Broker’s (Premium London Dry Gin)
Review: Broker’s Premium London Dry Gin (40 % ABV) 86.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted on February 5, 2012
Broker’s Gin is a relatively new brand, created in 1998 by the Dawson Brother’s (Martin and Andy). Despite the rather recent creation of this brand, the recipe for Broker’s Gin is reported to be over 200 years old. Apparently, during the design phase for the brand, the Dawson brothers tasted and tested many newer recipes as well; however they found that sometimes the old ways really are the best ways, and after various trials they chose the 200-year-old recipe. Broker’s Gin is made from traditional copper pot stills in a distillery located near Birmingham, England. Like the recipe for the gin, this distillery is over 200 years old as well.
Broker’s is a wheat-based, quadruple-distilled, pure grain spirit. Ten natural ingredients are used to flavour this spirit and of course the primary botanical used is juniper. The botanicals are steeped in the quadruple-distilled base spirit inside the still for 24 hours prior to the spirit being processed through a final, fifth distillation to produce Broker’s Gin.
According to the Broker’s Gin Website, the botanicals used to produce Broker’s Gin and their sources are, juniper berries from Bulgaria or Macedonia, coriander seed from Bulgaria, orris root from Italy, nutmeg from India, cassia bark from China, cinnamon from Madagascar, liquorice from Sri Lanka, orange peel from Spain, lemon peel from Spain and angelica root from Belgium or France.
I was given a bottle of Broker’s Gin by Woodman Wines and Spirits to review on my website, and it is with that bottle that I shall begin.
In the Bottle 4/5
The bottle presentation for Broker’s Gin is shown to the left. I love the addition of the Bowler hat to the top of the bottle. It’s a little thing, but it makes the bottle stand out, and it showcases the English heritage of this London Dry Gin very well. The picture of a man with a bowler hat and cane on the label is a nice touch as well. My only quibble is the metallic screw cap topper. I prefer a plastic topper or a cork style but, that quibble is minor and I like what I see.
In the Glass 8.5/10
I poured out my first sample of Broker’s Gin into a glencairn glass and my nose was greeted with the classic mild piny juniper scent of a traditional English gin. Light notes of lemon and lime citrus lay in the breezes with just a hint of orange peel. The overall effect is light and refreshing. If you spend some time nosing the glass it is possible to detect a very light pungent spiciness which lies under the more assertive juniper and citrus. I get the sense from nosing the glass, that this spirit represents a classic, traditional gin.
In the Mouth 52/60
The initial entry on to the palate reveals a nice layer of spiciness which opens (or maybe it is more correct to say cleanses) the palate making it very receptive to the nuances within the gin. Again I notice that classic flavour profile of light juniper accented by lemony citrus and a touch of orange. The spiciness seems to stem from the coriander seed although to my palate it is vaguely reminiscent of ginger and rye spices. Only the vaguest whispers of cinnamon and licorice are apparent, and the result is a nice gin which I can sip quite easily. The individual botanicals do not assert themselves vigorously, rather they lie within the flavour stream waiting for you to discover them.
Of course, although I can sip this gin rather easily, it is cocktails which I prefer when I open a bottle of gin. My cocktails of choice for gin are my own Key Lime Gimlet, and the Lime Fizz, although after discovering Q Tonic recently I have added the Gin and Tonic to my repertoire. As I suspected, the cocktails I made with Broker’s were delicious! The gin doesn’t add any special twist or unique flavour to the cocktails, rather it allows you to make solid classic cocktails and bar drinks which any gin enthusiast will appreciate. The gin is solid!
In the Throat 13/15
Broker’s Gin exits the palate with a nice spicy warmth; but it does not impart very much burn to the throat. Light juniper and orange peel are left behind for you to savour. This warm spiciness is probably what is making those cocktails taste so good.
The Afterburn 9/10
It seemed to me, when I went over my scores, that this gin was better than the sum of its parts. The flavour profile is light and refreshing with all of the botanicals within the gin working well together. My conclusion is that Broker’s is a great go to gin when one wants to mix traditional gin cocktails with a crisp, clean taste profile. As I stated earlier, the Broker’s gin doesn’t add any special twist or unique flavour to the cocktails, rather it allows you to make solid classic cocktails and bar drinks which any gin enthusiast will appreciate.
You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Note: I appreciate the input of one of my readers who notes that my bottle of Broker’s is a 40 % abv spirit. He mentioned that he has always experienced this gin as a 47 % abv product. I find myself wishing I had this higher proof spirit to review. My experience is that the higher abv (within reason) usually results in a more flavourful and higher scoring spirit.
About two years ago I created this cocktail for a few friends of mine who claimed they did not like gin. They have been converted, and if you try this recipe with Broker’s Gin, it is sure to convert you too.
Lady of the Empire
1 1/2 oz Broker’s Gin
3/4 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp simple syrup
Place the first four ingredients in a metal cocktail shaker
Shake vigorously with ice until the metal is frosted
Strain into a chilled wine or cocktail glass
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret that score as follows:
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)