Tanqueray Lovage London Dry Gin Review – The Maggie Smith of Gins ?

You have to feel a little sorry for Tanqueray, the gin brand owned by the drinks-giant Diageo. They have been producing the eponymous gin since Charles Tanqueray came up with a cunning plan in 1830. Their Tanqueray No.10 gin is for some people, including my wife, their favourite gin. These people should probably not be argued with. Even the basic Tanquerey London Dry Gin is a great gin. I have a bottle of it in my stock and am torn between drinking it straight away and waiting until I get time to review it. Tanqueray’s problem is that they aren’t really cool. Their gin is not an artisan gin produced in a 100 liter still called “Daisie” by two bearded hipsters, Ollie and Josh, in an old sheep-shearing shed in Middleton Tyas. I digress.

What Tanqueray have done to broaden their appeal is produce a range of themed gins. The original themed gins werw the limey Rangpur Gin and the sweet and spicy Malacca Gin. This has now been followed by a Flor De Sevilla Gin which, funnily enough, brings a seville orange taste to the fore. A further extension of the range is the Tanqueray Lovage London Dry Gin, which I need to tell you about.

If you, like me, get stuck with lovage, and cannot remember anything other than the Peter Schaffer play “Lettice and Lovage” (which he wrote a a vehicle for Dame Maggie) I can tell you that lovage is a perennial herb, best described as having a “tenacious” aroma similar to celery. In Germany the herb is often referred to as “Maggikraut” referencing the Maggi condiment, a product as quintessentially German as Lederhosen and “Fenster auf kip”.

Now the stage is set, let the drama commence:

Day or Night Gin ? This is a hefty 47% ABV gin, please take your seats for the evening performance.

What does it smell of ? Well, this one is firmly from the herb garden. Think of a mix of celery and angelica.

What does it taste of ? Taken neat it’s only a few spoons of sugar way from the herbal drama of “Krauterlikors” such as Jagermeister, or the rather wonderfully names Aldi-Süd home brand of “Mummelmann”. It packs a mean lovage-themed punch, similar to the celery-seed themed Durham Gin I reviewed long, long ago. You should though, appreciate the quality of gin that Tanqueray produce. It’s a smooth tipple. Like the play though, this gin is designed to showcase the classic G&T. Bear in mind you do need a good tonic to partner this gin. You wouldn’t have the veritable Maggie acting opposite some Hollyoaks wannabe, and you should have this gin with some supermarket-brand tonic. Personally I’d go with something like the Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic, or even their Aromatic Tonic Water.

Buy It ? I found it at my local international-travel retailer and, if you are passing through duty free, there’s a fair chance you’ll find it too. Neither of my go-to online retailers (the Galeria Kaufhof and the Lidl) had it in stock, but there were plenty of other online retailers who have it in stock. Prices are around the €40 mark, but you do get a litre of high-quality gin for your money.

Overall ? 5 / 5 This is an excellent gin and your life is incomplete until you’ve tried it. It may not be replace you all-time favourite gin, but it will leave you smiling.



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