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
Launched in 2000, Tanqueray No. TEN is an exceptionally smooth and fresh tasting gin. Named after the number of the still (No. 10) in which it is made, the superior taste is the result of its ingredients. These include whole fruit botanicals such as fresh white grapefruits from Florida, whole limes from Mexico along with juniper, coriander and chamomile (there are also other botanicals). Tanqueray No. TEN is handcrafted in small batches using their unique quadruple distillation process, with the heart of the gin created in the affectionately named ‘Tiny Ten’ still. Using fresh, whole citrus fruits during the process it greatly adds to the depth of character inherent in Tanqueray No. TEN Gin. Indisputably a step up in class, the gin is smoother than Tanqueray’s classic offering. The gin has a full-bodied grapefruit and citrus hit to it and comes highly recommended by many bartenders as the perfect choice of gin to create Martinis. There’s still plenty of juniper in the mix as well as a lovely floral note on the nose, but the smooth citrus finish and the relatively high strength (47.3% ABV) is what makes this gin one of the very best on the market. Although Tanqueray No. TEN has won numerous awards since its launch, in 2003 it had unprecedented wins as ‘Best White Spirit’ three times in a row at the San Francisco World Spirits competition, leading to the creation of the ‘Hall of Fame’. To many it remains one of the most respected gins available on the market, with a unique offering of both subtlety and a full body that just carries so well in cocktails. Liquid aside, with an eye catching bottle that allows for good shelf visibility (and that makes for a nice gift given it looks impressive) as well as global PR campaigns hero’ing the world’s best bartenders and their ever more creative concoctions, the brand is set to continue cementing it’s place as a leader in the premium gin category.
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