I remember when Bulldog was first launched in the UK; Gerry’s in Old Compton Street had a display full of these unusual, smokey, purple-grey glass bottles. This was back in October 2006* and, since then, Bulldog has gone from strength to strength, even having a listing in Waitrose, where I gather it is rather popular. When Bulldog was first released, it was stated that it had been designed with making the ultimate Gin & Tonic and Dirty Gin Martini in mind.
Bulldog Gin is made at the Langley Distillery, is bottled at 40%ABV and contains a mix of 12 botanicals.
On its own
Nose: Juniper, coriander, and floral hints, including lavender.
Taste: Soft and sweet, initially, followed by some dry juniper and some sweeter floral notes, as well as the perfumed hint of dry petals. Both the flavour and alcohol build to a pleasant warmth at the end, making this rather accessible.
Gin & Tonic (with Fentimans Tonic Water)
I’ve tried a few tonics with Bulldog and I think that it works best with the zestiness of Fentimans. The result is a lively and refreshing drink, with the powerful flavours of the gin coming through afterwards. Most cooling.
Not bad. This has some classic elements – juniper and coriander – but also takes on a rather odd, bitter twang at the end. Overall, it’s not bad, but not that great, either.
There’s definitely some juniper, but it’s also quite sweet, too, with additional notes of coriander. Whilst this isn’t a classic style of drink, it still has some traditional elements and a peppery finish.
Quite smooth and soft, with a range of fruity notes. This is quite good, with the gin working well alongside the Campari and vermouth, curbing the drink’s bitterness. A surprise, but a good one.
Smooth and clean, with some of the finer gin flavours, such as juniper and coriander, on the finish. Very easy to drink and rather rousing to the appetite.
This is rather a pleasant drink and a rival for the Gin & Tonic in terms of refreshment. The spicy and sweet floral elements of the gin come out especially well alongside the ginger ale, making this a thirst-quenching and flavoursome drink.
Bulldog Gin is a rather accessible spirit; I certainly know of folks who don’t usually like juniper, but enjoy this gin. My favourite drink with Bulldog was the Negroni, although I also found sipping it straight from the freezer rather pleasant.
* 2006 being the Chinese Year of the Dog.