If i was to ask you “name me a gin made that is produced in Scotland”, most of you would be hard pressed to give me an answer. Some of you may mention Hendrick’s, or possibly some of the lesser seen brands like Edinburgh gin, Darnley’s View or Caorunn. But would you believe me if i said that Tanqueray is made in Scotland? To be fair, it never started out there, it was a bit further south in the Bloomsbury district of London, but Scotland would be making an appearance later in their esteemed history. First though a man named Charles Tanqueray set up shop in 1830, not knowing that his idea and indeed his name would revolutionise the gin category. Charles distilled unti his death in 1868 where Charles Waugh Tanqueray took over the business and merged with Gordon & Co. to form Tanqueray Gordon & Co. and moved all of its production to Gordon’s Goswell Road site. In 1937, Tanqueray released two relativly short-lived bottles – Tanqueray Orange gin and Tanqueray Lemon gin. Both would be phased out by 1957, but an idea that hasn’t is the now iconic green bottle.
Between 1948 and 1950, all production of Tanqueray was moved to be housed in the green glassed bottles, with 1977 proving its success by selling one million cases in the US alone. Due to the increase in demand, the distillery was moved to its Laindon site in Basildon, Essex. The first gin distillation using the traditional copper stills (including ‘Old Tom’ which was over 200 years old and survived an air raid in 1941 when the London distillery was almost completely destroyed but the one which housed ‘Old Tom’) was successfully achieved in 1989. The distillery moved again to Cameron Bridge in Scotland as its current owners, Diageo, created a ‘dual-purpose’ site for its brands. Tanqueray No. 10 was launched in the US in 2000 and notched up seven top awards in its first 8 months of availability including double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In 2003 it was inducted into the World Spirits Hall of Fame.
Not bad eh?
So what makes the Tanqueray brand different from all the others? Tanqueray is distilled four times and uses only 4 botanicals – juniper, coriander, angelica and liquorice. Compared to the number of botanicals in Bombay Sapphire, Sipsmith and Martin Millers which each have 10, it can make you wonder if more is necessarily better. Tanqueray No. 10 on the other hand has a little more attention to detail. Created for the Martini drinker, it’s named after the 10th still, with added fresh grapefruit, chamomile, lime and orange to the original 4 and infused in small batches. So what does this create? Well below i give to you my tasting notes –
Tanqueray London Dry – 43.1%
Very fresh and smooth on the nose with slight hints of juniper and citrus coming through. A good hit of liquorice is present on the palate, with a slight spice that creates a long tingle.
Tanqueray No. 10 – 47.3%
Very subtle yet fresh aromas of grapefruit on the nose which leads to a great blend of juniper, vanilla and lime on the palate. Sightly sweet that creates a long lasting flavour and a hint of spice at the end.
For something that’s regarded so highly, can you afford to mix it with other ingredients? Try some of these out –
75ml Tanqueray No. 10
25ml Sugar syrup
Quarter fresh grapefruit juice
Shake over ice and serve
25ml Tanqueray London Dry
Half a lemon
12.5ml Sugar syrup
Shake the Tanqueray, squeezed lemon and sugar syrup together over ice, strain into a coupet glass and top with Champagne.
Again, simple recipes can sometimes have the best outcomes. I think Mr Charles Tanqueray knew something we didn’t.
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© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.