When I was asked if I would like to try some No.3 London Dry Gin for review here on my blog, I really didn’t have to give much thought as you can imagine, although I did worry for a minute that rumours of my #ginoclock habits had spread far and wide..!
A certain number looms large in everything to do with No.3 London Dry Gin from Berry Brothers & Rudd , Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchants. From the fact that it is named after Berry Brothers’ home No.3 St. James’s Street and the merchant’s 3 centuries of heritage, through to its use of just 3 fruits and 3 spices (the ‘botanicals’ which flavour every gin), the significance of the number to this premium gin is inescapable. In fact, though purely by coincidence, even the team of outside experts who Berry Brothers gathered to help create the gin was composed of 3 men and 3 women.
The very first thing that struck me before I even got to taste it was just how beautifully packaged it was. I know that might sound irrelevant to a review of a drink but it really is that beautiful that I couldn’t not mention it. The keyhole shaped hole on the box draws you in and it was wrapped in white tissue paper patterned with the old street map of its home at No.3 St James’s Street. The bottle itself is just gorgeous and has a key set into the glass. Setting off the outstanding look of the bottle is a traditional cork stopper which makes a really pleasing deep ‘pop’ sound as you ease it open.
Led by the holder of the world’s only PhD in gin flavour, Dr. David Clutton, the team deliberately set out to make No.3 taste ‘as gin should’ – without the use of an excessive amount of ingredients and distilled in traditional copper pot stills without any over-elaboration. So, with classic simplicity the goal, the experts placed a robust helping of juniper – the key ingredient in any gin – at the heart of No.3. This striking juniper quality was then cleverly complemented by just 5 other fruits and spices; namely, sweet Spanish orange peel, grapefruit peel, Angelica root, Moroccan coriander and, finally, cardamom seeds.
I have to say that the very first thing I noticed when I poured the gin was the amazing aroma. The smell of the juniper was just outstanding although not at all overwhelming to taste. It made for a perfect Gin and Tonic was perfectly crisp and refreshing. It really is a superior gin and whilst I don’t begin to claim to be an expert taster, I have tasted rather a lot of gin over the years and boy do I know a good G&T when I taste one! I have to say though that it really came into its own in a Classic Dry Martini – I kept it simple with extra dry vermouth, No.3 gin and lemon. It was perfection in a cocktail glass.
No.3 is now available at Waitrose stores nationwide and with an RRP of £33.65 for a 70cl bottle, it probably is quite steep for an everyday tipple but it really is an outstanding gin and I think it would definitely be worth the splurge as a special treat. It really does live up to its reputation of being a super premium gin and I know I for one will be bolstering their profits this Christmas! Bottoms up 😉