Jensen’s gin epitomises the passion that goes into making gin and how it came to be is a fascinating story in itself!
The founder, Christian Jensen, stumbled across this gin during his time working in Japan. His favourite bar made him martinis with a gin the bartender said was a special London gin. Before he left Japan the bar-owner gifted him bottle explaining that it was a brand that wasn’t made anymore.
Returning to London, Jensen set about finding more bottles of the discontinued brand before discovering details of the old distillery where it was made in a public records office. Within those records he found the recipe for his favourite gin. As a banker, Jensen was lacking the skills to revive the gin himself and turned to one of the best distillers in the world, Charles Maxwell at Thames Distillers (Thames makes over 60 gin brands, including Juniper Green, Ish and Gilpin’s) to help him.
The result is Jensen’s Gin. This gin’s success grew slowly by word of mouth (or by taste of mouth?) and in 2013 Jensen’s took the distilling in-house. They commissioned John Dore & Co to build their still (they made the Beefeater stills) and opened a small distillery under a railway arch in Bermondsey. Their distiller is Dr. Anne Brock, one of the very few female gin distillers!
I visited Jensen’s during my visit to London and it’s quite possibly the smallest distillery I’ve ever been to! Brand Ambassador Hannah Lanfear was on hand to guide me through a quick tasting and I grabbed a bottle to bring home. I’m so glad I did!
The precise botanicals are not shared by Jensen’s but as it’s a traditional London Dry, I’m guessing that juniper, coriander, angelica, citrus, orris and licorice have been included.
The aroma is fresh pine from the juniper with citrus and lavender notes present. Flavour-wise, this gin isn’t dominated by juniper as with some London Dry gins. The fresh pine is balanced with plenty of spice from the coriander and a slightly sweet finish. I found it very smooth and it made a delicious dirty martini with blue-cheese stuffed olives!
Country of Origin: UK