Origin: Manchester, England
Style: Juniper forward
Thomas Dakin could be considered one of the founding forefathers of modern gin, truly an entrepreneur and pioneer, setting up the Bridge Street Distillery in Warrington at the tender age of 25 at a time when the quality of most gin was dire.
In 1761 Warrington lay midway between the industrial city of Manchester and the port of Liverpool and herein lay the business agility of Dakin, seizing upon the opportunity to found a gin dynasty in the same year that the Bridgewater Canal linking all three industrial centres was built. Fortuitous or genius?
Whichever, his business thrived and some 50 years later, his daughter-in-law- Margaret took up the baton to become the world’s first female distiller. A pioneer in her own way by being one of the first distillers in the 1830s to use the newly developed Coffey continuous still.
Around a hundred years after the distillery was first founded, it was bought out by the Greenall family and that is where it resides today, still in Warrington, with one of the largest gin producers in the world. In 2006 Joanne Moore, Head Distiller at Greenalls, set about developing a recipe with red cole (horseradish!) as its star botanical and this became the Thomas Dakin gin.
Today Thomas Dakin is to have its own new distillery and visitor centre set to open in the heart of Manchester.
Juniper, orange peel, English coriander, angelica, grapefruit, cubebs, liquorice root, red cole (horseradish).
On the nose, Thomas Dakin gin is bright fresh juniper with sweet citrus.
To taste the juniper and citrus are upfront with liquorice root following sweetly behind. A slight perfumed sourness of the cubebs augments the juniper. This gin has a warm bite to it that lasts well into the finish, but is this the horseradish? Hard to tell.
There is a good ratio of juniper in the botanicals, a harmonious blend that is a pleasure to drink. If you like your juniper to come out of the glass to find you then this is the gin for you.
With plain premium tonic and orange peel, Thomas Dakin gin makes a cracking gin and tonic, or Tom and Tonic, and that is where its talents lie, not really in some fancy, itsy bitsy cocktail.
To buy a bottle to try for yourself click here.