Porters Tropical Old Tom Gin Review

This gin I found while I was on holiday a couple weeks ago, back home, well nearly home, down in Plymouth. I've done a video about it and Barbican Botanics, the gin room there, they have this gin. Bar Matt was kind of keen to let me try this one.

Now, this as I say, I found it down there, it's from completely the other end of the UK. This is up in Aberdeen, in Scotland but Doreen and Warren that own Barbican Botanics Room are from Aberdeen, so I see the connection there. But I was really intrigued because when Matt got me to try, I instantly fell in love. It's a completely different style of gin. It's an old tom variant of gin. But it's completely different sort of fruity, kind of flavour of gin then what I've had before. So it instantly took me. As I say it's tropical.

Let's give you a quick insight to what the actual tropical means. It's passion fruit, guava and white tea along side other traditional botanicals. But I'm going to tell you all about it.



So to do the research for this video, I contacted them via Instagram. Didn't really know anything too much about them at all other they were from Aberdeen. They're lovely guys. Thank you Josh. Thank you Martin. Sorry if there's others of you involved but you're the two guys that kind of responded to me.


It fits. It just makes complete sense. In my world, I get to hear about quite a few famous bars and bartenders and all this kind of thing. This is the brainchild of the guys that own the Orchid Bar up in Aberdeen. It's one of the famous bars in UK, trend setting for cocktails. And I found out through the research they've got a small sort of distillery in the basement of their bar area there. They're into their cocktails. They're into their kind of mixology and they wanted to create some spirits, not just gins but some spirits that they could use in their cocktails behind the bar.



They came up with Porters, this brand of gin. This is their second gin. They've got a London dry. I didn't look too much for it but they've got their traditional dry. But then their second start up gin was this tropical old tom.


Now Josh gave me the details of how they kind of distil and produce this. And this was a very new one to me as well. The way they make this is cold distilling. And interestingly ever since I found that out a couple of weeks ago when Josh emailed me, actually I found two other gins now that have gone down this route of cold distilling. And it basically means distilling at different temperatures. These guys, Porters, they distilled their botanicals individually. I'll run you through the botanicals in a minute, but they distil them all at different sort of temperatures to get the best out of them.

They've got 13 botanicals in total. 10 of them get distilled in a traditional kind of fashion and then they've got these other three that they macerate individually, the passion fruit, the guava and the white tea. And they macerate the fruit, macerate them individually and then distil them at very low different temperatures. So those botanicals retain their juiciness if you like.


Then what they do, once they've got those kind of individual distillates, they kind of store them up. They don't make what you would term in the gin world as batches. I've talked about batches before in other gin videos. These guys just keep producing all the individual distillates and then build up the stock piles then bottle when ready. So bottle batches can be anything as they said, anything from 1,000 bottles at a time to 12,000 bottles at a time, whatever they need because they're keeping these individual distillates just ready and waiting whenever they want them. And I think that is a really cool way, it's a new age way, of producing gin. I think it's brilliant.


What Botanicals are in Porters Tropical Old Tom Gin?

So just to quickly run you through the other botanicals that go into this. Pretty common botanicals going in there.

  • juniper,

  • coriander,

  • angelica,

  • orris,

  • cinnamon,

  • cassia,

  • lemon,

  • orange,

  • licorice,

  • almond.


They're the kind of 10 botanicals that are distilled traditionally as you would like and then, as I say, you've got these other three that are distilled at low temperatures

  • passion fruit,

  • guava

  • white tea.


So you guys want to know what it tastes like. What it smells like. So, let's crack the bottle. Now, this is actually bottle number four for me in the last three weeks or so. This is how much we've gone through. It's been an instant hit on my gin tastings and a couple of events that I've done.


Just off the nose, you do, you get the tropicalness absolutely hits you straight away. There's no denying that. I get a very, very subtle hint of juniper. Not much else. It's that burst of fruit that kind of hits me. Actually what I get is kind of reminiscent of pineapple even though there's not pineapple in there. But it's absolutely lovely.


Let's get on and taste it. See if the smells open up any different in glass. Actually probably the juniper comes off a little bit more but I still get that big burst of fruit.

I tell you, it's lovely. What I get off that, no spiciness at all, no kind of gin heat if you like. I can't taste any peppers or anything like that coming off there. There's a little bit of a bite, tiny bit of a bite from the juniper but it very quickly mellows out. And you get this, actually it's changing in the back of my throat now. What I got at first, was definitely the passion fruit first and foremost. But now as it lingers, I get the little bit of guava, definitely guava, I've used guava juice quite a lot and know what guava tastes like. Get the guava but actually the tea comes through and I'm getting that little after taste come through there. It is a really intriguing gin to drink neat, actually it really is.

I'm not sure if it's a martini gin, whether you would drink that neat with a bit of vermouth, not kind of sure. But I instantly get why the guys up at Orchid, up at their cocktail bar, why they have created this because I can instantly tell that it's going to make a great base for not just the gin and tonic. But cocktails as well which is vitally important to their trade.


My price was about 26 pounds plus VAT from Master of Malt. So I'm guessing your price is going to be about 34 pounds, 35 pounds maybe. It is definitely a gin to add to your collection. Instantly gone into my top 10. I was going to say top five, close but instantly got into my top 10 gins that I need to have in my collection.

Which tonic waters you can play about with that work quite well this. I've had a really good play with this. I've had this...well, this is my fourth bottle now. I've had this for about three..