A Chameleon(!) Gin For Enthusiasts in Cocktails
Photos: Courtesy of Haus Alpenz
Whisky Reviewed: Hayman’s London Dry Gin
Distiller: Hayman’s of London
Region: London, UK
Suggested Retail Price $80
Distiller Rating: 90
Wine Enthusiast Rating: 90
It’s rare for a full product range to impress me. But given their craft rigor and the multi-use nature of these gins, I had to share the brand’s depth and taste profiles so you can determine for yourself how to best enjoy them.
My formal tasting took place at that fun palace: Winslow Gin House. I know of no other spot in NYC that lines up small pours of Gin & Tonic samples for you. Don’t ask for tonic from the “gun”. Instead spend a little extra dough on one of the fine boutique mixers they carry. This will ensure your knowledge base expands through the purity of flavors.
But for martini tests, nothing beats my home process, copied from the Dukes Bar. I keep my gins and glasses (and vodkas!) in a special freezer at -10°F. The spirits enter the frozen glass as I spray Dolin dry vermouth on top after which an organic lemon peel (Sorrento if I find them) sheds its precious oil for more surface tension. As air warms the cocktail, a gin’s character comes to the fore. This allows for the fullest expression of the spirit. No offense to Sean Connery, but I don’t want my martinis shaken OR stirred. I like them poured! Dilution is a capital crime!!
This review covers both the naked and blended drink. So relax as your mind takes you on a journey.
First up was the London Dry. Tasted neat, the crisp floral nose lured me in, with delicate juniper and pinecone scents. The initial flavors mimicked the smells as a bitter lemon zest stole its way into my palate ending with a sweet tinge.
I thought; This is pure smooth, tasty silk.
Little heat emerged through the mouth and the finish showed an easy, suave mix of classic gin extracts. My “need” for a second sample came as no wonder. I required it just for research you understand.
I wondered still about the martini test. Even though I’m gentle with the vermouth and fruit, would the cold squash all those spices? Would it subdue the whole persona?
Again: Surprise! Early sips of the intense chill plus the rind evoked many citrus tastes including grapefruit peel. Then as the room warmed the coupe, all the hidden traits surfaced with a pleasing yet thoughtful rotation.
Gin drinkers have a new toy. Hayman’s London Dry is a chameleon as its swirling charms open the gates for any Enthusiast.
Mark Garbin’s Evaluation
|Aromas & Flavor Appeals to:||Optimal Client Type||Great For:|
|Power Flavor Admirer||Enthusiast||Neat Before Dinner|
|Balanced Devotee||Adventurer||With Food|
|Uni-Directional Fan||Mountain Climber||Dessert or Afterwards|
|Chameleon Lover||Hedonist||With a Cigar|
Distiller Review: The aroma is pretty intense with classic aromas with a bit of sweet spices particularly coriander. The licorice comes through just a touch as you taste. Citrus and cinnamon are the last notes you taste at the finish. This is an all-around use gin, but the sweet spices come through just a bit stronger which play nicely into a berry-based cocktail like a Clover Club. – Stephanie Moreno
Wine Enthusiast Review: Overall, this is a crisp and classic profile, scented with juniper. The palate is bracing and astringent, accented by bitter lemon and juniper, finishing lean and clean. Try it in a martini. – Kara Newman