. Boodles Mulberry Gin can be had for around $29.00 per 750 ML bottle and is 45% ABV which equates to 90 proof.

By George Brozowski

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