Plymouth Navy Strength, at 57% ABV – or 100° English proof – is the traditional strength demanded by the British Royal Navy.
This was the proof that would not prevent gunpowder from igniting, should it be compromised by spilled spirit.
It is the gin the distillery has supplied to the Royal Navy since the early 1800s and is the gin traditionally presented to each and every Royal Navy ship on commissioning.
For the regular Gin drinker, who has little or no concern about gunpowder, Plymouth Navy Strength is a revelation. The 57% ABV amplifies the aroma and fragrance of the botanicals, yet retains the smooth and balanced character Plymouth Gin is renowned for. As with Plymouth Original, this is a handcrafted, batch distilled gin made to an 18th century recipe. Whilst stronger and more commanding than the 41.2% ABV Original Plymouth Gin, Navy Strength uses the same Victorian still, soft Dartmoor water and combination of seven hand selected botanicals.
Plymouth’s Master Distiller says an interesting thing about this kind of Gin: “The older the Gin, the fewer ingredients and the more European”. So few botanicals (Just 7) and coming from Europe mostly are used to distill this masterpiece. A Navy Strenght Gin is very useful for particular preparations, one over all, the Negroni.
This version was launched to mark the bicentenary of the Black Friars Distillery in 1993 and it was the last gift of Mr. Desmond Payne before leaving the Plymouth for Beefeater. We should all be grateful for what Mr. Desmond made in the world of Gin, one man alone who helped raising the quality of an entire movement.
Plymouth Navy Strenght Gin is a piece of history, a monument, you can talk about it even before opening the bottle, it tells stories about places in the world, you can’t really miss it in your Gin collection.
The most surprising thing happens when you drink it neat, it doesn’t burn as you expect it to, it’s incredibly smooth, the flavours are amplified, multiplied, the juniper is exciting. You might be afraid of the alcohol volume, but the fear vanish at the first sip: it’s spicy, refreshing, it leaves a clear mouth.
The bartender’s favourite cocktail, the Negroni, is perfect with Plymouth Navy Strenght Gin, with juniper is glorified but the alcohol strenght, and the other notes are still there, dancing with the Gin.
It also work perfectly in a Gin Basil Smash.