Now, before continuing, I feel I need to explain the seemingly misleading Tanqueray link above; in spite of Tanqueray’s accessibility statement professing that they have “designed this website to be accessible to as many users as possible“, it is in fact, an unutterable train-wreck of accessibility compliance. I cannot link to the Tanqueray Rangpur page because it is part of an inaccessible Flash journey, so you are on your own once you get there.
Also, the website says the this gin is only for sale in the United States. Quite frankly, the whole Tanqueray site is a bit crap.
Anyway, on with the story.
I confessed to @BlackPlastic that I hadn’t tried it, but that it was firmly on my “to try” list. A little over 36 hours later, I found myself on a train, inbound to London Paddington; with a little planning, I swung by a Waitrose before jumping onto the tube, to pick up a bottle of this exotic-sounding gin, four bottles of Fever-Tree tonic water and some limes.
One working day and several meetings later, we found ourselves, along with @BeccaJB, in the basement of the Atlantis Building pillaging for glasses and ice.
Before we move on to the tasting notes, let’s have a little run-down on the gin itself.
Weighing in at 41.3% ABV, it is no weakling of the gin world, but it is a distilled gin. As far as I can work out, all the botanicals are added during the various distillation phases and it is only the sweetener that is added afterwards that places this gin outside of the London dry gin category.
Tanqueray Rangpur’s unique selling point is the Rangur botanical. Often misleadingly called Rangpur limes, these citrus fruit are not true limes, but a hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Originating in India, they seem to have a different name in each country and are becoming increasingly popular in Florida as a decorative potted plant. Outside of the US, it is primarily used as rootstock, presumably having a degree of hardiness that stems (forgive the pun) from its hybrid nature.
The rangpur tree looks very similar to the lime tree, but its fruit are round and orange in colour. The fruit tastes very much like a lime, it is highly acidic but it is as juicy as an orange.
The exact botanical list of this gin are hard to come by, but the following come readily to hand…
- Bay leaves
Tanqueray Rangpur is bottled in the traditional Tanqueray bottle shape, but is a lighter shade of green; almost lime green – can you detect a theme? It is screw-capped, so won’t be delivering that nice squeek-pop combo that corked spirits provide.
Upon giving the opened bottle a quick sniff, I was rewarded with a very fresh, yet mellow, lime aroma. You could tell it was gin, but the lime was greater than the juniper.
Trying it neat saw a pattern start to build up; there was an almost overwhelming, yet still mellow, taste of lime that was underpinned by juniper. Normally you would expect that quantity of lime to be aggressive and harsh, but the Tanqueray Rangpur manages to keep it smooth and gentle, yet still strong. The juniper blends very well with taste of the rangpur – almost too well, in that it combines and almost gets lost under the velvet-gloved lime-avalanche.
Adding a dash of water yielded much of the same.
So far, so… interesting. It was time for the tonic water and given that Fever-Tree tonic water doesn’t dominate the gin it is paired with, I had a suspicion that the result was going to be distinctly limey.
I wasn’t wrong.
While pleasing to drink, this is not really a G&T as we know it and I doubt it will appeal a great deal to the traditional G&T drinker. The tonic adds some extra bite, but the lime really does still dominate. It is a very refreshing and crisp drink with some of what you expect from a G&T. Attack, body and tail were all dominated by lime, but there is a sweetness that peaks in the attack and fades to a more typical G&T biting tail. Adding a wedge of lime really completed the holistic lime experience, although it was better without.
I wouldn’t call it a vodka-gin, but the Juniper loading isn’t huge – more of a medium payload. I think Tanqueray Rangpur might be trying to appeal to the gin-drinking equivalent of the flavoured vodka fraternity. It may well be a good introduction to gin for those who have yet to take the plunge, but I am not convinced it will become a mainstay of the traditional gin drinker.
Mixing equal parts of Tanqueray Rangpur and Aldi’s Oliver Cromwell 1599 makes an excellent G&T when mixed with Fever-Tree tonic water. There is no need for lime (provided by the Rangpur) and the Cromwell delivers a juniper boost. I am not sure that I want to get into gin blending as there are plenty of fine gins out there that stand well alone, but it is one way of tempering that lime.