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Fifty Pounds London Dry Gin

Fifty Pounds London
Dry Gin


By Robert Plotkin

Fifty Pounds London Dry Gin is such an elegant and sophisticated spirit that it's easy to believe it costs fifty pounds Sterling. Fortunately it doesn't. In actuality, the brand name dates back to the early 18th century and the reign of King George II. Illegal gin production was so rampant that it was adversely affecting public health. In response, the British Parliament enacted the Gin Act of 1736, which levied a tax of fifty pounds on all producers of gin. It was shortly after its enactment that a family of independent London distillers came up with the original recipe for this gin. The recipe was lost for generations, until the descendants of those pioneering master distillers rescued it from oblivion and re-discovered its extraordinary qualities.

Fifty Pounds London Dry Gin is crafted by centuries old Thames Distillers in southeast London. The small batch spirit is made on a foundation of neutral grain spirits distilled four times to ensure its purity. The firm utilizes a still manufactured by the legendary John Dore & Co Limited. The spirits are then steeped for a minimum of 2 days with eleven botanicals and aromatics, 8 of which provide the backbone to scores of venerable brands. That roster includes juniper berries from Croatia, angelica root, coriander from the Middle East, Italian licorice root, Grains of Paradise from African, lemons and oranges from Spain and French herb savoury. The other three botanicals used in its production are a proprietary secret. After distillation, the spirit is allowed to rest for 3 weeks to allow the flavor of the botanicals to fully integrate. The gin is bottled at 43.5% alcohol by volume (87 proof).

Fifty Pounds Gin is a classic in the making. The crystal clear spirit has a light, oily textured body and a generous bouquet of citrus, mint, lavender and juniper pine. Its aromatic mix of herbs, spices, fruits and flowers are balanced with surgical precision. The palate is delectably dry with juniper in the lead followed by spice, pepper, anise and fresh herbs. Its finish is long and thoroughly sublime.

Skillfully crafted Fifty Pounds is best appreciated served with a slight chill by itself or with a measure of fine French vermouth. That said, it is a natural paired with a crisp premium tonic and an ample wedge of lime. Everything about this gin is a bona fide pleasure.