Six Bells gin is a citrus forward London Dry from the City of London distillery.
Price: ~ £26
Way back in September of 2018, the Craft Gin Club sent out an exclusive edition from the City of London Distillery (aka COLD). A citrus forward number, with lemon as the star, it’s named after the nursery rhyme ‘Oranges and Lemons (say the bells of St. Clement’s)’. By the end of 2018 it went on general sale, to join the ever growing range of flavours, expressions, and colourful bottles.
The bottle is a lovely warm yellow and has a stunning shape, moulded to look like the dome of St Paul’s at the top. Beneath that the name of the distillery is embossed twice around the bottle, then front and centre sits an embossed coat of arms of the City of London. Around the base sits the label, pleasantly coloured and illustrated with an orange and lemon either side of the name. Even the base has a ridged effect embossed in it to provide more detail and mirror the top. It definitely stands out and is one of my favourite designs.
On the nose, juniper is firmly present, leaving no doubt that this is a London Dry, not a lemon vodka. Alongside that come the familiar gin aromas from the angelica and coriander, providing a warm, earthy citrus. In fact the level of citrus itself is surprisingly muted given the selling point of this expression, but for me that’s a good thing. There are nice, soft citrus aromas, nothing sharp or bitter. A very classic gin profile.
Neat, the story is a little different. Lemon is absolutely first out of the gate, but only by a nose, after which juniper and coriander begin to appear. The lemon is swift and oily, pitching the soft, high notes before a slightly more robust grapefruit drifts in, leading back to the earthy coriander. It’s a bright but classic flavour and is very nice.
With water, the earthier flavours come through very nicely, along with a stronger lemon oil taste. It’s much the same as it tasted neat, but it feels a little more full-bodied and rounded. I also think the liquorice is starting to show now a little too, with a pleasant sweetness just presenting around the baseline of the flavour.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Ridge Valley Indian Tonic with a slice of fresh orange to garnish). The result is absolutely delicious. The citrus works beautifully with the tonic, and the orange provides an added depth, which I am loving. There’s a huge amount of warm citrus in this drink, but also a pleasant freshness and a lovely little afterbite of quinine, though I would say it might be a little sweet for some (I’m aware I’m not using a truly premium brand tonic, so I wondered whether it might be a little sweeter but actually it’s significantly lower in sugar!). This is a really easy drinking G&T. Very nice indeed.
It’s been a long time since I’ve tried this gin, and with all the flavoured stuff coming out I’d started to convince myself it was overly lemon flavoured, but I was very wrong. This is absolutely a classic gin, just slightly lemon forward, and I honestly think that despite the selling point, I’ve had other ‘citrus forward’ gins that have been more citrus forward, so there is absolutely nothing to worry about on that front. It makes a great G&T (I highly recommend the orange garnish) and drinks very easy. Definitely recommended.
Add half a feather if you love citrus flavours
Six Bells is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.