For many people 2017 has been an Annus Horriblis, however on the plus side it has been a bumper year for gin. Perhaps the two events are related. Keen to cash in on this boom, many supermarkets have launched or re-launched their own brand gin products. German supermarket Penny is no-exception and is hoping to ride the, ahem, “Gin-Tsunami”with it’s own-brand Orson’s London Dry Gin. Note the apostrophe here. This gin was either created, made or drunk by Orson. Sadly, dear reader, we never get to find out who Orson was, or his/her role in this gin. Clearly the Penny need to get in a “Backstory Writer“. At least they marketing department have made a decent fist of the bottle, going for the classical apothecary’s brown jar look. Perhaps it’s an homage to the incredibly wonderful Monkey 47 Gin, which comes in a similar brown jar.
Day or Night Gin ? It weighs in at 42% abv. so keep it for the evenings.
What does it smell of ? It’s coming up all like a well-maintained herb garden, but with a wiff of citrusy lemon. Not a bad start really.
What’s it taste of ? Taken neat it has a strong juniper taste, which helps to over-ride the petrol taste from the alcohol. There’s certainly a lime taste and there’s probably some angelica in there struggling to get out. I tried the Orson’s as a classic gin and tonic 1:2 with Fevertree Indian Tonic Water, ice and a slice of lemon. To provide some competition I tried it against both the Norwegian Harahorn Gin and the Lidl house-brand Schwarzwald Dry Gin. I found the Orson’s struggled to express itself in G&T, not able to either control the tonic taste or leave me with the characteristic bitter aftertaste. On the plus side, my two co-tasters (wife/daughter) found it OK, bit nothing special.
Buy it ? As you would expect it’s available from the Penny, either in-store or via their online store. Normal price is €6.99 for 50cl, although occasionally you will see it discounted.
Overall ? 2 out of 5 It’s not a bad gin, but if you are looking for a budget supermarket gin you can do better with either the Lidl Schwarzwald Gin, or my favourite, the REWE Diamond of Marrakesh London Dry Gin.