Langley’s Brings Back A Classic With Old Tom Gin


Charter Brands is launching Langley’s Old Tom gin, reviving a classic style that offers the growing army of gin enthusiasts a different flavour profile in cocktails and mixed drinks.

Langley’s Old Tom is Charter Brands’ first new product since the launch three years ago of the acclaimed and multiple award-winning Langley’s No.8 gin. Old Tom is a style originally popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Old Tom offers a more intense yet slightly sweeter taste than a classic London Dry Gin, however, it’s not as sweet as a Dutch Jenever.

Mark Dawkins, co-founder of Charter Brands, said: “We’ve always planned to develop other styles of gin under the Langley’s brand, and our Old Tom has been 12 months in development. The style is a forgotten classic in many ways, but with interest in gin among UK consumers at an all-time high and still growing, the time is right to bring it back with a real focus and strategy behind it.”

He adds: “There are a lot of gin brands using the ‘craft’ terminology, but we feel it’s becoming over-used. The Langley’s brand is all about classic, timeless and quintessentially English gin products. Old Tom is exactly that – we’ve taken a classic recipe and redeveloped it for the modern era.

“The sweeter flavour profile will appeal to bar professionals looking for a different take on classic gin drinks such as a Collins, as well as giving consumers an alternative to the London Dry style. We’ve had pre-orders already for export markets, as well as interest from some key UK on and off-trade retailers.”

The signature serve for the brand is the Langley’s Old Tom St. Clements; a classic gin & tonic garnished with a half slice of lemon and a half slice of orange.

While the labelling reflects the heritage of its style, Langley’s Old Tom comes in the brand’s distinctive bottle, to create consistency. Old Tom is available at 40% ABV for the UK market as well as in a 47% Export Strength, with an RSP of £25 for the 40%. Like Langley’s No. 8, Langley’s Old Tom is distributed in the UK by Hi-Spirits, and will be available from October.


Langley’s recently expanded their range for the first time since their launch back in April 2013 with the addition of the Old Tom expression. It’s with this that it’s a good opportunity to re-visit one of the mainstays in the recent gin renaissance here in the UK.

Langley’s Distillery was founded back in 1920 by the Palmer family, who incidentally  still own it today. It’s within this distillery that the pot still ‘Connie’, created in England back in 1960, is used to house the harvested 8 botanicals for their small batched production of the No.8 expression. Botanicals include juniper berries from Macedonia, coriander seeds from Bulgaria, sweet orange peel and sweet lemon peel from Spain, cassia bark from Indonesia and ground nutmeg from Sri Lanka.

Mark Dawkins and business partner Mark Crump approached Langley’s Distillery, one of the three main gin distilleries in the UK,  in late 2011, and worked with master distiller Rob Dorsett over the next 10 months to hone the botanical list mentioned. Once the 100% English grain spirit and botanicals were ready, it’s reported that the final abv chosen was also supposedly the eighth tasted from a final shortlist of twelve possible percentages.

So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Langley’s No.8 – 41.7%

Lemon dominates on the nose with hints of juniper following soon after. A little sharp on the beginning of the palate with a dry spice developing. A lingering finish that’s smooth but dry.

Langley’s Old Tom – 40%

Evolved from an 1891 recipe, the Old Tom brings together 8 secret botanicals. Creamy citrus notes on the nose, followed by a slow kick of fennel, lemon peel and coriander that mounts to a smooth, soft, sweetened finish that lingers.

Both fantastic on their own, but of course it would be rude not too have it within one of these –

Gentleman’s Martini

Glass – 


Ingredients –

50 ml Langley’s No. 8
15 ml Vermouth
5 ml Olive water/brine
1 Bella di Cerignola olive

Method –

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail tin and stir over cubed ice. Strain and pour in to a small goblet. Garnish with the olive.

Or perhaps,

Old Tom Collins




50 ml Langley’s Old Tom
20 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
10 ml Sugar Syrup
Top with Soda


Combine the ingredients within a highball glass and stir. Add cubed ice, then pour over soda water. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon.

Of course there’s nothing against having this within a gin and tonic either, but whatever your pleasure, both definitely worth of a place within your drinks cabinet.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.