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Martin Miller's Gin

Martin Miller’s
London Dry Gin


By Robert Plotkin

Martin Miller's London Dry Gin is something of an anachronism. It may currently reside in the 21st century, but its character and production methods are straight out of the early 1900s.

This innovative spirit is produced in Langley, England in a century-old copper pot still built by the preeminent craftsmen at the John Dore & Co lovingly named Angela. The fresh botanicals and aromatics—a proprietary mix comprised of juniper, orange and lemon peels, Florentine iris, coriander, licorice, cinnamon, cassia bark, nutmeg, angelica and orris root— are steeped in neutral grain spirits for up to 12-hours prior to distillation. The pot still slowly, gently elicits the aromatics and essential oils from the botanicals to produce an artisanal spirit with more complex, pronounced flavors, something high-tech continuous stills are less able to achieve.

After distillation is when things get really interesting. The gin is carefully transferred onboard ships and sailed 3,000 miles through the North Sea and North Atlantic to the west coast of Iceland. It's then taken to the remote village of Borganes, source of the famed Selyri Spring. The glacier-fed water—considered among the purest and softest on earth—is used to reduce the London dry gin to its bottled strength of 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof). They are extraordinary lengths that yield extraordinary results.

Super-premium Martin Miller's is a feast for the senses. The crystal clear gin has a silky lightweight body and a fresh wafting bouquet laced with the crisp aromas of citrus zest, spice, jasmine and subtle juniper notes. On the whole it's rather invigorating. The palate presents itself immediately, filling the mouth with an extravaganza of flavors ranging from spicy anise and black pepper to juniper berries and fresh lemons and oranges. The finish is warm and satisfying.

Those looking for a London dry gin brimming with vitality and steeped in tradition need look no further than Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength. Presented at a slightly more concentrated 45.2% alcohol by volume (90.4 proof), the award-winning gin has a soft, light body with more citrus and juniper on the nose, which as would be to be expected, produces some alcohol-induced tingle on the tongue. It delivers the same brilliant display of flavors as the lower proof version and generates noticeably more warmth on the finish. It's a genuine treat in all respects.

Both expressions of Martin Miller's London Dry Gin have sufficient vigor and vitality to handle any cocktail assignment behind the bar. Their engaging personalities make them ideally cast in Martinis, while their pronounced flavors shine when mixed with tonic and lime.

Martin Miller's London Dry Gin well deserves its critical acclaim.