Last year, we undertook a Navy Strength Gin tasting where we looked at gins that were 100 British Proof (57% ABV), but there were a couple of gins that have an even higher alcoholic strength: Hiram Walker 60, Blackwoods 60 and Finsbury 60. Unfortunately, only the last two are still available. The final one, Finsbury 60, will be the focus of today’s article.
Finsbury Gin used to be made by Finsbury Distillers in London, but, for many years now, they have been made by the gin specialists at the Langley Distillery.
On its own:
Nose: Strong juniper and then some citrus.
Taste: Intense – you can tell that it is 60%ABV; it leaves a very warming feeling, but not a burn. There’s juniper upfront, followed by sweet liquorice in the middle and then some citrus. This is quite pleasant to drink, but it will really wake you up and make you pay attention.
Gin & Tonic
A very powerful and flavour Gin & Tonic, this is almost as textbook as they come, with a great texture and intensity of taste. There are notes of juniper, coriander, and citrus, making this a fresh, crisp and dry drink. This will impress even the most stalwart traditionalist and I think that, garnish wise, a lemon wedge is the order of the day.
Impressive, with a real kick and lots of power, this is – again – evidently a 60%ABV gin. Notes of juniper and citrus are strong from the start, followed, later, by coriander and angelica. This is one for the drinker who really wants a buzz from a Martini. I thought it was great, but it is definitely the sort of drink that you can only have one of in a night.
A smooth and balanced Negroni. The strength of the gin is quite discreet in this cocktail, with only a slight, extra warmth on the finish indicating the higher proof of the spirit. This is quite a simple example of the Negroni, but nonetheless pleasant to sip and recommended for those instances when you need a stiff drink.
Overall, Finsbury 60 is a textbook gin for the traditionalist: dry, with citrus and earthy botanical notes and, of course, plenty of juniper and pine. The extra ABV adds power to cocktails and carries the flavour of the gin well. The Martini is particularly impressive and fun, but, for my money, my favourite was the Gin & Tonic.