A relative small player in the gin scene, the distinct bottle sets the tone for this interesting gin, which is as complex in flavour as it is with its brand positioning. It’s often overlooked by gin enthusiasts but it’s worth seeking out if you are looking for a unique take on gin. Available at a decent price point of under £25, it should be a lot bigger than it is. Perhaps it’s to do with the limited availability, perhaps it’s the often confused provenance messaging – either way, it’s certainly an interesting gin.
It is difficult to trace where the name itself came from, there have been claims that because the year it was released, 2006, was the Chinese Year of the Dog that they named it after a breed of dog, whilst others claim that it is named after the famous British canine as a representation of the British spirit and symbol of the nature of this gin. The website reads that it was a reference to Winston Churchill. Who knows? Regardless, the unique blend of botanicals sets it apart from others and the spirit itself (which had the highest rating ever received by a gin from Wine Enthusiast Magazine at the time of launch) is certainly worth persevering with.
Bulldog Gin to taste…
This gin is quadruple-distilled in the UK and bottled at 40% ABV. Although the juniper is noticeably present, lotus leaves, lavender, liquorice, poppy and dragon eye (a cousin of the lychee fruit) to name a few of the 12 botanicals, all play their part in creating a complex flavour profile. Slightly spicy on the palate you will find the cinnamon, cardamom and citrus leaving you with a warm finish that lingers. The floral notes can be teased out in the right cocktail and for those looking for a slightly bigger kick, the 47% abv version of the liquid – Bulldog Bold – was released in 2013.
We like this gin, but it must be said that this is in spite of their sometimes clunky branding and marketing to date. It’s getting better and the team are learning as they grow, but provenance is not something you can manufacture and to a British audience it can seem, on occasion, a little brash. It would seem that despite wanting to appear to be quintessentially British, subtlety and an understated presence are not attributes that they seem to have adopted.
The liquid could quite easily make Bulldog a must stock gin on any shelf and for a dream that only came to market in 2007, there is both time and room for it to grow as a brand. The fact that’s it’s survived the onslaught of new gins being launched in the past few years is testament to its popularity amongst their loyal fans. One can only admire Bulldog creator Mr. Vohra as a man who saw an opportunity (long before the bandwagon had appeared) and has managed to make it a reality.
For more information about Bulldog Gin, visit their website: www.bulldoggin.com
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