Review – Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin
Premium, super-premium, ultra-premium; these are all terms banded about to let you know that the booze you’re spending your hard-earned cash on is worth it. Irrespective of quality it sometimes seems, ‘premium’ is desirable. No-ones going to boast at a dinner party that the Martinis they are serving up are made with value liquor are they? Well, perhaps they will, austerity is after all the new eco-friendly. Aldi, with their Oliver Cromwell are unashamedly going after the austerity market, but perhaps more interestingly, their gin is attracting attention for beating pricier competitors in taste tests.
Neat: Bone dry from the very moment it hits your tongue. A moderate hit of juniper is followed by citrus peel and delicate spicing. This is a simply-flavoured gin but that is not to say it is unappealing. Classically-profiled and uncomplicated yet balanced and without a hint of the rough edges expected from a lower cost gin.
Mixing: This is one of those gins that never reaches the heights of excellent, but nor does it often slip below respectable; and for a spirit as keenly priced as this, that’s an achievement. A G+T might be a bit drab, but it’s not poor, just in need of a splash or two of bitters to liven things up. Sour drinks have a similar perking-up effect, whether be the very nicely balanced herbal Last Word, or the more floral Aviation. The gin both stands up to the sour fruit, but does so by offering a solid backbone without trying to become star of the show. Its dry character does mean that a little extra sugar or liqueur is necessary in many drinks, such as the fruity Bramble, or the aromatic Martinez. The ultimate test surely though is a Martini, and whilst it might be desirable to have a little more spicing (a ‘wet’ Martini is an improvement in the dry), it makes an otherwise more than acceptable performance.
Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin is not the most exciting, or indeed deeply-flavoured gins you’ll find. It is however a remarkably solid offering that delivers a straight-down-the-line Juniper-heavy profile than given the price point and stacks up very well indeed against many ‘premium’ gins.
Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin is available to buy from Aldi.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.