Here we are at day 23 of ginvent and today is a day I am particularly excited for. Today we try the Old Tom gin from Ableforth’s Bathtub gin collection. Ableforth’s Bathtub gin is probably one of the most iconic brands on the market with their distinctive brown paper wrapping, and I’ve tried their traditional version here. I really like Old Tom gins, so this should be a treat, Continue reading
This was a present from my sister for Christmas (yes it’s taken me this long to crack into it, I’ve been trying to be ‘healthy’ and ‘cut down on the amount of units you drink in a week’). She got it because “after research it sounded most like what you like”. This from a girl that hates gin and loves whiskey. I know the brand has a good following so I’m fairly confident in her choice.
Bath tub gin stems from the prohibition when people were trying to make their own spirits either using a metal/ceramic bath tub to mix the spirit and botanicals (small enough to not tip off the police) or because the favoured style of bottle at the time was too big to top off from a sink so used a bath tap. Nowadays it generally refers to gin made in a compound rather than distilled method.
Finally I reach to peel off the wax seal and it splits in my hands, sending pieces across the kitchen surface, oops. More plastic than wax. But I get there eventually. With the cork popped, the smell doesn’t hit you instantly, which I think is a good thing as it’s usually a chemically smell that reaches you. It smells junipery and Christmassy – the label cites cloves and cinnamon as botanicals so I’m not surprised. Having tidied the kitchen over Christmas, I’ve managed to hide the shot glasses from reach so decided to use my cocktail jigger instead to measure my sample. The liquid has a slightly yellow tint to it, this is because the gin is “naturally coloured by the botanicals” (looks slightly like wee tbh). With water, the zesty tones come to the fore and its soft on the tongue. Palatable, which a lot of commercial gins aren’t when straight, and perfumed at the back of the throat. No particular flavour stands out, it is well balanced and doesn’t make you screw your face up. Bonus. (not that I do that obvs as I’m a proper gin taster…)
Pairing it with the solid standard Schweppes and my beautiful new Copa glasses (thanks Nanny!), I take a mouthful and ended up going “ooooohhhh”, alone, standing in my kitchen. Not my usual reaction. Well that tastes like sherbet in a glass! Literally, imagine refreshers or love hearts. Crush them up. Hello gin. I’m pretty stunned right now because of how much it tastes like my childhood (the sweets part obviously, my parents didn’t feed me gin). Adding lemon slices really brings out the citrus notes. The style of my glass helps bring the flavours rushing to your nose, but the slight bitterness from the lemon tones down the sweetness of the gin to make one flavourful mouthful. I could drink this all day. It is fresh and tangy in the mouth, in hindsight due to the sudden temperature drop I shouldn’t have added ice as I am now basically an icicle. But drink gin I must! The cinnamon is recognisable when you first have a drink, with a slight warming sensation on the front of the tongue, giving way to the sweeter notes on the side and back.
All in all. Brilliant. If it were summer and making fancy g&ts was possible at festivals, this would be brilliant to drink in a field, in the sunshine with some music and friends. Alas I shall settle for on my sofa, under a blanket, watching The Simpsons alone losing feeling in my slowly turning blue hands (seriously, my flat is cold).
This gin is available from Master of Malt at £33.95 – pricing it higher than a standard gin and just reaching craft gin prices. Whilst I’m not 100% certain I would buy this again, their range is so broad I would probably buy the other gins to see what they’re like!