About Old Tom Gin

Serve in a Rocks Glass
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
Old Tom Gin
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Gin Lane 1751
Old Tom Gin
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
New Deal Distillery
Old Tom Gin
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Old Tom Gin
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab