7 Old Tom Gins Sweetened To PURRfection


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Old Tom gin is making a comeback as bartenders (and cocktail lovers) are rediscovering the unique flavour profile that this style of gin offers. The best Old Tom gins deliver a sweeter, smoother experience yet retain the fresh juniper kick every gin lover craves.

Interestingly, Old Tom was the predominant style of gin during the 18th century, way before the London dry style that we know today. A sweeter flavour characterises it, often achieved with the addition of sugar cane.

If you want a smoother gin experience, then Old Tom gin is the way to go. It’s similar to Dutch Genever and perfect for making cocktails and a great way to enjoy a G&T if you’re not a fan of the traditional London dry.

7 Best Old Tom Style Gins

The best Old Tom gins bring added sweetness to crisp juniper, citrus peel, exotic spices and other botanicals. Here are 7 Old Tom’s to consider.

1. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin

Hayman's Old Tom Gin
Credit: Hayman’s

Overview

  • Distiller: Hayman Distillers
  • ABV: 41.4% (82.8 Proof)
  • Country: England
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is a well-balanced gin that is sweeter than a London Dry and certainly has smoother edges. The Hayman family has been making gin for over 150 years, and they continue to use traditional methods to produce their spirits. 

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is made with juniper, coriander, citrus peel, plus other secret botanicals and spice. This gin is distilled using traditional copper pot stills and bottled at 40% ABV.

On The Nose

Fresh aromas of juniper and citrus peel. There are also floral and spicy undertones.

On The Palate

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is smooth and slightly sweet with flavours of juniper, citrus fruits, and mild spices. With a lingering sweetness, the finish is long and enjoyable. 

Best Served

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin can be enjoyed on the rocks with quality tonic water. Also, I would recommend this gin as the base for classic cocktails such as the Tom Collins and Gin Fizz.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Cotswolds Old Tom Gin

Cotswolds Old Tom Gin
Credit: Cotswolds

Overview

  • Distiller: Cotswolds
  • ABV: 42% (84 Proof)
  • Country: England
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Cotswolds Old Tom Gin is produced in England’s Cotswolds region and made using traditional botanicals dating back to the 18th century. The gin is distilled using a pot still and is then aged for a minimum of six months in oak barrels.

Made from a blend of several botanicals, including; juniper, basil, orange peel, and liquorice root. A cheeky splash of sugar syrup ensures the Old Tom flavour profile. An excellent gin for complete beginners and veterans alike.

On The Nose

Cotswolds Old Tom Gin has a strong juniper aroma with citrus and floral notes. 

On The Palate

Crisp juniper and sweet candied orange peel on the opening. Mid-palate reveals hints of soft ginger and herbs that lead to a slightly sweet finish. 

Best Served

Pair this gin with a splash of tonic water over ice with a slice of orange to garnish. It would also make a smooth Tom Collins or any gin cocktail you care to think of.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Langley’s Old Tom Gin

Langley's Old Tom Gin
Credit: Langley’s

Overview

  • Distiller: Langley’s
  • ABV: 47% (94 Proof)
  • Country: England
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Langley’s Old Tom Gin is an adapted version of their excellent London dry gin that was first produced in 2011. This relative newcomer ensures their handcrafted gin is distilled in small batches using only the finest botanicals.

Langley’s Old Tom Gin includes juniper, coriander seeds, angelica root, lemon & orange peels. This gin is then aged in oak casks for a minimum of six months.

On The Nose

A strong juniper aroma with citrus, floral notes and a touch of pepper and wood.

On The Palate

Nicely balanced with crisp juniper, semi-sweet citrus peel, and floral notes, plus I could get some berry mid-palate. A slight sweetness, perhaps from Orris root, lingers on the finish. 

Best Served

Langley’s Old Tom Gin is smooth and flavoursome to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, with tonic, or mixed in cocktails such as the classic Martini or Negroni.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Porters Tropical Old Tom Gin

Porters Tropical Old Tom Gin
Credit: Porter’s

Overview

  • Distiller: Langstane
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Scotland
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Porter’s Gin distillery is the culmination of three friends, a basement in Scotland and the idea of building their own vacuum still to create gin. Not a terrible place to start for a Scottish Gin!

Porters Tropical Old Tom is an unusual interpretation of the classic Old Tom recipe. The addition of tropical fruits to achieve the desired Old Tom sweetness is genius, in my humble opinion.

On The Nose

Crisp juniper berries, citrus peel and sweet tropical fruits. 

On The Palate

The taste is smooth with light juniper and citrus peel sweetened with passion fruit and guava and a slight spiciness from white tea. The finish is gently sweetened, and tropical yet retains juniper crispness.

Best Served

Porter’s Tropical Old Tom Gin is best served long, with tonic and plenty of ice. I would also add a slice of citrus fruit and a sprig of mint to garnish.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Greenhook Ginsmiths Old Tom Gin

Greenhook Ginsmiths Old Tom Gin
Credit: Greenhook Ginsmiths

Overview

  • Distiller: Greenhook Ginsmiths
  • ABV: 51% (102 Proof)
  • Country: United States
  • Colour: Pale Gold

Review

Greenhook Ginsmiths Old Tom Gin is a modern take on the classic Old Tom recipe. This American distiller makes its gin from pot-distilled corn, juniper, and other traditional botanicals such as coriander seeds and citrus peel.

The gin is aged for two years in ex-bourbon casks, then finished in Oloroso Sherry casks. This gives the gin a smooth, mellow flavour with hints of vanilla and caramel. At 51% ABV, it gives Navy Strength Gin a run for its money.

On The Nose

Aromas of fresh juniper, zesty citrus, and caramel sweetness. 

On The Palate

Crisp juniper and citrus peel upfront, with sweeter flavours of vanilla and caramel mid-palate. The finish is well-rounded, smooth and nicely sweet with a touch of lingering spice. 

Best Served

Greenhook Ginsmiths Old Tom Gin is best enjoyed as a flavoursome gin & tonic. Additionally, it’s a superb complement to cocktails such as Martini’s as the 50% ABV can stand on its own two feet.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin

Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin
Credit: Gin Lane 1751

Overview

  • Distiller: Gin Lane 1751
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: England
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin is a lighter version of their London dry gin made in the Old Tom style. The small batch gin uses 8 botanicals, including juniper, star anise, orange & lemon peel and refined sugar cane.

By increasing the star anise and including refined sugar cane, this gin becomes ultra smooth and easily drinkable, so much so that you could sip this one neat.

On The Nose

Intense aromas of juniper, citrus and sweet star anise. There are also hints of floral and herbal notes.

On The Palate

Initially smooth on the palate with a slightly sweet taste of star anise. The juniper and citrus flavours seem to come in a little later. A nice long finish with a hint of spice and sweetness.

Best Served

Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom can be enjoyed on the rocks with any quality Indian tonic water. Also, it’s ideal for cocktails such as the Tom Cat or Tom Collins.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. Purity Nordic Old Tom Organic Gin

Purity Nordic Old Tom Organic Gin
Credit: Purity Gin

Overview

  • Distiller: Purity Gin
  • ABV: 43% (86 Proof)
  • Country: Sweden
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Purity Nordic Old Tom Organic Gin is a Swedish gin made by the Purity Distillery, which takes distilling to another level. For smoothness, this gin is distilled an incredible 34 times (even to me, that sounds a lot!)

This gin is made with various botanicals, including organic juniper berries, basil, thyme and Nordic lingonberries. The use of organic sugar cane ensures the necessary sweetness of the Old Tom recipe is achieved. 

On The Nose

Lavender, cardamom, mild berries and sugar cane.

On The Palate

Initially, a citrus and crisp juniper combo leads to herb notes of basil and thyme mid-palate. The finish maintains lingering juniper mingle with the sweetness of berries and sugar cane.

Best Served

Purity Nordic Old Tom Organic Gin can be paired with Indian tonic water and garnished with red peppercorns and a lemon wedge to create a feisty Red Pepper Gin & Tonic.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Andrew’s Top Pick

best Old Tom gin

Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin

My top pick is Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin because it has just the right balance of sweetness, juniper, citrus and spice that a proper Old Tom should.

Old Tom Gin Q&A

Old Tom Gin Q&A

What Is Old Tom Gin?

Old Tom gin was a popular type of gin enjoyed during the 18th century. Traditional gin botanicals such as juniper, citrus and spices are infused into a neutral spirit to create it. The resulting spirit is then distilled and often sweetened with sugar.

How Did Old Tom Gin Get Its Name?

The name Old Tom refers to black cat signs hung on the outside walls of some English pubs during a time of increased taxation on gin. The story has it that thirsty patrons could get a secret shot of gin from a tube leading between the pub and the cat’s paw. Cheeky!

How Is Old Tom Gin Different From Normal Gin?

Unlike traditional gins such as the London Dry, Old Tom gin usually has sugar cane added for a sweeter and smoother gin experience. Several Old Tom gins are also aged before bottling to further mellow the taste profile. Old Tom is slightly less sweet than Dutch Genever.

Conclusion

There are plenty of great Old Tom gins on the market, and these seven are some of the best Old Tom gins I have come across. It is worth remembering that Old Tom gin is typically sweeter than other gin types, such as London Dry, so ideal if you prefer your gin to be less harsh or dry.

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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