About Old Tom Gin

About Old Tom Gin
Old Tom Gin is the last remaining example of the original lightly sweetened gins that were so popular in 18th-century England. The name comes from what may be the first example of a beverage vending machine. In the 1700s some pubs in England would have a wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an "Old Tom") mounted on the outside wall. Thirsty passersby would deposit a penny in the cat’s mouth and place their lips around a small tube between the cat’s paws. The bartender inside would then pour a shot of Gin through the tube and into the customer’s waiting mouth. Until fairly recently limited quantities of Old Tom-style Gin were still being made by a few British distillers, but they were, at best, curiosity items.

Top Picks for Old Tom Gin

Brothers Old Tom Gin
92 points
Clear color. Aromas of cinnamon raisin brand muffin, lemon marmalade, nut brittle, nutmeg, and delicate herbs with a supple, fruity medium-to-full body and a pleasant peppery warmth on the juniper jelly finish. A quite tasty, balanced, and super mixable.
92 points $37.50
Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin
90 points
Clear color. Rich, complex, curious floral green aromas and flavors of anise seed, warm milk and honey, and hint of peppermint vanilla bark with a glycerous, crisp, off-dry medium-to-full body and a warming, involved, medium-long spicy flan, honeycomb, pepper, and dried herbs and straw finish. A subtle, not-too-sweet Old Tom gin.
90 points $24.99
New Deal Distillery Old Tom Gin
88 points
Golden amber color. Lively, malty, woody aromas of cedar pencil, caramelized nuts, sarsaparilla float, and pickling spices with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a peppery, interesting, medium-long lemongrass, herbal tea, and pepper finish with moderate oak. A solid barrel aged gin that drinks like a young whisky, mix as such.
88 points $34.95
Barrister Old Tom Gin
86 points
Clear color. Piney aromas of Douglas fir, citrus leaves, and geranium with a velvety, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, easy lemon tea and white peppercorn finish. A velvety and mild gin for easy-drinking cocktails.
Brenyolver Old Tom Gin
84 points
Brilliant copper color. Aromas of caramel, stone pine, malted barley, and parsnip with a coarse, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, breezy vanilla yogurt with cinnamon, green apple lollipop, lime peel, and thyme finish. A rough riding Old Tom Gin for mixed drinks.