Oxley Classic English Dry Gin is mixing old-world traditions with new-world technology and it is working quite well. This is noticeably an English dry gin but is brighter than many that we are familiar with.
For Oxley, a cold distillation process and the use of hand-selected botanicals sets it apart from other gins on the market. These handcrafted production choices also limit this unique gin to very small batches of just 240 bottles a day and because of this it is only available in select areas of the United Sates.
How Oxley English Dry Gin Is Made
Traditionally, the distillation of liquor is done by applying heat, but in the case of Oxley a cold distillation method is employed. The details are pretty technical and there is a detailed explanation of Oxley's process on Alcademics.com.
In a nutshell, the finished product is supposed to take some of the burnt edge off the botanicals of the finished gin. It does seem to do that as Oxley's flavors are recognizable as traditional to English gin, only in this case there is a brightness, a brilliant airy quality, to them.
This brighter profile of Oxley is likely also due to the careful selection and preparation of the botanicals themselves. All are fresh, including the citrus (lemon, grapefruit, and orange) zests. While many gin distillers use dried peel, the freshly peeled zests are thrown into the mix in this gin, which may be necessary with the cold distillation technique to extract all of the essences.
The other exciting botanical in Oxley is meadowsweet, a wetland plant that is a member of the rose family. It makes a sweet, soft appearance throughout the gin and does a wonderful job of adding to that brightness.
Because juniper is the key to any gin, it is always important to talk about. This is especially true when it is handled in a way that changes it from our normal perceptions.
Harsh juniper, with its deep pine flavor, is often what detracts people from the taste of gin and this intensity comes from the application of heat. Oxley's cold method softens the flavor while leaving it in the forefront. This softer juniper is delightful and may be appealing to those who like the newer gins (i.e. Aviation, Hendrick's) but who may be looking for a juniper-forward gin.
Enjoy Oxley English Dry Gin
Oxley is a great gin and it is going to be very hard to create a bad drink with it. Because it is similar to London dry gins it is versatile enough for any gin cocktail. From the Martini to an Aviation to a New Orleans Fizz, Oxley is the perfect base for all of the great cocktails.
At the price of $50 a bottle, this is the style of drinks that I would reserve for Oxley. It is a premium gin at a premium price and deserves premium cocktails.
Cocktails Featuring Oxley
- It's About That Time
- Tully Tea
Oxley opens with a signature gin fragrance. Its bouquet is soft and refreshing with subtle juniper, rose and sweet citrus notes. The taste is clean with a nice blend of botanicals accented with juniper and grapefruit. The finish is very dry - less oily than other dry gins - and just a little spicy.
About Oxley English Dry Gin
- Dry gin produced using cold distillation and 14 natural, fresh botanicals including juniper, citrus and meadowsweet.
- Produced in England
- Imported by The Oxley Spirits Company, USA
- Released in 2008
- 47% alcohol/volume (94 proof)
- Retails for around $50/750ml bottle
- Visit Their Website
Originally Published: November 27, 2009
Updated: September 23, 2015
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.