Gin review

Gin Tasting: Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Royal Strength

This is altogether the most unique spirit we have tried in a long while. Do you love liquorice? Are you a savoury gin fan? Then you may enjoy Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Royal Strength.

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Having only been released in late spring this year, Gin Lane 1751 is still fairly new to the craft gin market. However, as a creation of 8th generation London Distiller Charles Maxwell, their credentials are strong (which is why we were really looking forward to trying this gin). Made with 8 botanicals in a traditional Victorian style, London Dry Royal Strength is one of 4 released this year by the brand and is the first we have tried. You can read a great interview with Charles Maxwell by the good folk at GinFoundry.com (who else?!) here.

Gin Lane 1751 Royal Strength G&T

The name and liquid profile is inspired by history. Back in the mid 1700’s, the government felt that ‘Mothers Ruin’ was indeed causing far too many problems on the streets and they created a campaign to try and encourage people to switch back to a more ‘gentile’ drink – beer. Gin was blamed for a lower birth rate and for more infant deaths than ever before. As part of the campaign, this famous print by William Hogarth was commissioned, titled ‘Gin Lane’.

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Hogarth claimed that this print was ‘calculated to reform some reigning Vices peculiar to the lower Class of People’. Not long after, The Gin Act of 1751 was introduced which ensured licensing of retail premises and finally reduced consumption. Hence our Victorian style gin here is delightfully named Gin Lane 1751.

So, onto the gin – it’s a London Dry Royal Strength – and let me tell you, it really does pack a punch on the palette at 47% ABV! But even more so in flavour profile. Read on to see our tasting below. Before we get to the profile though, it must also be said that this gin has a really refreshing price point – £22.99 for a 70cl bottle. They have a principle of bringing affordable craft gin to the market place which I really like.

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THE TASTING

Made in a traditional Victorian style, it is heavy on juniper and star anise. What hits you right away is the strong citrus, bitter juniper and heavy pepper, which quickly opens up into a real hit of liquorice and fennel. I’d be so bold as to suggest that this isn’t a beginner’s gin – with quite a complex palette and a very bold profile, this gin is for those looking for something very different. Not everyone at Gin Club got on with this expression, but I’m pleased that it’s a gin bold enough to inspire opinion.

#1:      ON THE NOSE

Plenty of juniper, rosemary, lemon and limes.

#2:      ON THE PALETTE

The citrus and juniper are still very much there and are quickly followed by a powerful hit of aniseed and cracked black pepper.

#3       THE FINISH

Coriander, a hint of lemongrass and even a tiny notion of bitter cacao.

If you’ve tried Gin Lane 1751, tell us what you thought on Twitter @the_gin_club.

The Perfect Serve

We tried it in a classic G&T with lemon, a Negroni, a dirty martini and then we also tried it again as a G&T with coriander and chilli. We felt this London Dry suited the savoury servings most and the simple garnish of chilli and coriander helped to compliment some of the natural punch in this gin.

Price:             £22.99

ABV:              47%

Our rating:     6/10

Where to Buy It

At TheDrinkShop.com (£22.99), here.

At MasterOfMalt.com (£22.99), here.

As Selfridges (£26.99), here.

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Gin Joints

Drink here: The Viaduct Tavern, EC1

As the last Victorian Gin Palace standing in London,we couldn’t resist investigating and imbibing the gins on offer at The Viaduct Tavern. Located near St. Paul’s, in the heart of the City, this glorious pub is perfectly placed for an after-work or lunchtime gin.
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Image copyright to The Viaduct Tavern (kindly borrowed from their website)

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Image copyright to The Viaduct Tavern (kindly borrowed from their website)

With a range of craft gins available at the bar, served in delicate coppa glasses with exquisitely chosen garnishes and hand chipped ice that disappears in your drink, Fever Tree tonic… Well, there is little more a gin-lover can ask for of a gin joint.
The venue itself is steeped in history – formerly a jail, the historic pub still has five cells in the basement (so no fighting over the gin, then!). With original features throughout including scalloped chandeliers, ruby red relief ceilings and rich, copper tables – it lives up to its “gin palace” status without a sniff of pretentiousness.
The ambiance is laid back and intimate – the absence of pop music and bright lights making it a refined choice for a meet-up with old friends, colleagues or a relaxed date.
A handy booklet/ menu takes you through a gin flavour wheel, signature serves and the tasting menus – comprehensively compiled, but far less engaging than the wonderful bar staff who are ready with well informed, polite suggestions, when asked.
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Monkey47 and lemon twist. Image copyright The Gin Club.

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Hoxton gin with red grapefruit. Image copyright The Gin Club.

Alongside the house GinFusion, which was No. 3 infused with apple and pear, we also enjoyed several fantastic gins,
including:
  • Martin Miller’s
  • Chase Williams
  • Hoxton
  • Bath Tub Navy Strength
  • Monkey47
  • Hayman’s Old Tom
  • Gin Mare
  • Bloom
  • No. 3
  • Distillery 209
…as well as all the usual gin suspects and other spirits and alcohol for any in the party not drinking Gods good nectar.
The favourite of the night was difficult to choose (so many of our favourites were on the menu!) however the Martin Miller‘s garnished with coriander and cherry tomato made for a refreshing serve, whilst the Hoxton served with red grapefruit was suprising – our first try of the coconut and perfumed aromas and flavours in this unusual gin.
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Left to right: Bloom & Strawberry, Old Tom & pear, Gin Mare with basil & tomato, Chase Williams with pear.

The only crying shame of it all was last orders around were at 11pm when the bar became noticeably empty – the giant ice block had disappeared, the homemade ginfusion drunk and a fresh batch prepared for the next day.
All in all, we loved The Viaduct Tavern and look forward to our next visit. Highly recommended, 4 junipers out of 5!
If you’ve been, we’d love to hear what you thought – tweet us.
Follow The Viaduct Tavern on Twitter.
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