Tanqueray Export Strength Gin

Tonight, I Tanqueray.

This is a gin that has graced my shelves a few times in the last year, but it always disappears so quickly and I have never managed to get around to writing my thoughts down. Tonight, this changes.

Tanqueray Gin

Tanqueray Gin

To many, Tanqueray is eponymous with truly high-quality gin; it is the benchmark that others are measured against and it is a well-deserved reputation.

Tanqueray’s botanical list is fairly short, numbering only four…

  • Juniper Berries
  • Coriander Seed
  • Angelica Root
  • Liquorice Root

What no citrus?

It’s presented in a distinctive cocktail-shaker shaped bottle which is instantly recognisable on the shop shelf or the back-bar.

Uncorking the bottle, or rather unscrewing it, and giving it a good sniff reveals everything you would expect from a London Dry gin. It is very juniper-forward and in spite of its 43.1% ABV, there isn’t much of a whiff of alcohol.

Tasting the stuff neat follows-through with the juniper-heavy experience. It is smooth, balanced and creamy without any harshness from that high alcohol content (not that surprising, being quadruple distilled). The coriander is present but subtle and the sweet earthiness of the two roots holds it all together very well.

Mixing Tanqueray with tonic water rewards you with a tremendous G&T; it delivers a massive juniper hit and the sweet creaminess balances with the quinine very well. It has a beautiful, biting, dry finish. This really is the Spinal Tap of gin and tonic; someone has taken a good gin and dialled it up to 11. It is like drinking some super-charged G&T drawn out of someone’s fevered dreams about gin and tonic. It is everything I look for in G&T writ large.

Tanqueray is a forthright, loud gin that delivers quality in spades. It really goes to show how you don’t need much to make a great gin. There are no gimmicks, no exotic fruits or outlandish distilling practices, just a simple London Dry gin which really delivers the goods.

Now the bottle is empty. Such is the way of gin.

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12 thoughts on “Tanqueray Export Strength Gin

  • October 30, 2011 at 8:31 am
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    We did a blind gin taste testing last night, and were somewhat surprised just how well Tanqueray export strength did – both of us agreed it was the clear winner out of the 6 gins we were trying. We were drinking gin neat and at room temperature, and it was one of the only two which I thought remained really nice and drinkable like that (the other was Whitley Neill, which we both agreed as the second best). Other gins I thought I liked more failed really badly in the comparison.

    (If you’ll pardon the shameless plug, link to experiment: http://imbibliotech.com/post/12081885158/in-which-we-perform-gin-science )

    Reply
    • October 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm
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      Nothing wrong with a shameless plug – especially where both “gin” and “science” are used in the title.

      I think Tanqueray Export has to be in my top three favourite London Dry gins. While Whitley Neill is technically a London Dry, its exotic botanicals put it in a different category for me – I still love it and it would definitely make my top-three USP gin list.

      I think my absolute favourite gin for drinking neat has to be No. 3, it just blows me away. I need to get some more.

      Reply
  • October 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm
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    I have to admit, somewhat to my embarrassment, when I was trying it blind I had absolutely no idea which one the Whitley Neill was – possibly because I hadn’t had it in a while. I don’t find the unusual botanicals dominate that much – to me it still tastes pretty classic but with light extra, and certainly within what I think of as the normal variation of gin.

    On the other hand, I’m not very good at this yet, and it’s possible that most of the gins I’m used to are not terribly classic. :-)

    I think when we last exchanged blog comments I wasn’t terribly sold on the No. 3. It’s really grown on me in a martini, but I haven’t tried it neat recently. Maybe I should. I might however wait till we do our next blind gin tasting so I can see how it fares in that without foreknowledge of what it tastes like.

    Reply
    • October 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm
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      Ah, I remember. Good to hear No.3 is growing on you.

      Whitley Neill is a London Dry and doesn’t deviate far from that template, but there is a unique fruitiness about it that sets it apart in my mind (it is more apparent in a G&T). Tanqueray on the other hand has no citrus at all – it just goes to show that the effect of citrus on a gin is a pretty subtle one. When I did the Sacred Gin Tasting, I was surprised to find that many flavour aspects that I presumed were juniper, actually came from the citrus; being able to isolate the different distillates and the add them to juniper one-by-one really demonstrates how each ingredient contributes to the overall flavour.

      Reply
  • October 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm
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    I am not traditionally a Tanqueray man, but I like the idea of blind tasting – I feel sure I am swayed by a pretty bottle to at least some degree.

    Now if only I had someone to spend a drunken evening with . . .

    Reply
  • November 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm
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    I drink this daily. I assume ‘Export Strength’ means from the states. I never really put it into perspective till now, but, the juniper punch that Tanqueray packs is always what I look for in a gin. I love a gin like Hendricks, but, with Tonic it falls flat. Out here gin isn’t a high commodity so a good gin is hard to find. Bombay Sapphire is okay, but, the juniper content leaves much to be desired. Hendricks is too smooth. Great for a cocktail, not a G&T. Mostly the gin selection is bottom shelf. Vodka brands and flavors are in over abundance. I really want to open a bar that hightlights gin and put these white bread vodka drinking dummies on notice.

    Reply
    • November 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm
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      Thanks for the comment Rosy P.
      It sounds like we look for the same thing in a gin. I love a heavy-hitting juniper-lead gin that can hold its own in a punchy tonic water. I have quaffed my way through a fair amount of Tanqueray recently too.

      Reply
  • August 16, 2012 at 9:38 am
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    I feel surprised aboutt he fact that I see 43.1 % and 47.3 % for export strenght… i always have it at 47.3 % and I really have to assume the fact that as a french man I am not very common because I always have at home Bombay Sapphire, Withley Neill, tanqueray and tanqueray rangpur, beefeater and beefeater 24. Unfortunately crown jewel is out of stock…
    I love gin since ly first taste 20 years ago.
    The tanqueray is really the one I drink the most, on his own or in a G T (1/3 tanqueray,1/3 7 up, a stick of fresh lemon lime and some liquid sugar).
    Unfortunately I do not drink gin with tonic water, I try sometimes but it is not my best experience.
    Franck, european pinball champion

    Reply
    • August 31, 2012 at 8:13 pm
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      I think there are different strengths for the UK market and the rest of the world – it’s a little confusing. I do love Tanqueray though, it is very much my go-to gin as well; it’s tremendous stuff.

      Reply
  • October 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm
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    Having a Tanqueray Martini now.

    1 oz Noilly Prat (freshly opened)
    2 oz Tanqueray Export Strength (47.3%)
    5 drops Angostura orange bitters
    very cold ice
    lemon twist

    Been a while since I’ve had a Martini and it’s a great drink.

    Agree with you on Tanqueray. It is my favorite everyday gin too – at least when it’s at a decent strength.

    Mind you, Gordon’s is also surprisingly good – if you can track down the 47% export version. I avoided it for years before finding there is actually nothing wrong with it. Lots of citrus and really quite pleasant.

    Reply
  • May 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm
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    “I Tanqueray”… on a daily basis.

    It’s the “ticket” for the best G&T I have tried. I found Beefeater to be “lost” on a G&T, Bombay Regular “too complex ” on a G&T. I want to drink gin, not tea. The juniper hit on Tanqueray and the fact that it does not have many botanicals, it’s the main reason why Tanq is so good, at least for my taste.

    When I drink it neat…wow, it’s a “boom”, I chew every sip from it!

    Reply
    • August 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm
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      I agree wholeheartedly. A great go-to gin.

      Reply

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