March 17, 2007

Old, new English gins

Bill Dowd photo

Two of the cutting-edge gins today are at opposite ends of the longevity spectrum. Plymouth has perhaps the oldest extant commercial recipe and has been around for two centuries. Martin Miller's, named for the popular English designer, is a newcomer.


A clear, light juniper nose, medium body, and plenty of up-front juniper with a spicy finish. It was the official gin of the Royal Navy when such designations existed. In its new bottle and label design, the ubiquitous sailing ship logo that connects Plymouth to the naval heritage was retained.

Retails for about $26.

Martin Miller's:

A tasty combination of citrus and juniper that reminded me of a stroll in the forest. The bottle traces the manufacturing of the gin, from the small-bitch distillation in England to shipping the distillate to Iceland to be blended with spring water there. A fine addition to an ancient niche.

Retails for about $32.

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