A Guide to the Different Types of Gin
Boothstown Gin Blog

A Guide to the Different Types of Gin

by John Whitlow on Jul 05, 2023

Hi there, gin lovers!

Today I'm going to talk about the different styles of gin in the UK and how they came to be. Gin is one of the most popular spirits in the world, and it has a rich and fascinating history that spans centuries and continents. But did you know that there are several distinct types of gin that originated in the UK, each with its own flavour profile and production method? Let's take a look at some of them and see what makes them unique.

Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin Cat

Old Tom Gin is a slightly sweetened style of gin that was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is often considered the missing link between the harsher Dutch genever and the modern London Dry Gin. Old Tom Gin was named after a wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an old tom) that was mounted on the wall of some pubs in London. Customers would deposit a coin in the cat's mouth and receive a shot of gin from a tube under the cat's paw. Old Tom Gin is typically made with malted barley and has a fuller body and a sweeter taste than London Dry Gin. It is great for cocktails like the Tom Collins, the Martinez and the Ramos Gin Fizz.

London Dry Gin

London Dry Gin is the most common and widely available style of gin today. It is not necessarily made in London, but rather refers to a set of production standards that ensure a high quality and consistent product. London Dry Gin is made with neutral grain spirit and distilled with botanicals such as juniper, coriander, citrus peel, angelica root and others. The botanicals are added during the final distillation and no artificial flavourings or colourings are allowed. London Dry Gin has a crisp, dry and juniper-forward taste that makes it ideal for classic cocktails like the Gin and Tonic, the Negroni and the Martini.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin Bottle on a Beach

Plymouth Gin is a style of gin that is geographically protected, meaning that it can only be made in Plymouth, England. It has been produced by the Black Friars Distillery since 1793, making it the oldest working gin distillery in England. Plymouth Gin is similar to London Dry Gin, but has a slightly softer and more earthy flavour due to the use of more root botanicals such as orris root and cardamom. Plymouth Gin is also less dry than London Dry Gin, as it has a higher proportion of sweet botanicals like orange peel and liquorice. Plymouth Gin is perfect for cocktails like the Gimlet, the Pink Gin and the White Lady.

Warrington's Gin History

Old Photo of the Greenhalls delivery van

Warrington is a town in Cheshire, England, that has a strong connection to the gin movement in the UK. It is the birthplace of Thomas Dakin, who founded one of the first commercial gin distilleries in England in 1761. Dakin was a pioneer of gin making, as he used a new technique of vapour infusion to extract the flavours from the botanicals. He also introduced new botanicals such as red cole (horseradish) and savoury (a herb) to create a distinctive and smooth gin. Dakin's distillery was later taken over by G&J Greenall, who continued to produce gin under his name until 2015. G&J Greenall is still one of the largest gin producers in the UK, making brands such as Greenall's, Bloom and Opihr.

So there you have it, a brief overview of some of the different styles of gin in the UK and how they relate to Warrington's gin history. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new about this wonderful spirit.