Crafted in south London, these limited-edition gins are distilled using centuries old recipes.
In 2001, Christian Jensen was forced to relocate from London to Tokyo for his job at an investment bank. After a particularly difficult day of work at the bank, Jensen stumbled into one of Tokyo's legendary hidden bars. The bar, which was comprised of only a tiny room with a stunning view, was tended to by Oda-San, a barkeeper whose knowledge of cocktails and spirits was a relic of the past. There, Jensen sampled a London Dry Gin with a sublime flavor and smooth finish that stunned him.
When Jensen returned to England, he began researching the gin and found that it was no longer made. In the hopes of recreating it, Jensen scoured the public records offices of London, and was able to find a few documents related to the distillery that had originally produced it. While scouring this cache of documents, Jensen discovered a recipe for his beloved gin.
Armed with a photograph of the exact recipe in hand, Jensen teamed up with master distiller Charles Maxwell and began experimenting with the recipe he found. "After 10-15 trial distillations, we ended up with a gin I really liked, and was faithful to the original," says Jensen. Once the gin's recipe had been perfected, Jensen set about naming the new gin. "Deciding on the name was tricky, but eventually I was guided by wanting it to be both relevant to me and to old London."Jensen's London Distilled Dry Bermondsey Gin — one of the few London Dry gins actually distilled in London — is named after an old south London street where Jensen lives and where the gin is distilled.
In contrast to modern London Dry Gins, Jensen's London Dry is made to emulate the style of traditional gins produced in the early 19th century. As a result, rather than relying on citrus-based botanicals, Jensen emphasizes the clean, sublime notes of the Italian juniper berries he sources with more classic botanicals, including coriander, orris root, angelica and licorice.
Jensen's London Distilled Dry Bermondsey Gin has an aroma of of pine and lavender that opens up to beautiful hints of coriander, ginger and sage on the palate. In addition, while the orris root lends a gentle touch of violet to the gin, the licorice and angelica contribute soft notes of almonds and woody spices that add complexity and depth.
The gin earned a perfect five-plus stars from the Difford's Guide, which called it simply "oustanding."
Jensen's London Distilled Old Tim Gin is crafted using a recipe that harkens back to the 1840s. The term "Old Tom" was an early nickname for gin and generally refers to gins that were produced in the early 20th century, when sugar was added to gin in order to create a sweeter flavor profile. The recipe that Jensen discovered, however, predates the use of sugar in gin and calls for additional botanicals to be added in order to create a slightly sweeter flavor profile.
As a result of this unique, century-old recipe, Jensen's Old Tom Gin has an aroma of mint, eucalyptus, pine needles and citrus that gives way to slightly sweet notes of licorice, almonds and orange peel on the palate. The finish is smooth and slightly tangy, with a touch of piney juniper.
The gin earned 4.5 stars from the Difford's Guide, and the Silver Medal at the International Spirits Challenge.
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86 (43% ABV) Each
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London Dry: Aroma of of pine and lavender. Notes of coriander, ginger and sage. Orris root lends a gentle hint of violet, while liquorice and angelica contribute soft notes of almonds and woody spices.