Buy Bulldog London Dry Gin
70cl / 40%
Bulldog is a gin that is trying to make a statement. The bottle is dominating and brash, Bulldog is a brand name that evokes Britishness, and the marketing materials are fond of the union flag. It seems to have in some ways been created for the American market, the bottle is designed for their requirements, and the British version has some labels over the top of the glass etching which makes it seem a bit at odds to it’s premium design look.
The brand appear to have launched in 2006 and since then they seem to have been well received. In 2008 they gained a Top 50 Spirits Placement from Wine Enthusiast magazine; unfortunately their marketing materials deem this as a the ‘highest rating ever bestowed upon a gin’ which appears to be in the Superb (90-95) category. That statement may have been true at the time, I’ve not checked the archives though in the last Top 50 Spirits in 2010, Old Raj Gin achieved a Classic(96-100) rating.
Regardless of their ranking in arbitrary ‘Top 50′ lists, they do have a unique set of 12 botanicals present in their gin, the rarer items include lotus leaves, lavender and dragon eye. (As an aside ‘twelve of the rarest botanicals’ also include Lemon, Angelica, Cassia things that are known to be traditional botanicals).
When it comes to taste you know it’s a gin the Juniper is certainly present, but overall the botanicals seem to have only left a light imprint on the gin. When a little bit of water is added to the neat spirit it gets more creamy, and quite floral. I can see this working in mixed drinks, but as a martini I don’t think it can stand up on its own.
For Bulldog if you look past the branding, marketing and general spin then the contents are pleasant enough. It just feels a bit at odds, having such a light spirit in such a strong bottle.
Have you tried Bulldog Gin? What are your thoughts on it, and favourite drinks to use it in?