Thomas Dakin was at the forefront of distilling ‘high quality gin’ way back in the 1760s when he started a distilling company in Warrington – that later became Greenalls. This was a rich period in the history of gin, as London emerged, bleary eyed, from the gin craze into a time where gin evolved from being the root of all evil (according to the likes of Hogarth and his friend Henry Fielding) into a respectable spirit, exported around the world.
And so on to Thomas Dakin Gin, how’s the cut of its gib?
Produced in Manchester in a pot still, and bottled at 42% the label, which is in a lovely letterpress style has us most intrigued. There is an interesting collection of eleven botanicals which include orange, grapefruit, coriander, angelica and red cole – more commonly known as horseradish.
On the nose it’s fresh, cool and crisp. Oddly enough the first word that comes to mind is green – if green had a smell this would be it! There is fresh cooling juniper alongside a fruitiness, and a grassiness with a familiar pleasant herbal note which we cannot quite place (sage maybe?). There are also cleansing pepper radish notes – the cubeb and horseradish we would think. The nose is complex to put into words but it certainly works! We can sum it up as crisp, fresh and fragrant – all the elements balance out very nicely.
Tasted neat there’s a blast of fresh clean bitterness followed very quickly by a mellow sweetness (liquorice). It finishes with a horseradish bite and the pepper activates the tongue and the roof of the mouth.
With tonic the nose stays crisp, fragrant and forward. The grapefruit really opens out and comes to the fore with a lovely peely bitterness. Sweet liquorice notes follow and then at the end there is the horseradish pepper bite – a pleasant strap across the tongue which zings around the mouth. This is a bitter-sweet, savoury gin with a fantastic lash of bite in the tail.
This makes a fantastic, fresh gin and tonic, which we will garnish with lemon and celery to open out the savoury elements. Complex yet simple – a class act. We raise a glass to Mr Dakin!