Marlborough Gin describes itself as “a light, dry and subtle distilled gin, produced in a traditional way. It’s smooth taste makes it an ideal base for all gin cocktails“. I must admit I’m not sure if this isn’t a case of damming a gin with faint praise.
The gin itself is a product of Ian Macleod Distillers, a Scottish-based privately-owned drinks business, whose main products are whiskies. As they say themselves, they are “A major supplier to the Buyer’s Own Brand market“. The Marlborough Gin is meant to invoke the famous Dukes of Marlborough, who built the magnificent Blenheim Palace and provided, arguably, Britain’s Greatest Leader, Winston Churchill. The label is a classy red, white and blue affair with a picture of the London skyline, just to remind you it’s a London Dry Gin. On top of this you have a couple of different images of a cavalry officer to emphasise the fighting Duke of Marlborough ambience. However non of that is really important when you are trying to judge a gin. So lets start with the review:
Day or Night Gin ? Well, it’s a mild 37.5% abv gin, so theoretically it’s a day drink, but as the bottle itself suggests it’s suggested as a base for cocktails. Now most of the cocktails I’ve drunk are not the sort of things you want to be drinking during the day, unless you are planning a mid-afternoon nap.
What does it smell of ? I’ll be honest, not too much. Snorting a nose-full of this gin is not something that is going to get you breathalysed. Still there is some juniper in there, as well as some thing citrus.
What does it taste of ? The website lists “juniper berries, coriander seeds and grains of paradise“, so as you would expect it on the spicy side of life. While you may have been hoping to get whisked away to a citrus grove in Provence, you are more to be at the spice shelf in Poundland.
Buy it ? I must admit I had some trouble tracking this one down online. None of the places I would normally look for gin stock it. My own bottle I bought a couple of years ago, I think it was on offer for around €10 for a litre, so fits firmly in our value category.
Overall ? 1/5 There is a good reason that this bottle has hung around for a couple of years here.