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Gin Reviews

Tanqueray Nº TEN Gin, 47.3%: Trying the Stanley Tucci-Approved Ultra-Premium Tanqueray Gin

I remember when the Tanqueray No. Ten launch was such a big deal, and some folks even credit them with paving the way for a modern style of stronger aromatics gin. And in the blink of an eye, it’s about to get a brand refresh with a new bottle design! I thought it’d be a good chance to review this classic - and give it a farewell before we see it in some new clothes!

Tanqueray No. Ten is an ultra-premium variation on the original Tanqueray London Dry Gin. The gin made history by being the first gin ever distilled using whole fresh fruits such as grapefruits, limes and oranges, which is said to give the expression extra freshness and aromatics. The name No. Ten actually comes from the distillation still that the expression is distilled in. Nicknamed "Tiny Ten", the still produces only 500 litres per batch. Some of the hype must be true - given that to date, Tanqueray No. Ten is only the gin inducted in the Hall of Fame at the San Francisco Spirits Awards.

Tucci poses with the new refreshed Tanqueray No Ten bottle. (Image source: Matt Holyoak)

It's been interesting to see how the brand has marketed the No. Ten expression over the years. I particularly enjoyed their #TUCCIANDTEN campaign with Stanley Tucci, who's known for his role in the Devil wears Prada and increasingly, his love for martinis. I can't be the only that's seen Tucci prepare a No. Ten cocktail or two, and convinced myself that maybe, just maybe, if I stock a bottle of No. Ten in my home bar cart, that would somehow automatically imbue me with his same trademark elegant charm. 

Without further ado, let's taste this Tucci approved ultra premium gin!  

Tanqueray No. Ten - Tasting Notes

Colour: Clear

Aroma: Immediately, really big and bold freshness of the juniper and citruses - like walking through a pine forest! Despite how big and bold the scents are, it’s not sharp, rather it’s soft and pillow-y, like a cloud plume. There’s a very obvious grapefruit note, blood oranges, finger limes, really juicy too, without that pith note. It has some sweetness - licorice candy, but also a gentle herbal earthiness of angelica roots and licorice sticks.

Taste: It’s surprisingly creamy here - a good hefty body. There’s a soft floral, very aromatic and floral note of chamomile. It’s like a scented pillow. More of that grapefruit - this is by far the dominant note. It’s really well-integrated into this rounded body that feels rich and thick, but still rather bright and fresh, and then a more earthy base.

Finish: Clean finish, the licorice pops out alittle more here. A nice spicy tingle too.

My Thoughts

This is an incredibly outstanding gin expression - it has this modern sensibility about it. It’s big on flavour and aromas, but at the same full-bodied and clean - it’s powerful and expressive but has this crispness about it that makes it feel really nice and structured. It’s almost like it’s methodical - very impressive even to sip it on its own. 

I also particularly like how the flavours are very well-integrated and rounded with a full stack of top notes and base notes carried by a hefty body - it makes it really satisfying in every aspect. Really nice combination of flavours and such great freshness.

Compared to the classic Tanqueray London Dry Gin expression, this is bigger, bolder, more citrusy, alittle sweeter, but also more structured, crisp and clean.

Tanqueray No. Ten In A Gin & Tonic With Fever Tree Tonic Water - Tasting Notes

Aroma: Wow! Such freshness! The power of the gin really carries through to the G&T, without losing any of that verve and boldness. The pine freshness and citruses are still really well expressed, but this time lifted and given more vibrancy and liveliness. Really impressive. 

Taste: Sipped, it binds itself really well to the tonic water and with a little stir it almost immediately harmonises itself and its like you don’t even need a garnish here - it feels like there’s a sprig of aromatics tossed in. The citruses especially push forward here - alittle more blood orange than grapefruit. Nice full bodied texture too, it’s not thin, has a really nice thickness to it. 

Finish: Really clean and crisp, the same bold flavours but this time it simple fizzles off with a lighter licorice candy note, and more of the citrus and herbs lingering here.

My Thoughts

The Tanqueray No. Ten is the most classic interpretation of a modern G&T for me - big, powerful fresh and citrusy flavours, really creamy and rounded, but at the same time has a crispness that rounds out nicely.

If you’re going to try and G&T for the first time, the Tanqueray No. Ten is as solid a bet as any.