Old Tom is an interesting category of gin. It has links back to the past with its origins in the invention of the continuous still in the 1830’s and Victorian distillers ability (with the increasing quality of base spirits) to be able to produce and market two different categories of gin: the ‘old’ sweeter style and the ‘new’ dry style. It also has a foot firmly in the present, with an increasing number of distillers adding an Old Tom to their repertoire.
We are big fans of Two Birds here at the London Gin Club, we love their attention to detail and passion. All their spirits are produced in small batches of 100 bottles with care and perfection in a hand-made still, and their ethos is to bring the best of the british countryside to small batch distilling – what’s not to like! So we were very interested when they added an Old Tom to their arsenal of spirits and thought we would put them in the LGC spotlight with a gin review.
The nose is good – robust, fresh and green. Woody juniper sits with a lavender edge and full savoury herb, earthy undertones. Dare we say it – it’s almost like stepping into a pine woodland in spring after a refreshing april shower – invigorating and full of the promise of good times ahead!
Tasted neat on ice, this is definitely a genuinely good sipping gin. A smooth start is arrested by a punch of Juniper which rounds out to spice notes and yields to a pleasant bitter tingle. This is all enveloped in a round, creamy classic Old Tom sweetness. You could easily sit and spend a pleasant hour or so sipping a glass of Two Birds Old Tom on the rocks.
With tonic, the profile opens out and enables a few other notes to be discerned. It leads with a distinctly fruity sweetness (which does have us wondering if elder (flower or berry) is an element. The Juniper takes on a more piney, resinous aspect and the profile opens into a creamy middle where licorice / anise notes sing out, it then yields to a pleasant bitter dry linger, making it inherently moorish. A lemon twist garnish works a treat with Fever Tree to make a great G&T.
This is a great addition to Two Birds stable and it is proudly sitting at the front of the LGC Old Tom shelf. With Two Birds Old Tom, the cat has definitely got the cream!