An impressive-looking premium gin from famous wine and spirits merchants Berry Bros & Rudd, No. 3 London Dry is distilled in copper pot stills at De Kuyper in the Netherlands, counts cardamom seeds and grapefruit peel among its botanicals, and has been bottled at an invigorating 46%.
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I was eager to review No 3 London Dry Gin for no other reason than my previous experience with the London Drys such as Tanqueray with which I’m thoroughly familiar. Thankfully, this one is an improvement on those classics, but I don’t go as far as saying this comes close to making the grade.
Before we really get started, I’m going to state for the record that I genuinely love a good London Dry and seldom come across anything that’s not up to the high standard of my favourite, Beefeater.
On the palate, No.3 Gin is full bodied but not harsh. It is warming, has an excellent mouth-feel, a long, bitter/sweetish finish with the grapefruit really shining through, and an alcoholic heat that’s not too uncomfortable on its own or in a cocktail.
With a soft, sweet profile, No.3 Gin is approachable, with several of the notes mentioned during the tasting process also being noted in the aroma but, at the same time, it is different and unique. There are no overpowering botanicals, no unpleasant after taste, no attack of juniper, although that’s not to say it doesn’t have enough characteristics to make it worth trying. In other words, this is no classic.
So I really don’t understand how this is described as a gin made for gin and tonics and I personally wouldn’t want to be put off this quality item if I were drinking it in a cocktail.
If I were in a bar and ordered a gin and tonic I would expect a gin and tonic and for that gin to taste like a classic London Dry.
As a result of my thinking, I just can’t warm to this one. It’s too good a quality gin to be so easily dismissed and, if it wasn’t for the fact that I really wanted to write a positive review, I’d probably just describe it as good and leave it at that.
Another disappointment for me is the packaging. I’m a stickler when it comes to appearance and presentation and the cheap screw top bottle and labelling on this premium gin left me underwhelmed. And the website: www.no3gin.com leaves a lot to be desired. It looks like something that went live before seeing an actual designer.
No 3 Gin is smooth, middle-of-the-road, medium-dry and very easy on the eye. It looks as good in the glass as it tastes and has that je ne sais quoi that puts it above all the other mid-range gins.
In its class it’s an excellent product and a perfectly decent alternative to the likes of Tanqueray 10 or Gordon’s Gin (the bastards but don’t stare at me, please) but I really think some of the marketing behind this product is over-egged.
If you are someone who likes to stand out from the crowd and support a product that’s truly individual and exceptional, there are many others to choose from, especially at this price, but for those wanting to invest in something that’s middle of the road, but still a bit special, I’d say No 3 London Dry Gin fits the bill.
If you’re a gin and tonic drinker then stick with the old favourites that you and your friends know and love; if you like a Negroni you’ll probably appreciate this but if you like a martini or a dry gin fizz (my favourites) you wouldn’t want to mix this with much else.
Pointless adding this one to you shopping basket, but that said, if you do like it as much as I do, I bet you’ll still buy another bottle or two.