The October Gin of the Month for our Scottish Gin Club members is the award-winning Old Tom Gin from Mackintosh Gin.
With the nights drawing in and the shorter days upon us, we feel that the super refreshing gin which is distilled with grapefruit and pineapple is the perfect pick-me-up while remembering the warmer days of summer.
This is the first time we've included an Old Tom gin in our subscription boxes so we've included a brief overview of this gin style.
What is Old Tom Gin?
Old Tom gin is slightly drier than a Dutch Genever but sweeter than London Dry. It was extremely popular in the 18th and 19th centuries before falling out of favour in the early 20th century and virtually disappearing altogether by the 1970s.
The style emerged when distilling processes were very basic which meant that the spirits were harsh and with some questionable chemicals used to cut spirits, many distillers sweetened their gin with liquorice or sugar to make them drinkable. This created the Old Tom category.
With advances in distilling processes and techniques, there became less need to sweeten the base alcohol and tastes moved towards the drier styles of gin.
After many decades in the wilderness, the Old Tom style re-emerged in the mid 2000s when cocktail culture re-awoke.
Old Tom gins are great as they are not too far removed from many London Dry gins but are also accessible to those who do not enjoy a traditional dry gin.
Mackintosh Old Tom Gin Key Facts
Launched: April 2020
The Mackintosh Gin Story
Based in Angus and launched in 2018, Mackintosh Gin, is the brainchild of James and Deborah Mackintosh. However, their gin journey began 2 years before the first gin was launched.
James grew up in Dundee while Deborah grew up in nearby Perth. James moved to Perth in his early teens and it was there he met Deborah with the couple falling in love at a young age. After spending many years living and working in different locations, including around Scotland and abroad, it was time for Jim and Deborah to find the perfect place to settle down and start their family. Unable to decide on Perth or Dundee, they couple eventually opted for an area in rural Angus just south of the town of Meigle.
With James and Deborah sharing a passion for both the outdoors and gin, rural Angus was the perfect choice as it is an area known for its natural beauty and fine food & drinks.
The couple spent many hours attending gin festivals, masterclasses and tasting events, enjoying the thriving gin scene around Scotland. After they purchased bottle number 50 they thought about creating their own gin. Two years, and another 50 bottles on their gin shelf, that thought became a reality with the launch of Mackintosh Gin.
Mackintosh Gin is a family affair with James and Deborah’s three daughters all playing a part in the brand and product development.
The first gin was launched in 2018 and is a traditional London Dry style. In April 2020 the family grew from 1 to 3 with the launch of the Old Tom & Mariner Strength Gins.
Created, distilled and bottled in batches of less than 300 bottles, Mackintosh Old Tom Gin has been distilled with fresh pineapple and grapefuit.
In total, it's distilled using a bouquet of ten botanicals which are sourced from around the world including juniper, Mediterranean citrus fruits and locally foraged elderflower. The grain spirit has been cut using the purest Angus water.
On the nose, the gin is juniper led with hints of elderflower and sweet undertones of the pineapple and grapefruit. On the palate, it's smooth with a sweet citrus taste before a citrus burst to finish.
The gin was awarded a Bronze Medal in this year's London Spirits Competition.
We highly recommend serving a 50ml measure of the Old Tom Gin over ice with 100ml of a classic tonic (such as Walter Gregor's) and finished with a pineapple wedge.
However, with it's sweeter profile, the gin is perfect for some experimentation in cocktails and also pairs well with lemonade.
Charlotte, one of the Mackintosh family and brand ambassador, is not a huge fan of tonic and this provided the inspiration for creating a gin that pairs perfectly with lemonade.