Saturday, June 22, 2024

Review: Hayman’s Old Tom Gin

May 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews


One of the few (perhaps two at the time of publication) “Old Tom” gins with reasonable availability in the U.S. market, Hayman’s Old Tom Gin has been made since 2007 using what is supposed to be an old family recipe from the Victorian era. Do not expect anything like the London Dry gins you know and love or loathe. This gin, while from the same family tree is but a distant relative, has closer ties to Genever or Holland gin than other gins made in or near London.

Nose: this is softer than many gins, with floral notes including lime blossom, rosemary, a bit of juniper, thyme, cardamom, lemon peel and a touch of lemon grass. There’s only light alcohol on the nose.

Taste: It has a silky smooth texture that is grainy and malty and almost honey sweet, with warming cardamom and coriander, and some cinnamon. Like most gins it has traces of citrus, and a little juniper, but much less than more typical (i.e., non-Old Tom) gins. Quite unlike those other gins, Hayman’s Old Tom has noticeable fruit flavors, such as banana, mango, and pear.

Finish: The spices linger, as do the pear, mango, and banana. Citrus, especially lime, and rosemary and juniper grow in spiciness and then fade as the overall taste turns more toward honey, malt, and salt.

This is a unique gin these days, and allows a fantastic departure from the use, and abuse, of London Dry gin in classic pre-Prohibition cocktail recipes. Try it in a Martinez, or a Tom Collins, or really most anything from the Savoy Cocktail Book or earlier, to see how those cocktails may have tasted back in the day.

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, (Hayman Distillers, London, England) 80 proof $26


One Response to “Review: Hayman’s Old Tom Gin”
  1. covotro says:

    Where would you find Old Tom Gin in Portland? My understanding is that it is rather rare in the states