Given that Tanqueray epitomises the London Dry style, it comes as no surprise that it provides a crisp, dry taste. The recipe is a fiercely guarded secret, although it is thought to contain as little as four botanicals. The final spirit is bottled at 43.1% ABV in the UK, with strong juniper notes pulling through, along with a hint of spice and a dry finish. It all began when Charles Tanqueray launched his distillery in the 1830’s on Vine Street in Bloomsbury. It’s thought that the Tanqueray Gin recipe as we know it today first came about in 1838 – probably even earlier but older records can’t be found (presumably lost at some point in the company’s 180 year history!). It’s an astonishing feat given the balance of the gin and that the same recipe is still in use today, more so when one considers that he was a newbie distiller in his early 20’s. When prohibition began in the United States in 1920, allegedly Tanqueray & Sons continued to ship gin to islands just off the US coast in cases designed to float. Tanqueray was distilled in the capital until the great air raid of 1941, when the London distillery was almost completely destroyed. Only one of the stills survived the bombing relatively unscathed (repairs had to be made!), and this remaining still, known as “Old Tom”, now resides in Cameron Bridge, Scotland.
What The Critics Say
The four botanicals thought to be used are juniper, coriander seed, angelica root and liquorice root all combining to create a smooth gin, well balanced, juniper dominant and everything a gin lover would want in a glass. There is a good reason it’s been so popular across the world, it’s a great gin, creamy both at the domestic 43.1% ABV and export strength 47.3% ABV, it’s easily drinkable and makes for a cracking G&T. The lack of citrus botanical makes it slightly drier than some other gins but coriander adds both piquancy and lemon on the nose. Add a healthy citrus twist in the glass and the gin seems to be made for those who enjoy a G&T with a backbone! It’s an interesting gin to put head to head with Beefeater, as the two both have a similar heritage, price point and are both distinct as the quintessential London Dry gins – we recommend trying both to see which you prefer (yes, any excuse for having two gins at a time… we know!).
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