I’ve been intrigued by this brand ever since fellow blogger Gin a Ding Ding called them out on social media a few months ago for bullying a small-scale producer over the use of the name Garden Tiger (now known as Garden Swift). Taking another distillery to court over a name similarity seemed such a strange thing to do when Tiger Gin themselves had to fight off a bully in Heineken, the owner of Tiger beer, over exactly the same thing a few years previously. Legal challenges are costly affairs and with margins already squeezed for small scale producers these are costs you can well do without!
So, who are Tiger Gin? Well the recipe for the gin was developed by JJ Lawrence a gin lover and at first glance you could be mistaken for thinking that he owns is a small-scale distillery given phrases such as ‘hand crafted by artisan master distillers’, ‘carefully chosen and sourced botanicals’ and ‘luxury British spirit’ all feature dominantly on the clunky ill designed website. Look a little further into the online information and you see that in actual fact the gin is distilled by a contract distiller (Alcohols Limited). My question is, why no mention of that fact on the bottle?
Given that the website mentions ‘Luxury British Spirit’ I would have expected a sleeker bottle, it’s fairly bland in comparison to many bottles currently on the market and although they have 77,000 followers on Twitter along their marketing campaign doesn’t really shout luxury either and I have to be honest I’m slightly confused as to who this branding appeals to.
But how does it taste?
The recipe contains lots of familiar botanicals that are common with traditional London Dry gins. Juniper, coriander, angelica, lemon peel, orange peel, cassia, liquorice, nutmeg, cinnamon & orris line up against each other and the website states that there are also 2 secret ingredients. On the nose there is a lot of juniper present and a hint of citrus but not a lot else, I’m not picking up the warming spice notes of cassia, nutmeg or cinnamon and the gentle sweetness of liquorice isn’t present either. As a G&T with a slice of orange it’s a distinctly average drink. With the tonic added you do get a little sweetness from the liquorice but there’s no depth of flavour and I think the only citrus present is from the orange! With the cheapest price online £37 + delivery my advice would be save yourself £15-£20 and buy a bottle of Beefeater or if you do want to spend £37 why not try a true craft spirit? There are many of them about!