Tesco London dry gin review

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It is what it is …

We have to date reviewed quite a few supermarket own brand gins, with Lidl’s Finton’s coming out top so far, winning six gold awards and two silver in the 2019 Gin Masters – consistently beating rival distillers’ offerings costing up to three times the price.

At just £9.99 for a 70cl bottle, you really can’t go wrong with Finton’s; but being your ‘gin bloggers,’ we’re gradually tasting all the bargain brands so that you don’t have to.  And the latest to land in our basket was Tesco London Dry Gin – which we’d suggest you avoid unless you want a cheap mixer for cocktails at a party.  Then to be fair, it’d be palatable enough, especially if it gets to the stage when supplies are getting low and your guests are beginning to panic, clocking the mouthwash in the downstairs loo …

So, Tesco’s London Dry, at £14.50 a litre, is fine in a cocktail, the juniper and citrus working well enough to provide that initial burst of heat, but this quickly dissipates in the thin base – and that’s about it.  A grain-based gin with no depth – to us, anyway – for which you need to add to for any subtlety of taste or flavour.

Interestingly, other reviews report of the 37.5% ABV distillation being ‘a fine house gin’, while fellow blogger Juniper Diaries thinks it’s better than the considerably more expensive Gordon’s and Beefeater (agreed); although it’s the first gin he’s tried to give him a mild hangover.  He bravely tested this theory on non-consecutive days to ensure his evidence was accurate, and not the Man-Flu he feared …

Waitrose’s London Dry at just two quid more a litre is a far better bet – for a start, it offers a lovely spicy finish which lingers for a while; while Spar’s 40% ABV version, at £17/70cl, genuinely impressed us, holding up well as a G&T with similar botanicals to Tesco’s tipple.  They contain Coriander, Orris Root and Liquorice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Angelica – all of which I could detect in the Spar spirit, but not Tesco’s.  Would I buy Tesco’s Dry London again?  Probably yes – if I couldn’t get to Spar or Lidl.

To conclude: zingy Finton’s wins the war.

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