Time for Old Tom

I am an inveterate gin dabbler but I have two glaring historical holes in my learning, Genever and Old Tom. Finally, thanks to Barkeeper in Virgil Village in L.A., I have ticked the latter from my to-do list.

I picked up the beautifully attired Hayman’s Old Tom.

As the English distillery describes it, “Today it’s a less familiar style of gin, but it is still a bartender’s favourite when making cocktails such as the Martinez, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz. The generous quantities of botanicals used in our family recipe create a bold citrus and juniper pine character that is smooth and beautifully delicate with a subtle underlying sweetness.”

The nose of this is quite hot. Clears the mind and the sinus for sure. Once past that, this is a delightful gin. Super smooth and quite perfumey. Not getting citrus but there is a slight bit of lavender that is great. For me, this is one of the very few gins that I could drink straight. But I think it would make a really nice martini.


As a born and raised Portlander and a Gin fan, this new milestone release from Ecliptic Brewing is doubly up my alley.

This is Batch 5000 and it will be a golden BarleyWine ale aged in Old Tom Gin barrels and will reach 13% ABV. Maybe we will see this in L.A.

Iconic British Beers reviewed

I was expecting a certain flavor profile from these two standards and award winning beers from England but I was surprised by how they did not conform to my pre-conceived standards.

Worthington’s White Shield the older of the two. 1744 being it’s start date had a tinny apple aroma. It poured a pretty if standard orange color. Being a CAMRA award winner, according to the label, I expected something that I didn’t get. Maybe MolsonCoors has dumbed it down but it was light though it did have the musty British ale taste. It was also quite minerally as if the water was the star of the show and not the malt or yeast.

Old Tom was the tastier of the two. (My other beer taster enjoyed this as smoother and maltier). I agreed. It had an apple cider aroma and was smooth and a touch viscous. I got some anise notes in there as well. It was the more complex of the two with a touch of barrel agedness to it.

I would suggest grabbing the Old Tom’s first. It will challenge your opinion of British beer and make you yearn to taste it on cask i.e. real ale form.