- Jonathan Winters
Liverpool Gin Review
A gin from Liverpool that is worth knowing.
Review Liverpool Gin
Made in: Liverpool, England by The Liverpool Gin distillery
Method: Carterhead Still - Copper Pot Still
43% alcohol/86 proof
Botanicals 8: Juniper, angelica root, coriander seed, orange zest, lemon zest, licorice, cardamom, cassia.
Style: London Dry
Another bottle of gin that found its way into my lair was a gift from a friend of mine from Liverpool who has periodically dropped off some Liverpool gins for my enjoyment. As a professional barman he usually knows his stuff so in general I look forward to the bottles he tends to drop off for me.
No surprise, this one is another gin from Liverpool, and while the bottle says quite clearly “Liverpool 1207”, the date refers to the founding of the city, not the gin or the distillery where it has been made. The gin itself was created in 2012, but only started to be produced on site at the Liverpool Gin Distillery when it opened in 2018. There they produce 4 gins on site in a 600L still which is a modern version of the Carterhead still.
But their distillery isn’t just a place of manufacture, but a tasting room of the world featuring a gin bar with 40 plus gins, a Dark Spirits bar with over 100 whiskeys and 60 rums all available for tasting. But what gin aficionados might find most intriguing is that they have 32 miniature stills downstairs on the first floor where they have gin making classes and where you can distill your own personal gin. Sure sounds like fun to me!
Anyhow, since I can’t tell you a lot more about the story of the gin, let’s talk about the gin itself. The botanical bill is pure classic London dry, much like Beefeater, Gordons, or Tanqueray, so that is much of what I expected in terms of flavor.
So let’s crack this bottle and find out what’s inside.
My initial impression of the taste is light, almost subtle in its flavorings. But subtle might not be so much the right word as delicate. It’s got a some ethanol bite, but it’s clearly a gin with something to say. While it doesn’t seem overly complex, it’s pleasant and mellow and far too easy drinking to seem quite safe.
Cracking the bottle you get a strong whiff of citrus, juniper, angelica, and a lingering unexpected earthy mushroom type of scent.
On the palate the initial taste is pure classic. Juniper forward with angelica, citrus, cardamom, and coriander leading the charge with a good note of cinnamon from the cassia as well as faint traces of licorice in the finish. It reminds me a lot of Plymouth, though a bit more subtle.
Very dry, and ethereal on the tongue, almost as if you aren’t quite sure it’s gone.
With its classic flavor profile this is destined to be a good mixing gin.
The only defect I found with this in a gin and tonic, is that perhaps it was a bit too subdued flavorwise. It mixed well with every tonic I tried it with and made a very solid gin and tonic - although it wanted a touch more citrus than I typically add to a G & T.
With a martini, again think classic. If you imagine Gordons, or Gilbey’s you’ll have nailed the flavor profile, although again perhaps a bit more gentle. The juniper certainly stands up, as does the citrus, but I found many of the secondary botanicals weren't quite as well defined. It’s certainly solid, but not outstanding as a martini gin.
It’s hard to imagine a gn with this much of a London dry flavor profile would not be an excellent mixer in more complex cocktails, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It mixes just like a classic gin, although perhaps it has some subtleties when compared to stronger flavored gins like Tanqueray or Bombay. It was, as expected, good in all of the drinks I tried it in - a Last Word, and Basil Gin Smash. And it should be good in just about any cocktail that asks for a classic style gin.
This gin is a good solid gin, more of a typical London dry than anything else. It’s not an outstanding sipper, or an outstanding mixer, BUT you wouldn’t be disappointed to use it as the backbone for any classic gin cocktail. It’s a rock solid gin that is a workhorse however you use it.
Rating (Sipping): 78 - It's solid, but not extraordinary.
Rating (Mixing) 86 - This is an ideal gin for mixing. It has the flavor profile called for in most recipes, has good quality, and a more than fair price point. It’s a nice escape from the big brands.
Overall rating: 82 - A workhorse type gin that won’t disappoint.
What you need to know about my reviews: All my reviews are my honest opinions based upon my own personal tasting. I am NOT a paid reviewer, and no compensation was given, or expected. I may from time to time choose to do a second review and amend my opinion of a product, should I feel like it and find my review criteria has evolved, or that I’ve found it different at a later date. That said, as I’m unlikely to repurchase anything I thought was less than very good to excellent, it would be by chance or at the request of a distiller who thought I rated them very unfairly - BUT even then, whatever you get will always be my honest opinion.