In 1836, as he loitered in the bars of London, Charles Dickens marvelled at “the ingenuity employed to give sobriquets to gin, with one term more seductive than the next, to describe it in multiple ways.” “No Mistake” is one of the nicknames Dickens noted and it seemed appropriate for our Old Tom, which we created in honour of this superb elixir.
Alexandre Gabriel’s challenge was to set it in context by starting from a base of a popular gin of the 19th century. In the course of his frequent travels in the Caribbean, he discovered a marvellous brown sugar, like Demerara, moist and heavy. It was the missing ingredient. This sugar is toasted in copper cauldrons for a first stage of caramelization, then lightly thinned and finally alcoholized.
It is then aged for three to four months in casks. To create his Old Tom, the expertise of the Master Blender consists of supplementing Citadelle Réserve – selected for its floral aspect – with aged sugar, then putting it all back into casks for several months, in order to obtain a perfect blend of all the elements, an ideal integration at 46% alcohol.
Nose: fresh and forceful, the attack reveals juniper, orange zest and cardamom, then it becomes more floral and vegetal, with jasmine and honeysuckle and notes of fennel and cumin, and almost sweet, with coffee.
Mouth: full and elegant, with a sweet and sour profile of preserved lemon zest, génépi, anise and almond, lengthening to spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and cubeb pepper.
Finish: lovely length, floral, spicy and woody, with notes of coriander, violet, angelica, cumin, grains of paradise, and licorice.
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