Size: 700ml & 1000ml
Dutch Courage OLD TOM Gin (introduced June 2014):
Old Tom gin is a very early type of Gin. It is the missing link between de rich original style of the Dutch Genever and the crisp clean style of the Dry Gin.
The original gin known as Genever was first created by the Seventeenth century physician Franciscus Sylvius. The name is a corruption of the Dutch word for juniper, jeneverbes, which was thought to have healing properties and which gives gin its distinctive flavor. Truth be told distillation techniques (nor brewing and fermentation techniques) in the 17th century were nowhere near as good as they are today. So even though it is true that juniper was thought to have healing properties it is also true that adding juniper helped to mask the rough edges that these early spirits must have surely possessed. So the predecessor of gin back in the 17th century was most likely very big and bold in flavor. As distillation techniques in the 18th improved the base spirit got more refined. This is probably when Old Tom Gin was born. It was lighter in style than Genever. But as distillation techniques were still a little erratic Old Tom Gin was often sweetened a bit to hide the faults in the spirit and make the drink more attractive. It was only after the invention of the Column still and the clean neutral spirits it produced that Dry Gin was born.
Dutch Courage OLD TOM Gin is made according to the original traditions. The base spirit is distilled in a potstill then redistilled with 10 botanicals: juniper berries and elderflower, iris root from Italy, coriander from Morocco, angelica, sweet oranges and fresh whole lemons from Spain, liquorice root from India and whole vanilla beans from Madagascar. The distillates are diluted to drinking strength and then aged in new American oak barrels for a short period. This aging in wood is done to create an authentic flavour profile. Bottles were pretty rare and expensive in the 18th century so it is most likely that Old Tom gin was shipped, stored and served from a barrel and as such must have had some wood influence in the character.
Tasting notes: The nose is spicy and complex with cardamom and juniper softened by vanilla notes. The flavour is ever so slightly sweet with earthy juniper and vanilla and wood spices.
Old Tom Gin is great in a Martinez cocktail.
Difford's Guide (4.5 stars)
(sample batch No. 001, 2013) Clear, pale golden.
Piney juniper, eucalyptus, vanilla, coriander and citrus zest with liquorice and clove spice.
Clove spice, buttery oak, vanilla, eucalyptus and pine with over ripe blackened banana. Very light sweetness helps tame spice and oak tannins.
Vanilla, toasted oak and warming clove spice.
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