As the name suggests, this gin sets out to replicate an original style of English gin, a slightly sweetened distilled gin which many people refer to as Old Tom. Old English Gin is distilled at Langley Distillery using a John Dore copper pot still called Angela, the oldest such gin still in use today.
The recipe used dates back to 1783, one of many old recipes in the safe at Langley, and uses 11 botanicals. Ten of these botanicals are readily communicated by the brand owner Henrik Hammer (of Geranium Gin fame) and one is something of a secret. The ten are: juniper, coriander, lemon, orange, angelica, cassia, liquorice, cinnamon, orris and nutmeg. A hidden message on the brand's graphics hints at the identity of the 11th botanical - the rounded triangular silhouette of the cross-section of a cardamom seed sits above the shield on the bottle.
In his own (hidden and clever way) Henrik wanted to emphasise the use of cardamom as he distils this separately himself, "because cardamom is a very dominant botanical and I want to make sure that the balance of the gin is absolutely perfect."
After the distillations (by Langley and Henrik) a small amount (4 grams per litre) of sugar is added to the blended distillates prior to bottling at London's Thames Distillery, as many believe is in keeping with the old English style of gin (Old Tom).
The use of a recycled champagne bottle (not from recycled glass but washed and reused) harks back to a time when gin would be sold from the barrel and transported from the shop in whatever container was at hand. This silkscreen printed bottle is sealed with a natural cork and organic wax - the soft wax is easy to cut and you'll need a cork screw to pull the driven cork.
Take a closer look at the bottle and you'll find another hidden clue in the graphics which relates to Henrik's father's name, Hudi. He was named after Rud Hud Hudibras, the ancient British King, and had four sons. If you look at the shield you will find one of his initials on each of the four hammers.
"CLASS Magazine" UK - rating: 5+
"Eye For Spirits" DE - rating: 10/10
Nominated the "Best Green Launch 2012"
Gin & Genever
Hammer & Son Ltd
Hammer & Son Ltd