Darnley’s is a London Dry gin distilled in Scotland with botanicals native to the Eastern Scottish coast, namely elderflower. It’s distilled four times in pot stills with other non-native botanicals including juniper, orris root, coriander, grains of paradise, and citrus, before being bottled at a tame (for its category) 80 proof.
It has a clean, crisp nose with juniper, sweet lemon peel, elderflower, and a touch of black pepper. The spirit proves soft on the palate with a creme-like texture and initially cool temperature, and begins with that sweet lemon followed by floral notes of chamomile and elderflower.
That light, sweet florality is joined by pine at the center, and the back presents juniper and black pepper spice with just a touch of licorice. It ends with a trickle of spice that’s decidedly low-key but not forgettable.
I found myself thinking of Darnley’s Gin as “London Dry Light,” which isn’t meant as a knock. What we have here is the sharp, bracing cleanness delivered by larger-bore London Drys, only with a softer touch that taps into florality rather than spice. If you find traditional London Drys too aggressive but still seek a dry gin for classic cocktails, Darnley’s may be your bottle. But if you prefer something heavier-hitting for your gin drinks, you might give it a pass.
— 40% ABV