Blackfriars London Dry Gin
It appears that Gin is enjoying something of a resurgence. Far gone are the days when it was know as “mothers ruin” now awards are given for the spirit distilled from grain or malt and flavored with juniper berries. Did you know gin was first invented in Holland and brought to Britain by William of Orange when he became King in 1688?
As a result of my fondness for a end of the week Gin and Tonic I am pre disposed to spotting when new gins are launched on the market. So when an email landed in my inbox telling me that Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Blackfriars London Dry Gin had won a Gold award at this year’s London International Spirits Challenge 2013, I was more than interested.
Faster than a bolt of lighting I hit the reply button saying yes to receiving a bottle of Blackfriars London Dry Gin to sample and review. I was given free reign to do what I wanted with it and for a moment or two I considered creating a cocktail with it. But for me you just can’t beat a good old Gin and Tonic. I also decided that this would be the best way to sample the full flavour of the gin. How scientific I am ?!
So I followed the GF&G tried and tested method of making the best G & T:-
- Put a generous amount of ice and a slice of frozen (yes it works brilliantly!) lemon into a glass
- Carefully pour in a measure of gin
- Add a tin sized (the size they serve on aeroplanes) amount of good quality tonic water
- Find yourself a comfy seat, sit back and enjoy that delicious, tingling taste on your tongue
Ahhhhh, bliss …..
The Verdict: Well, it was smooth and wasn’t overpowering despite it’s strength. When you smell it straight from the bottle it has quite a sweet aroma but when mixed with the tonic it doesn’t taste especially sweet . I enjoyed savouring the botanicals but realise that may not be for everyone. All in all it was a very enjoyable drink on a warm evening. The Gin costs £16.50 for 70cl as compared to Bombay Sapphire which is currently sold by Sainsbury’s for £20.00.
On a technical note, Blackfriars London Dry Gin is made for Sainsbury’s by distillers Greenall and is made up from 10 botanicals including:-
- juniper berries
- coriander seeds
- angelica roots
- orange and lemon peel
It’s distilled four times with a pure grain spirit base (I guess that’s good?) and is 43% volume export strength. As a comparison Bombay Sapphire is 40% so I guess that means Blackfriars London Dry Gin is quite strong!
So what do you think, would you buy a supermarket own label gin?
*As stated I was sent the bottle of gin by Sainsbury’s to review. As ever I only agree to do so as long as I can be honest, which I have been!*