Earlier this month, I made a pilgrimage to Berry Bros. & Rudd, ostensibly to get a birthday present for someone (a bottle of their tremendous No3 Gin), but when checking the site to find out how to get there, I noticed that the also sell something called Good Ordinary Gin. So, I bought a bottle of each.
Information on this gin is pretty hard to find, and other than it being a London Dry gin that is distilled in London using the “highest quality organic botanicals”, I can find nothing about it. So, no botanical list today. Something I do know: it’s 40% ABV.
The packaging is a fairly basic spirit bottle and is faced with a pretty no-frills label. While it does have a real cork it does lack the design and elegance of No3.
The aroma from the bottle-top is very heavily juniper-laden and it does indeed smell like good ordinary gin.
Sampled neat, this is a juniper-heavy gin. It’s incredibly dry with an aggressive bite, leaving an astringent after-burn lingering in the mouth long after it has gone down; robust coriander and citrus.
Adding a little water mellows this gin somewhat and brings out some creaminess. It still has that burning heat in the after-taste but, truth be told, this gin is probably the one gin that I have tried that changes the most with a little dash of water – it’s an interesting transformation.
In a G&T it delivers a very classic, forthright drink but still has a slightly raw, aggressive feel about it. It’s almost like No3’s slightly unrefined country-cousin – juniper-heavy, dry and refreshing but lacking the balance and refinement of properly premium gins.
The addition of a healthy wedge of lime, squeezed to liberate juice, really adds something to the G&T; a lusciousness and a rounding component that knocks some of the edges off.
Ultimately, Berry Bros. & Rudd have “done a Cuprinol” here; Good Ordinary Gin does what it says on the bottle and it will appeal to the lover of assertive, forthright gins. However, at £20 a bottle, Tanqueray only costs a few quid more and I am not sure the price-point is pitched quite right for its quality.