August: Gin Of The Month – Makar Old Tom

The world of gin is manic at the moment.  Medals flying about all over the place, new products being launched it seems daily now.  But I always enjoy sitting down, Gin of the Month in hand, to tell you about a particular gin that has caught our eye (more importantly our taste buds) over the past month.

Ladies and gents – The Glasgow Distillery Company: Makar Old Tom.

There have been some particularly good efforts on the ever growing Old Tom category over the last few years.  However last December as part of the Gin Foundry’s Ginvent Calender, this little beauty popped it’s head up on the 10th door.  Ever since, I have been desperate to get my hands on my own bottle.  But before we get to how this little gem tastes…

Old Tom.  What is it? Well I could direct you to several websites, or give you my script from my Gin Tasting Evenings – but Seb at The Glasgow Distillery Company put’s it better than I can.

“The name Old Tom is said to derive from the 1700’s; a time when the British government tried to stem the flow of Gin with prohibitive taxing and strict licensing. This squeeze on supply inevitably drove the sale of gin underground, and cunning methods of serving the liquid were devised between public houses and its gin-loving patrons. One such method was for a wooden plaque in the guise of a black cat, known as an ‘old tom’, to be displayed on the side of the pub or above a public walkway. Gin-enthusiasts would know to present themselves underneath the wooden token, present a monetary offering along with a lead tube into a hidden slot in the wall. On presentation of their surreptitious donation, the bartender would provide the prize of a sweet shot of gin, at once satisfying the patron’s craving for liquid relief and successfully rebelling against a tyrannical government’s attempt to stem the tide of the nation’s favourite spirit.”

So to taste – always on the sweeter-side, are our Old Tom’s and this is no exception, if anything it’s much more complex than the others.  A big bold mew of Juniper doesn’t go unnoticed at all.  In the middle, you get quite a traditional earthiness, but falls short to a velvety-almond taste, but then there is this little purr of sweetness (I think from honey) to just see this through to the end as a very good Gin indeed.

“Makar Old Tom Gin” – 50/50 with Tonic

Here is what Seb had to say when we spoke last month…

“Describe Makar Old Tom in three words”

A classic, reinvented.

“How should it best be enjoyed?”
Equal measure Makar Old Tom and a quality tonic water with a wheel of fresh lemon.
“What’s the plan for Makar over the next 12 months”
Makar is more popular than ever! This year has been hugely successful, with bottles flying off the shelves faster than ever before. Our limited edition Mulberry aged and Oak aged Makar has proved especially popular with the gin-loving public. Due to popular demand, we are going to make these expressions staples of our range.  We are dedicated to sustaining this momentum with ambitious plans for the rest of this year and into 2018. And, excitingly, we are about to make a massive announcement which will truly place Makar as a market leading craft gin… watch this space!

Big well done to the guys for also picking up a bucket load of medals at the IWSC last week too – very well deserved indeed.






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