Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
New version of the old-style gin, Old Tom was a predecessor of the now-ubiquitous London Dry style. Early gin was sweetened to hide harsh impurities. Folklore has it that Old Tom gin would be served through a hole in the wall under a wooden plaque of a black cat (hence the name). The customer would put his coin in the cat’s mouth and receive a shot of gin through a tube between its paws.
Hints of playful pine immediately greet you on the nose. Muscular lemon oil builds out most of the aroma, with a dash of licorice root for good measure.
Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is pleasant and soft to the nose; even gin novices will recognize there’s a big difference here between this gin and say Hayman’s classic London Dry Gin.
The palate is creamy and unctuous. Early on citrus oils and mild sweetness hold court, before the flavor unfolds. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin segues seamlessly into juniper custard with a hint of baking spice, and then into earthy almost chewy licorice root.