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Appearance: Crystal Clear
Aroma: Eucalyptus and pine-ey juniper with woody liquorice, parma violet and earthy cold stewed tea with zesty orange and a soapy hint of almond
Palate: Strongly eucalyptus influenced palate with green vegetal notes and woody liquorice. This is far from tasting sweet – it’s not that kind of Old Tom – it is in fact dry with the merest perception of sweetness
Finish: Eucalyptus and pine-ey juniper with lingering vegetal notes
This is a real Old Tom, replicating the style of original ‘sweet’ gins from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, not just a bog-standard London dry with added sugar. Jensen’s Old Tom is made to a 1840s recipe, and is naturally sweetened with larger quantities of sweet botanicals such as liquorice.
Christian Jensen, the man behind Bermondsey, was once a banking IT specialist living in Tokyo. One evening, after a particularly hard day, he stumbled into one of Tokyo’s legendary hidden bars. There he encountered a bartender named Oda-San that would change his life. Jensen was served a simple gin martini, with a lime twist, made with “pure gin from your city, London, and nothing more”, according to Oda-San. The gin was alive with flavor, creating an allure that had Jensen back at Oda-San’s bar regularly throughout his Japanese sojourn. When it was time for Jensen to leave, he was gifted a bottle of this most memorable elixir by Oda-San. Upon finding out that the gin that Jensen had come to adore had not been produced for decades, Jensen came home to London with a personal mission: to find out where and how he could obtain more. Jensen subscribed a concierge service to aid this quest, and finally one day he was telephoned to say that a public records office had been found that held documents from the distillery which used to make the gin, including recipe books. With records dated from the mid 1800’s to the 1960’s, Jensen had his work cut out for him.
After many trials with collaboration from master distiller Charles Maxwell at Thames Distillers, the remnants of Oda-San’s gift, and unearthed public records, Jensen finally found a gin that was faithful to the original. Maxwell produced 800 cases of the gin, while Jensen stocked up and convinced his local watering holes to buy cases from him so he could continue to order his favorite martini. Alas, a dream was fulfilled; Jensen’s Bermondsey London Dry Gin is truly a result of a resilient man driven to find and retain the most excellent spirit he knew of, so that he could share with his community of fellow gin lovers.