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What is old tom? Old tom gins are sweeter than their dry counterparts, through they are not necessarily sweetened. Their origin can be traced back to 18th century England, when gin was widely popular. So popular that the resulting “gin craze” inspired the English government to place bans and regulations on the market that drove the industry underground (sound familiar?). In order to improve upon the substandard quality of black market gin, clever imbibers added sugar and naturally sweet botanicals to achieve a more palatable product. Drinkers of Old Tom would access the spirit by placing a nickel in the mouth of a wooden cat-shaped plaque on the outside of a gin bootlegger’s home. The name “old tom” and the cat image has remained associated with gins that are sweeter.
Our old tom starts out as a wheat whiskey, unlike its sibling Ginever, which starts out as rye whiskey. Using wheat instead of rye grain produces a softer flavor base that allows the botanicals to shine through and give it a sweeter flavor. Like our Ginever, Tomfoolery is distilled three times, but with almost a completely different botanical set. A majority of the botanicals are juniper berries (as required to be called gin), but its sweetness and baking spice flavors arise from the addition of a blend of vanilla, angelica, and licorice. Old tom historically was sweetened using naturally sweet botanicals and sugar. Tomfoolery achieves its sweetness from the botanicals alone; no sugar or sweeteners were added. Once distilled, the spirit was “rested” in used Wigle wheat whiskey barrels for nearly 8 months. Legally, we can’t put an age statement on gin, thus the phrase “barrel-rested.”
You’ll enjoy Tomfoolery neat or in classic old tom cocktails such as a Martinez or Tom Collins when mixing cocktails at home!
47% ABV (94 PROOF) - 750ml
*At this time, we are limited to delivering spirits to verified business addresses only due to UPS and Fedex restrictions. We apologize for any inconvenience!