Today I bought four litres of Tesco Classic London Dry Gin. This was ostensibly to turn into sloe gin, but I only needed three litres in the end, so I have some spare.
Time to try and judge it.
There are no botanicals listed on the bottle and the only hint is “a well balanced gin with subtle notes of juniper, citrus and warm spice”. One can only assume it contains all the basics of gin and little else.
This gin is almost certainly distilled by G&J Greenall. It claims to be a London Dry Gin, which by law at least guarantees certain standards and Greenall is a reputable distillery.
Anyway, the gin smells of gin. There is little else but the basics of gin, no citrus and no spice; this is a pattern that asserts itself throughout the drinking experience.
Drank neat, the Tesco gin isn’t that smooth, but certainly beats the Beefeater 24 on this front. It has a middling juniper load and doesn’t really have any subtlety beyond spirit and juniper. It pretty-much tastes like it smells.
With Schweppes tonic water it forms an uninspiring G&T. There is no real depth of flavour in the attack or the after-taste. Saying that, it ticks the “I am drinking G&T” box, much like Gordon’s gin does; in fact, I would say it even beats Gordons.
To be honest, this gin epitomises Tesco labelled products. It is of a basic standard of quality but doesn’t deliver anything special, but it is good enough for most needs. It would make a good house gin and at just under £12.50 per litre, it is good value.
It will likely make a decent sloe gin and will make a great base for other infusions. Take a bottle of Tesco gin and infuse your own botanicals to make your own bathtub gin.
Update – 24/10/2010
I am not convinced that this is a particularly clean spirit; each time I have consumed his gin in any volume, I have had a mild hangover the following morning. At first I wrote this off as developing man-flu, but after several (non-consecutive) evenings on the Tesco gin, the correlation is becoming harder to ignore. This is the first gin I have tried that has this sort of effect on me – gin usually leaves me hangover free.