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Jun 28, 2006 03:40 AM

plymouth gin

anyone have any musings about plymouth gin? i read a while ago that it is a very old distillery in england that went out of business and was revived a few years ago. i remember something about them using rain water in the distilling process. i have asked for it in many bars but have not had any luck finding any. i am a bombay saphire and beefeater fan and wonder how plymouth stacks up.

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  1. I think that Plymouth is one of the two best gins out there. I am usually into aromatic gins full of botanicals, Plymouth doesn't have that great big slam but is lighter. I see it in bars that have large gin selections. When it was first re-released it was generally inexpensive at under $15 a liter. Now it has increased up to $35+ a bottle in NY unless you find a sale. I always pick up a few bottles in New Hampshire when I drive through at around $18 a bottle. It has a more pronounced botanical flavor than Bombay Sapphire and much more so than Beefeater which I find kind of bland. The big thing about it is that it is very smooth and subtle, and has very little bite, with a hint of sweetness and the botanicals give a fruity note with a big aroma. But it's also crisp and dry. Hard to describe but very good. I think it is the gin specified as being used in the original dry martini. They also make a higher proof version called "Navy Strength" but I haven't tried that one yet. I think that style wise Plymouth, which is its own style and the only gin allowed to call itself Plymouth Gin, is a cross between the original old style Genevers/ Holland Gin which is relatively heavy and sweet; and London Dry Gin which is very dry, almost bitter at times and with a bite.

    My other favorite is Hendricks Scottish Gin, a small batch gin which has an enormous flavor of botanicals with rose petals and cucumber besides all the traditional ones like juniper, coriander, and citrus peel. The only problem with Hendricks is that every now and then you run across a harsh bottle that tastes strange, almost rancid. The price has gone up to the $45 a bottle in NY, although it's $19-23 a bottle in New Hampshire.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF

      I would add that because Plymouth is so light, it's better with a smoother cocktail like a Negroni. I think something a bit harsher, like Tanqueray, works better in a gin and tonic.

    2. Plymouth's lightness and botanical flavor have made it one of the best replacements I've found for the sorely missed discontinued Tanqueray Malacca, another light, lower-proof gin with a botanical notes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        I loved Malacca gin where did it go? It was everywhere and my mother was the only person I know who did not care for it. I introduced my (late) martini guzzling father who fell for it immediately. It was the last gin I expected to find in a bar in Bisbee, AZ.

        Sort of like Harvey's Shooting Sherry. Then they changed the name to Harvey's Club Sherry and it disappeared. Luckily I can still find that in London and stock up when there. I have asked several big dealers where it went and they have said they lost their distributor but what is wacky is they all have Harvey's Cream Sherry sitting on the shelf

        1. re: Candy

          For some reason, Tanqueray Malacca maybe 5 years ago? At that time, I'd still sometimes find some in stores, and when I'd see it, I'd buy it. Not for several years, though.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            I know one bar that still has some. d.b.a. in the East Village in NY. They are now charging for one glass what I used to pay for a liter bottle.

      2. Does anyone know how Plymouth compares to Magellan?

        2 Replies
        1. re: dcblanchard

          I liked Magellan when I tried it but thought the blue color was a little gimmicky. Plymouth I think has more complex flavors. I prefer Boodles to either of them.

          1. re: kenito799

            The blue color wasn't a dye or gimmick it was because of one of the botanicals used in making it, Iris Root and Flowers. They originally infused it with the Iris Root and Flowers after distillation which gave it the blue color. Then a few years ago, as a way to mainstream the gin and make it clear they changed the process and added the Iris Root and Flowers to the distillation process which kept it clear, but changed the flavor profile. They are currently reviving it with the original formula and it will be blue again and in stores by the fall.

        2. bombay is good (not the fancy stuff). boodles is very good.
          i like my gin with a splash of tonic (raffle's gets it) or an olive and whisper of vermouth, straight up, cold as the heart of the witch of endor.