Berry Bros. & Rudd London Dry is a recreation of their gin from the first half of the 20th century.
Price: ~ £25
As the blurb goes, Berry Bros. & Rudd, who are Britain’s original wine and spirits merchant trading from No.3 St James’s Street since 1698 (and after which is named their premium gin ‘No.3’), set about recreating this gin, known as ‘Berrys’ Best’ from the 1950’s, with a vial of the original.
For those of you who have seen the Kingsman films, the name may be familiar, as it sits next to the Kingsman shop in a few shots.
The bottle is unremarkable in shape, akin to a slightly shorter standard whisky bottle. On the front is precisely the kind of label you would expect from a gin styled as a piece of London history. The name is very clear and sits above an image of No.3 St James’s Street set in ye olde times. The addition of gold in the text and royal crests is a nice touch. On the back is the story of the shop and the gin. It stands out for its simplicity and use of black and white and I kinda like it despite being so simple.
On the nose warm juniper rises along with hints of coriander and angelica. It’s bright without being sharp and there are some subtle savoury elements, but a sweetness too. It smells very clean and unimposing. There’s a mild nuttiness right towards the end, which I think is what gives it the warmth and depth.
Neat, a very clean, fresh and light juniper dominates followed by a mellowing and warmth as it fills the mouth. There’s a very pleasant sweet, earthy flavour that’s absolutely wonderful to taste. It’s almost buttery, and right at the back is a sweet, faintly toffee-like flavour that’s divine.
A drop of water brings out some more savoury notes and the juniper becomes more mellow and wide. There are hints of bitterness and pepper now, but overall the flavour is still that of a sweet, earthy herbal taste developing into a rich toffee, right at the back of my mouth.
Apparently this gin makes a ‘superlative’ G&T, so of course that’s what I’ve made (2:1 Lamb & Watt Original with a small wedge of lemon). The result is simple, elegant, and delicious. I feel like this is the kind of G&T that could convert someone to gin. The flavours are all beautifully balanced, and while there’s nothing here that jumps out like in other gins I may have tried, that perfect balance speaks volumes. Unfortunately only in a figurative sense, not in the sense of me having volumes of this to drink. It will all be gone far too quickly!
I honestly feel like they should have kept the name ‘Berrys’ Best’ because simple and understated as this gin may be, it strikes me as a bit of a masterclass in the simple, classic gin profile we know and love. Beautifully balanced, I would say this gin deserves a spot on the shelf for those times when you don’t want anything fancy or ‘out there’, you just want a damn fine gin. Cheers!
BBR is available online and in supermarkets, as well as at No.3 St James’ Street, London!
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.