The London No. 1 is made in small batches in London using traditional pot stills.
Price: ~ £33
In honesty I can’t tell you much more about this gin, the website provides as little information as possible it seems! I bought it a while ago on offer as it caught my eye and the addition of bergamot in a gin is always a draw! As you can see though, I’ve barely touched it, so I thought it was about time I got stuck in!
It’s not really the bottle that makes this gin stand out, but the fact that the liquid is blue! What makes it blue though is a mystery, though if I’ve gleaned the correct information, it’s simply an added colouring, which is why this isn’t labelled a London Dry gin!
It’s a very standard bottle shape, with very minimal branding, which is understandable. From a distance though there’s not much chance you’ll be able to tell it’s a gin (rather than a vodka for example), but it is a great colour and looks good on the shelf, so long as it’s fairly full!
That said, it looks like the bottle has been changed since I bought this, with the image of tower bridge now embossed on a much more pleasing bottle shape (taller and bolder). The design is still very much focussed on the liquid though.
On the nose, the ABV comes over fairly prominently, but with a definite citrusy pine element to it. There’s a touch of herb there too, and a hint of sweetness that’s pleasing. It’s a clean, fresh smelling gin, but perhaps a little harsh on the olfactory.
Neat the gin has a pleasant mouthfeel (not a word I’m hugely fond of using so if I’m using it it means I can definitely notice it), smooth and heavy. It’s not got nearly as much burn as the nose suggests, which is nice. There’s also not as much citrus as expected, instead it’s a fairly herbal, aromatic affair that seems to confuse a little and stand in opposition to the freshness I was getting before. A few sips in and the aftertaste is coming in with an element of earthy pungency that I’m not all too keen on.
With water, the cassia and cinnamon come through nicely and the overall taste is lifted away from those earthy undertones to sweeter herbals notes of the coriander. It’s an improvement for sure and while the profile remains in the more robust and heavy earthy notes, the dilution has provided a nice aount of space for the sweeter tones to come through.
Finally, I served it in a G&T (3:1 Schweppes 1783 Indian tonic) with a slice of orange, as that was what I hoped to bring out of it a little more. It’s a vast improvement and there are so many more elements at play now in this gin. The pungency is gone, but the sweeter aromatic spices have stuck around to play nicely with the orange. It’s a nice G&T, but a little muted which is surprising given the ABV and the list of botanicals which almost reads like a wish list for me.
It’s a decent gin. Not great neat, better with water, and good in a G&T. One for cocktails, for sure and I’ll be very interested to try it in a Negroni, amongst others! For the price I feel it could be better, although you’re getting a fair amount of bang for your buck.
The London No. 1 is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.