Earlier this year Dr Adam Elmegirab gave us an introduction to old style Old Tom Gin with his take on the style “House of Botanicals Old Tom Gin“. A sweetened, sugar (in this case Muscovado Sugar) compounded gin which offered something different to the heavily sugared fruit liqueurs and gin liqueurs swamping the market.
They have done it again with their latest offering, The House of Botanicals Maple Gin. A variation on the Old Tom Style
Old Tom is a style from the yesteryear of Gin With various theories on the origin of the name, from a Cat falling in to a Vat or Gin to customers glugging gin straight from a lead pip situated under a picture of a Tom Cat. The most probable is the story of two Toms, Thomas Chamberlain and Thomas Norris. Norris (Young Tom)worked under Chamberlain (Old Tom) at Hodges distillery and, upon completion of his learning, opened a Gin Palace in Convent Garden. As a nod to his mentor, Old Tom was the name given to the Gin he was selling by the barrel-load.
The Gin itself (traditionally) was created by the sweetening of the spirit using sugar or liquorice, mainly to hide the awful taste of poorly made gin. Often sulphuric acids and turpentine were added to the overly watered down homemade gin to give it bite and heat. This rather unpleasant flavour was then hidden by the sweeteners for the customer to “enjoy”. The term Blind Drunk has often been related to this period in time when the acids quite literally caused the loss of sight! Double Vision has nothing on this!
The House of Botanicals Maple Gin is created using the same base as the hugely popular
Old Tom Gin. Distilled in London with juniper berries, angelica root, orris root, coriander seed, cassia bark, almond, orange peel and lemon peel, before being shipped to Aberdeen where saffron, chamomile flowers and spicy ginger root are added post-distillation. Maple syrup is then added as a homage to an age-old recipe which was designed towards encouraging ladies to drink a sweeter gin.
This one is not just for the ladies though, at a healthy 47% it is a robust and full bodied gin, with ginger and spice coming through. More “ginny” that the Old Tom but with Tonic added the sweet maple flavours pour forward creating a viscosity which lingers joyfully in the mouth.
A perfect after-dinner drink, however, be careful as it is very moreish and post-dinner may quickly lead to pre-bed!
Get your bottle from the Inverurie Whisky Shop now at https://www.inveruriewhiskyshop.com/products/house-of-botanicals-maple-gin