G&J Greenall have been preparing and blending quality gin since 1761. Greenall’s Original London Dry Gin is still made to the original family recipe and its smooth taste is a testament to the exacting standards set by their head distiller, Joanne Moore (one of the few female master distillers in the world). Moore is only the seventh Master Distiller in the 250 year history of Greenall’s Gin, and has been in the role of Master Distiller since 2006 (having worked in the distillery since 1996).
Containing eight different botanicals including cassia bark and ground almonds, Greenall’s Gin is distilled four times and bottled at 40% ABV (UK market). It has a distinct citrus twang on the nose and a smooth finish. It would be easy to describe Greenall’s as a classic London Dry as piney juniper, coriander spices and citrus notes come to the fore and it delivers exactly what you expect – a decent gin. A premium export expression also exists – Greenall’s Special London Dry. At 48% ABV, it has more prominent juniper and citrus flavours in the mouth but also combines it with a smooth, well-rounded finish. The overwhelming feeling with Greenall’s is that it is decent gin, better than home brand offerings and that works well in a G&T, but it’s not exactly memorable. Moreover, despite it being in the same price bracket as Beefeater and Tanqueray, it doesn’t really compare that well to them as it doesn’t seem to have the depth of flavour and feels a little basic if you venture into more adventurous cocktails – both qualities Beefeater and Tanqueray deliver.
From its beginnings in 1761, G&J Greenall’s business has built its success on tradition and heritage. When Thomas Dakin opened the Bridge Street distillery, production and distribution were basic, with gin sold in bulk jars to publicans and wholesalers. The current G&J Greenall company name was established when in 1860, following Dakin’s death, the distillery was leased to Edward Greenall. The ‘G’ and ‘J’ of the current company name was evolved from the initials of Edward Greenall’s younger brothers — Gilbert and John.
The current Chairman of the Greenall Group, Lord Daresbury, is a direct descendant of Edward Greenall, who began to lease the distillery in the 1860’s (later acquiring it in 1870). Generation after generation, they have been focusing on combining quality products with cunning business moves to develop new market opportunities. The mid-1960′s saw the creation of a new distillery after the original Bridge Street distillery became too small to cope with the enormous demand and today G&J Greenall produce around 30% of all gin and vodka consumed in the UK.
Although G&J Greenall make a number of other prestigious white spirit brands including Bombay Sapphire and other Warrington Dry Gins; they relaunched their Original Dry Gin in 2009 attempting to regain and consolidate the number two spot on the UK market wrestling it away from Bombay Sapphire. New packaging and a huge marketing campaign were devised and the original shaped bottle was even altered with a new look logo, a bolder typeface, and a deeper shade of emerald green. Unfortunately the surge did not take hold and the new look Greenall’s Gin remained undervalued and somehow not receiving the plaudits it deserves. The almost back to back change in packaging to the green union jack pictured above (the contemporary 21st Century look bottle is a nod to its 250 year heritage) speaks volume of the brand’s aspirations to gain further market share and with a seemingly more youthful approach, we feel 2012 could really see them gain more traction and be discovered by a new generation of Gin drinkers.
It’s all too easy to simply overlook Greenall’s Gin but there is a reason it has been around for 250 years. It may well be aimed at a wider market and as such not one for those special occasions, but it’s definitely one to have on the go for an everyday gin.
For more information about Greenall’s Gin, visit their website: