Co-op Special London Dry Gin review


Co-op’s coup against good taste –

My mother always insisted that we shouldn’t purchase our groceries, or anything else for that matter, from the Co-op because the organisation supported the Labour Party.  And in her fairly polarised political view that was akin to trying to install Lenin in Number 10.  Well I think my decision to ignore her guidance on shopping may finally have come back to bite me.

In my defence, Juliet and I use Co-op not merely because it has a virtual monopoly over food outlets in our area – there are three within a mile of us – but it also offers good value, as well as locally and responsibly sourced farm produce.  Last Sunday, for instance, we enjoyed an excellent piece of British top rump and fresh English vegetables, washed down with a fine bottle of Yali Chilean merlot, on offer for a fiver.

Unfortunately – swayed by the very enjoyable Finton’s sourced from our slightly less close Lidl store, and several articles in the media about own brand gins beating costlier concoctions in blind-tastings – we decided to try Co-op’s ‘Special London Dry Gin’.

Well, all I can say is: “Sorry Mum – I won’t do it again”, though I did pour myself a second one; this time adding lime instead of lemon, and a lot less tonic – just to confirm it really was as bad as I first thought.

Despite the claim to be “Double Distilled” and “Triple Filtered” I would have conjectured that the strength was half the 37.5% ABV marked on the label; while the smell is closer to that of cat litter than the combination of coriander, cubeb berries and other botanicals described.

I am very tempted to use the rest of the bottle to try another infusion of my Sandy Leaf Farm Perfect Gin Kit to see if I can improve the flavour, and the odour.

Often at this stage I pose the question whether I would recommend or buy the gin again: well in this case I will refer you to the words of political commentator, Rod Liddle, who said in one of his Sunday Times columns last summer: “I read the Guardian so you don’t have to.”

Co-op is committed to supporting British farmers – 100% of its fresh meat is British