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We’ve been big fans of Poetic License gin since we first became aware of it at the start of this year. Hailing from up north they recently made a trip down to the big smoke and we were fortunate to meet the distiller and discuss the most serious matter of gin. It has to be said that distillers generally are a passionate bunch; however the Poetic License team take it to the next dimension. Young, creative and bringing new dimensions to our spirit of choice… we are big fans. And so we have to apologise that it has taken us so long to review their fabulous gins, so in this review we bring you two for the price of one: Poetic Licence Northern Dry and Poetic License Old Tom… many distillers are creating Old Toms and so we thought it would be interesting to try these side by side so see how they compare.

Northern Dry

On the nose, the Northern Dry is lively, punchy and heady: leading with camphory juniper with an underlying cardamom spice.

Tasted neat the cardamom immediately packs a punch, bold, bold, bold, with an invigorating eucalyptus juniper close on its heels. This yields to a lovely bitter dryness with a long pepper linger with real heat. This gin is not shy but it certainly is not brash, it is confident, strong and sophisticated.

With tonic the nose is still strong and the same profile persists: the cardamom punch, camphor juniper spine and long dry pepper linger. This is a lip-smacking and more-ish gin, bold, confident and dashing. It makes a fantastic gin and tonic, which we garnish with celery and lemon.

Old Tom

On the nose the overall volume is lower and more subtle than the northern dry, there is an immediate sweetness with earthy tangs of angelica.

Tasted neat the first notes are sweet and perfumed: clear lavender rose top notes followed by a juniper oaky spine. This gives way to a pepper tingle in a dry, dry linger.

With tonic the sweetness opens out, the profile remains the same: a juniper oaky middle with a fine dry pepper linger. This is a confident Old Tom. Not content to simply sweetening the profile of the Northern Dry, the Poetic License team have really looked at botanicals and how they may have been used creatively in the past. We would put this on the dry side of an old tom, however it is a genuinely refreshing sweet floral gin that makes a great gin and tonic that we garnish with apple and rose. These are both great gins, vive le Northern powerhouse!