Winchester Distillery is launching its interpretation of an authentic Old Tom gin, a style that was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Old Tom Gin initially came about after the creation of genever but before lighter, purer dry gin. It is frequently used as the base of classic cocktails such as the Tom Collins and the Martinez.
To create the expression, Paul and Dom of Winchester Distillery pot-distil six traditional botanicals, including juniper berries, liquorice root, coriander seed, bitter orange peel, angelica root and calamus root, with a 96% ABV spirit. This is then blended with a malt spirit created at the distillery.
The elevated levels of liquorice root in the botanical mix is said to create an earthy, sweeter-tasting spirit, typical of the Old Tom style.
Historically, Old Tom was transported in, and served directly from, a barrel. To emulate this “woody character”, Winchester Distillery res the spirit in lightly toasted French oak casks before bottling.
Winchester Distillery’s 40% ABV Hampshire Fine Old Tom Gin is available from the first week of February.