The regular Gibson’s London Dry Gin was the third most sold gin in the Swedish monopoly stores last year. It comes in two different sizes, 70cl and the cute 20cl bottle, and it’s a pretty cheap, straightforward and good value for money product.
On September 1, the more sophisticated premium version Gibson’s Exception was released on the swedish market thanks to Berntson Brands, and I’ve been able to try it out on its own and in a few cocktails.
Instead of the rounded bottle design Gibson’s is known for, Exception is bottled in what looks like a decanter – and it definitely feels more premium just looking at it. The brand is is owned by french company La Martiniquaise but the liquor is distilled in London. The regular Gibson’s comes diluted to 37.5% abv, but Exception is bottled at a proper 41 % abv. It carries some characteristics from the original, but being pot distilled with slightly different botanicals makes for a more smooth, complex and satisfying flavour.
Nose: smooth and sweet, balanced and pretty subtle with mellow citrus and juniper and additional floral notes from cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices. Mouth: soft and delicately spicy and floral, lots of bright citrus up front, with a long and elegant finish of juniper, liquorice and coriander.
Cocktails: As always when I review gin, I try it in Gin & Tonic, Dry Martini and Negroni. First out was the Gin & Tonic (60 ml Gibson’s Exception, 120 ml Luscombe Devon Tonic Water, lemon peel twist) and they marry perfectly together – well-balanced, bittersweet with refreshing citrus notes. Next up was the Dry Martini (60 ml Gibson’s Exception, 10 ml Noilly Prat, lemon peel twist) and once again the citrusy elements of the gin helped to balance the cocktail, in harmony with the dry and herbal vermouth – yum! Last but not least a maybe not so traditional Negroni (30 ml Gibson’s Exception, 30 ml Select, 30 ml Vermut Negro) but it was almost a perfect match. Select is a bit fruitier than Campari and not as bitter, and with the flavourful but still pretty light vermouth the gin was able to shine in all its citrusy glory.
In conclusion: Gibson’s Exception London Dry Gin is not the best gin I’ve ever tried – however, it’s a big step up from the regular version and at 299 SEK it’s definitely very good value for money. Delicious both on its own and in any gin cocktail (at least all I’ve tried so far) – so what are you waiting for?
Gibson’s Exception London Dry Gin can be found here.