Jensen’s Old Tom Gin

It was in Japan, 2001 that Christian Jensen had his first taste of a vintage gin. A gin martini: carefully prepared, with a complexity and balance that was unmatched by modern-day gins.

It was a revelation that led to a personal collection of 900 bottles of vintage gin, the launch of two acclaimed gins, and the building of a distillery in the heart of London. Through his research into the golden era of London gin-making, Christian discovered the legacy of gin-making in his neighbourhood, Bermondsey. It was this his first gin, Bermondsey Dry, was named for.

The project was never supposed to be a commercial enterprise. The ambition was simply to make a gin in this lost style, if for nothing more than to make plenty more gin martinis.

Once the word got out however, the bartenders of London began to request more and more of the gin and Bermondsey Gin Limited was born. Not long afterwards, the finding of a handwritten distiller’s notebook that documented forty years of gin-making inspired a new project, an Old Tom gin.

Countering the idea that Old Toms were sweetened by adding sugar, the recipe’s natural sweetness and rooty, complex hit of botanicals became a cult success with the bartending community.

Ten years on, the ambition remains the same, to make gin as good as can be.

Unique among Old Tom gins, Jensen’s Old Tom Gin is “sweetened” with a higher concentration of sweet botanicals such as licorice rather than having added sugar. This comes as a result of Jensen’s research into the truly oldest of Old Tom gins, which were sold with heightened botanical levels but no added sugar (sugar was added by the inn- or tavern-keeper). Replete with herbal and grassy notes, this gin has candy sugar on the nose but a dry, oily finish.

NOSE: Candy sugar

PALATE: Herbal and grassy notes

FINISH: Dry, oily