The latest limited-edition gin from the masters at Tanqueray is Bloomsbury, a new (old) twist on their traditional London Dry Gin. The previous two releases, Tanqueray Malacca and Old Tom, were both great successes. Let’s see how this one matches up.
The reason I say the Bloomsbury is both new and old is because it’s based on a recipe dating from 1880 that was originally created by Charles Tanqueray’s son, Charles Waugh Tanqueray, who took over the business after his father’s death.
Tanqueray Bloomsbury is still classified as a London Dry Gin, which means it is a grain neutral spirit flavored predominantly with juniper berries (other botanicals may also be added), with only a limited amount of sugar added. The only other permitted ingredient is water.
Although the company describes this gin as being “juniper-forward,” I found the presence of the pungent berry to be far more muted than in the standard Tanqueray expression. Instead I got a lot of fruit, including sweet berries, in addition to ethanol. (This is bottled at 94.6 proof, 47.3% alcohol.) The juniper is still there, of course, as is a slight herbal quality.
The berry fruit is also present in the taste, along with juniper and spices (coriander and cinnamon, most likely). It is slightly sweet and quite hot on the palate. (It should be pointed out that I tasted this gin neat and at room temperature, a manner in which I would not ordinarily drink gin.) It has a long, lingering finish with some vanilla and anise notes coming in at the end.
Tanqueray Bloomsbury Gin is an interesting variation on the standard London Dry Gin. It has a milder flavor — which might make it more appealing to those who are juniper-averse — but still has promising mixing potential. I don’t see it as an essential gin like the Tanqueray Malacca, but it’s still a worthy addition to the line.