The gin takes its name from Ralph Dodd who established the London Distillery Co in 1807. However, he fell foul of the law by not setting the business up correctly, and the distillery never went ahead. Jump-cut to 204 years in the future, and in 2011, a new iteration of the London Distillery Co. was established by Darren Rook, Nick Taylor and Andrew McLeod. It seemed only fitting that they name their gin after Dodd, and realise his dreams of producing a premium London spirit, over 200 years after his attempt.
Neutral spirit is infused with eight botanicals namely juniper berries, angelica root, fresh lime peel, bay laurel, green cardamom, black cardamom, red raspberry leaf and honey from The London Honey Company. The process begins with the more generous share of the botanicals being steeped and distilled in Christina, a traditional 140 Litre capacity copper alembic pot still, with fragile botanicals being distilled via cold vacuum instead, in a rota-vap called 'Little Albion'. These two distillates are later blended for several weeks before being bottled at 49.9% ABV and hand-labelled. Dodd's Gin is now complete. Botanicals: Juniper, raspberry leaf, angelica, bay laurel leaf, lime peel, black cardamom and green cardamom, and London honey.
Juniper-driven with bright, fresh lime peel in place of the more traditional coriander seed, this makes for a gin that is at once elegant and playful, invigorating and mellow - despite the higher ABV. Verdant lime and bay laurel greet the nose, while the delightful mouthfeel and a delectable, subtle sweetness come from the addition of London honey collected from local beehives, imparting a creaminess that bestows floral notes of lime blossom and jasmine. This mellows the refreshing, earthy menthol notes delivered by lingering hints of bay and angelica, which in turn beckons an elegant finish of black and green cardamom with a tickle of soft spice and nectar from fresh red raspberry leaf.
This London distiller has emerged as one of the most exciting, and exacting projects of the UK’s artisanal spirit boom, and their Gin – Dodd’s – is undoubtedly one of the very finest of its genre. London’s first locally distilled Rye and Whiskey are to follow, but at the moment it’s the London Distillery Company’s outstanding, full bodied gin we are getting excited about.
It’s exceptionally rare for a gin distillery to go to the effort and expense of sourcing the finest organic botanicals. Yet here, well north of 90% of the botanicals – which include Juniper and Angelica, along with fresh lime peel, red raspberry, bay laurel, and cardamom – are organic, as is the base spirit. Dodd’s London roots are celebrated by the inclusion of local honey, straight from the rooftops of London.
Dodd’s is a unique marriage of two separate distillations; the bulk of the botanicals are distilled in a relatively small copper alembic still called Christina, while the distillation of the more delicate botanicals (such as raspberry leaf) take place in a small, bespoke ‘Cold Vacuum’ still christened Little Albion. The two spirits are blended for several weeks before bottling. Founder Darren Rook’s attention to detail extends to exquisite individually numbered, letterpress labels, which are printed on an old Heidelberg press and attached to each bottle by hand. These labels further establish Dodd’s environmental credentials - the beautiful paper stock is carbon neutral and was made using only wind power. This is gin (and presentation) at it’s very finest and most sustainable.
THE GIN QUEEN
On the nose and palate there is lots of juniper. The two types of cardamom bring pleasing spicy notes and there is some herbaceousness from the bay laurel leaf. As the spirit lingers, bright citrus notes from the lime develop. It's a mighty tasty gin with a beautiful mouthfeel from the angelica and honey. It's a surprising 49.9% ABV, the smoothness of the spirit hiding the high proof well.'
On tasting, Dodd's Gin has a big dose of juniper, angelica and plenty of heat from the cardamom. Zingy citrus teases its way into the mix too. A few more sips and the citrus is a little clearer. Big flavourful gin that is lovely in lots of ways. There's a full mouth feel too - not viscous- but rich and full bodied from the use of honey as a botanical.'