If you are looking for unusual and obscure gins, one place to check out is The Whisky Exchange; they never fail to disappoint. A recent addition to their listings was Diner’s Club London Dry Gin Deluxe (40%ABV).
After some research, it turns out that this gin was commissioned (but not manufactured by) Douglas Denham Ltd., which, until 2003, was a subsidiary of Red Lion Blending Company Ltd., based in Edgware, North London. They did this on behlaf of Diners Club International, a credit card firm.
Red Lion Blending Company Ltd. was founded by Robert Mendeson and David Hallgarlen in 1969 and ceased trading in 2005.
In addition to this gin, Douglas Denham also commissioned blended Scotch for Diner’s Club, such as this 12 Year Old.
1. On its own
Nose: Juniper and some sherbet lemon citrus notes.
Taste: Pretty good and surprisingly smooth initially, although the alcohol’s warmth certainly builds after a few seconds. Quite sweet, there’s a lot of citrus, especially lemon – dry, pure fruit – and coriander. Simple and classic.
2. Gin & Tonic
A bit of a beast with the coriander and citrus although the juniper is pretty strong too. This really feels like an old school gin an tonic dating back to the days before Bombay Sapphire (who knows maybe it does?). Despite its very classic, old school approach it is very refreshing.
Fresh and crisp, with plenty of citrus and coriander notes. There’s a hint of anise, but mostly, lots and lots of lemon, making this a zesty Martini.
A pretty standard, classic Negroni: both bitter and sweet, but without any particular wow factor to it.
Diners Club was probably designed to be a standard, classic-style gin and it delivers. I wasn’t expecting much but actually it was quite good and the citrus emphasis was a nice surprise. At £11.49 a 40%ABV bottle I think it is a bit of a bargain.
Diner’s Club International Extra Dry London Dry Gin Deluxe is available for around £11.50 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange.