English spirits company G & J Greenall isn't boasting by calling its offering the "Original London Dry Gin"—it actually is. Distilled since 1761, the same year gin was legalized in England, Greenall's was also the fastest growing mainline gin in the world in 2015.
Nonetheless, American gin drinkers are excused if they are unfamiliar with Greenall's. It wasn't available in the U.S. until the 2016 holiday season, when a big money marketing and sales campaign launched by parent company Quintessential Brands put Greenall's on liquor store shelves around the country.
Critical consensus among gin reviewers is Greenall's is a middling tipple. Common complaints are that it is too sweet, too thin, not "ginnish" enough. A typical beef: It's not Beefeater or Tanqueray, both of which have a strong juniper bite and are far better known as quality mid-shelf gins. Still, weighing in at 40 percent by volume, Greenall's is not a lightweight, which could serve as a note of caution. While the intense botanical flavors of many gins can act as a natural chugging inhibitor, the smoothness of Greenall's may lead to heavy-handed pours.
Despite the preponderance of mixed and outright negative reviews, we found Greenall's a sufficiently pleasant gin for sipping or mixed in a (very) dry martini. At $17.95 for a 750-milliliter bottle, the price is right, too. However, combined with anything as complex as tonic or bitters, the subdued, slightly perfumey flavor profile gets overrun. We recommend Greenall's for newbies or fans of a not-so-in-your-face gin—not hardcore gin-o-philes.