No. 3 London Dry Gin comes in a bottle that proudly displays two royal warrants and notes that its proprietary recipe was created by Berry Bros & Rudd, the celebrated London wine and spirits shop that’s stood for over three centuries. It’s about as British as they come—save for the fact that it’s distilled in Holland (the historical birthplace of gin) from a 100-year-old copper still.
The spirit is made with six botanicals–juniper berries, orange peel, grapefruit peel, angelica root, coriander, and cardamom–and its bottle extols “Citrus, Juniper, Spice” as its key elements. The team responsible for its creation includes Dr. David Clutton, the only person on earth to hold a PhD in gin (I really hope he goes by “Dr. Gin”).
Its nose is as sharp and clean as you’d expect from a proper London dry-style gin, with plenty of juniper and citrus peel. On the palate it begins with gentle lemon that works its way up to a touch of juniper spice at the center, alongside a wisp of black licorice. The juniper spice patiently increases towards the back of the palate, where we’re also introduced to ginger and black pepper as the sweet citrus notes take on a lemon cream-quality.
The juniper wave that’s slowly been building this whole time reaches its climax at the finish, with plenty of pepper on hand to play it out. It’s a powerful conclusion but never overwhelming, and the spice rolls off from the climax to tingle the tongue over the course of a pleasantly lazy, long-lasting finish.
No. 3 Gin feels like a wonderful compromise between those looking for a London dry that won’t blow their socks off and gin hounds who appreciate a strong juniper punch. Juniper is indeed present and powerful in this gin, but its flavor plays out in such a patient and deliberate arc that I’d call it a “juniper controlled demolition” rather than a juniper bomb.
Also of note is its marvelous presence on the palate. It’s round with a silky, crème-like texture, and manages to be warm without ever growing hot. It’s a master-class in balance.
It’s wonderful in a Gin & Tonic, where its citrus and spice notes thrive above the sweetness of the tonic. It also makes an excellent Dry Martini: snappy and sharp with a dry finish that never overwhelms. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, as No.3 has so far proven itself to be the perfect London dry gin.
— 46% ABV