Hayman’s London Dry is a classic gin distilled to a 150 year old family recipe.
Price: ~ £22
In honour of their new (dare I say invention?!) Small Gin, I decided to grab my bottle and see what it’s all about. A staple of the gin industry, I was lucky enough to win this bottle in a Twitter giveaway. Hayman’s have, through one means or another, been making gin for a very long time and Hayman’s gin is currently under the care of 4th generation master distiller Christopher Hayman. The gin is made by hand in small batches, using a traditional two-day process where the botanicals are steeped for a full day before distillation.
The bottle is a beautiful, crystal clear design with an outward taper towards the top and rounded square sides. The front and back are embossed with bold lettering and a lovely crest, while the label is a soft blue with stylish fonts and lettering. Each side has a little information on the family and the gin, and the gorgeous wooden stopper bears the stamp of the Hayman’s distillery logo. It’s clean, crisp and elegant if understated. I love it.
On the nose, this gin is as classic as it gets. Soft, waxy juniper rises up with fresh citrus, re-enforcing that sense of clean, crisp clarity you get from the bottle. Beneath the citrus is a warm bed of spice, dipping into some earthy tones but retaining a freshness that’s almost seductive. It’s difficult not to get right to the tasting with this! There’s a subtle bite towards the end that almost dares you to dive in.
Neat, it’s cool and crisp with a beautiful citrus zing underpinned by the pine of the juniper. Beyond that the coriander begins to shine, blending nicely with hints of orange and liquorice before the bitterness of the lemon starts to cut through. It’s not offputting though, instead tasting fresh and clear, and I really do mean it’s like fresh peel!
With water, there’s an incredible explosion of flavour, particularly the more herbal notes of the coriander. The sweetness of the liquorice and spices comes through beautifully to compliment the smoother citrus taste. I am amazed at how much the flavour has developed. This is genuinely wonderful. Everything is working in harmony, but it’s still the lemon peel that sings lead.
Finally, I tried it in a G&T (3:1 Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic with a twist of lemon peel). It is delicious, but possibly the wrong tonic, which is my fault. I can tell there’s a slight conflict going on (this blog is nothing if not a constant learning curve for me!) between the tonic and the gin, but it’s still a lovely, clean and crisply refreshing drink. But you know what… let’s do this again…
And we’re back, this time with 3:1 Schweppes 1783 Indian Tonic and a twist of orange peel. So much better. There’s no in fighting going on here, it’s a lovely, classic G&T with fresh flavours. The lemon and orange are working together beautifully, with hints of spice coming along at the end. There’s very little bitterness, and what’s there is pleasing. A superb G&T.
This is a great gin, and one I think likely overlooked by newer gin fans as being somehat ‘old hat’, though it is certainly their loss. It feels like there’s an impressive attention to detail in making this gin so clear and crisp, the lemon in particular. Add to that it’s at a price point well below average and you really are on to a winner with this. Time to start looking more seriously at adding the rest of the range to my ‘to buy’ list! Highly recommended.
Awarded a bonus half feather for design and price.
Add half a feather if lemon is your favourite tasting note
Hayman’s London Dry is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.