A great gin by some best the experts in gin, bartending and drinking. An excellent, solid gin.
Fords Gin is part of a portfolio from the newly formed 86 CO. ( Company ) a group of adventurous ( and in some cases obstreperous ) individuals with extremely strong backgrounds in strong drink. Simon Ford formerly of Pernod Ricard, Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas of Employees Only a bar the stuff of legends, and Speakeasy Cocktails, an excellent book on Cocktails, are some of the players in this new venture. Rather than become brand ambassadors for someone else’s products ( depressingly commonplace career move/fate for top shelf talent in the drinks industry) they have decided to strike out on their own to bring us the best products they can find, make, or call into being. Their portfolio includes Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Caña Brava Rum, Tequila Cabeza, and this the Fords Gin at present.
Notes: Perhaps the only gin I have ever come across that lists all their ingredients on the information sheet and especially the exact proportions ( fascinating read for gin freaks) other details ( found on the bottle itself ) are that the ingredients are steeped for 15 hours and then distilled for 5 hours in a 500 liter ( roughly 100 gallon) copper still using an English wheat base spirit.
Appearance: Clear as a bell with no faults or impurities. Leaves a thin clear coat o the glass that then goes to legs then droplets.
First Impression: More aromatic and herbal with a nice floral and citrus background. This is very much NOT your typical London Dry Gin. While it does have juniper and coriander that are the hallmarks of any London Dry type of gin it is a bit more balanced than most with a nice subtlety to the blending giving you a very harmonious gin.
Taste: The gin flows in with an oily body, with spice and citrus juniper starting a parade with juniper and the other spices following on closely and leaving a pleasantly bitter drying long finish. A good solid gin profile, juniper, coriander, back stopped by lemon, bitter orange, grapefruit, grounded by angelica, cassia and orris root, with a lightness imparted by scents of jasmine.
Drinks: Plays well with other ingredients. Unlike a lot of other new gins, this does not have some odd new ingredient or hook that makes it interesting for somethings and horrible for others – it’s extremely versatile and meant to blend not stick out like a sore thumb. It’s solid,versatile, mixes with anything and will not go out of style, like a Barbour waxed coat, it has an understated dignity, utility, and style without screaming it, and those who know will recognize it as such right off the bat.
Bottle: Clear glass with easy to open foil type screw cap closure. Attractive old style graphics on paper labels make the bottle easy to spot by both customers and bartenders. Interesting graphics on reverse of labels ( look through the gin) detailing old steam ship routes and fun graphics. Company trademark is embossed on the bottom of the bottle. All the bottles are designed from the ground up optimized for bartenders see http://www.the86co.com/pdf/the86co-Ergonomic-Bottle.pdf for an obsessively detailed guide on features. Feature they do not mention are that the bottle is nicely tall or long with an easy to grip neck making it the bottle to reach for in a bar fight also – or at least they don’t mention that point in the design specifications sheet.
Other: Designed by bartenders and spirits professionals as a bespoke gin for the trade. People over 30 years old will need magnifying glass and good light to read the back labels
Final Thoughts: Overall a very no nonsense, non gimmicky, gin profile. No tricks, no games, just good gin. Excellent gin without a lot of flash, secret ingredients or other hocus pocus – they put the money into the gin, the bottle, and not the hype.
This is the company website which will lead you to the links for all their products along with background on the company.
http://www.fordsgin.com placeholder at the moment for the actual gin page website ( coming soon)