Langley’s was a well-known brand in 19th-century England, but it fell into oblivion over time. In 2011 in London, two Mark named friends decided to start making gin and asked the Langley’s family to use their name on the product. This was agreed and it took a couple of years before Langley’s gin was on the market again. Traditional dry gin was their first product, the Old Tom version followed in 2016. Eight different herbs have been used on it, including juniper berry, fennel, lemon peel, coriander, tangerine and nutmeg. In 2021, the Langley’s brand was sold and the products were rebranded. Around that time, a couple of new gins were also released in the product family. Langley’s products are very rare in the Baltic countries and this single Old Tom is the only one I have found in Estonia. It was actually the first Old Tom Gin I had come across. A 70 cl bottle cost €20.
The nose is spicy and mellow. It has the sweetness of tangerine and the aromatics of nutmeg and coriander. The juniper berry takes a bit of a back seat. The taste is sweet and quite sharp, the 47% strength is clearly felt. When sipped neat, there is a bit too much sharpness and it clearly needs something to add. A small dose of water emphasizes the initial sweetness, but the spiciness and citrus nuances are still well present. In the taste, the juniper berry already gets more space and it takes at least the same role as coriander and other spices. By adding water to a 1:1 ratio, Langley’s Old Tom starts to be quite pleasant to sip. The spiciness keeps on rolling and there is enough sweetness so you can make a drink just with sparkling water and ice.
I have no previous experience with Old Tom gins, so I cannot compare this with similar products from other manufacturers. Compared to traditional London Dry gins, Langley’s is slightly sweeter, but also clearly spicier than most traditional gins. Maybe this is also due to the higher-than-normal alcohol level. There is very little citrus in the product, mostly just the spicy aromas of juniper berries, coriander and nutmeg. The taste is not so fresh in that sense. The sweetness is not any overpowering. Old Tom works in cocktails just like other gins. Maybe you can’t make a super dry Dry Martini out of it. Langley’s Old Tom is a very competent and high-quality product.
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Where to obtain?
Difficult to say, depends on which country you live in. In the Baltic countries, it has only been seen in one store. I guess it is best sold in the UK