Product Review: Gin Lane 1751 Royal Strength Gin


Gin seems to be something of a polarizing spirit. Even now – at a time when craft distilleries are creating a raft of new gins, rediscovering lost styles, and introducing innovative flavor profiles – I know so many people who cling to their distaste of the juniper-based spirit.

If you’re in that category, an overproof gin probably isn’t going to change your mind. Because yes, it’s pretty much gin-plus. But if you’re a longtime gin fan or, like me, have grown to love it in recent years, there’s a lot to like about the subject of this week’s post – Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Royal Strength gin.


What is Overproof Gin?

Overproof gin is more commonly known as “navy strength.” That’s a term that hearkens back to the 18th century, when the British Royal Navy had rations of gin aboard every vessel, not just for drinking but for medicinal purposes.

The British sailors demanded that their gin be high proof, and to determine whether it was, they would douse gunpowder (also stored on the ship) with the gin and attempt to light it. If the gunpowder would still ignite, it meant the gin was sufficiently high proof.

(I’m in no position to question the methods of the British Royal Navy, but if I’m being honest, that sounds like a spectacularly terrible idea.)

Today, navy strength gin is typically bottled at an ABV of 57%, though I can’t imagine drinking a gin that strong. Gin Lane’s Royal Strength is a nod to the navy strength style but clocks in at a more manageable 47% ABV (7% more potent than their London Dry offering).

All About Flavor

The goal of bottling gin at a higher proof is not heighten drinkers’ buzz but to elevate their drinks. Diluting spirits reduces alcohol content, but it also dulls some of the flavor. Bottling at a higher proof means more of the flavors remain in the spirit.


In the case of the Royal Strength, the result is a crisp gin with a rich bouquet of botanicals. The juniper is bright and up front, with clear notes of coriander, angelica, and lemon. It’s definitely got a more pronounced kick than your typical London Dry gin, but it’s not burn-your-nose-hairs intense.

In Cocktails

Ramos Gin Fizz

I thought this was the perfect occasion to make my first ever Ramos Gin Fizz. I’ve never had much of an urge to make this classic New Orleans drink, given that the traditional approach calls for a solid 12 minutes of shaking. Between a dry shake and then another with ice, I think I logged about six minutes before my arms felt like they were going to fall off.


But it was worth the trouble, and the Royal Strength had no trouble standing up to ingredients like egg white and heavy cream. Fresh lemon and lime juice brought out some of the gin’s citrus notes, making for a bright, fruity take on a classic.

Recipe (adapted from the Death & Co. book):

  • 2 ounces Gin Lane 1751 Royal Strength gin
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • 1 egg white
  • 6 drops orange flower water
  • 2 ounces club soda

Dry shake all ingredients, except soda. Shake again with ice until your arm muscles feel like they're turning to jelly. Double-strain into a Collins glass. Let rest for 30 seconds. Carefully add soda.


Wanting to see how the Royal Strength would fare in a more spirit-forward cocktail, I turned to one of my favorites. The Fitzgerald is a simple but satisfying drink with a nice balance of citrus, sweetness, and bitters.


It works nicely with the botanicals of a “regular” gin, but with the Royal Strength, the gin becomes a much more prominent player. It’s got a boozier bite, though that’s tempered by the syrup. But once again, the lemon juice accentuates the citrus notes in the gin, making for a strong and wonderfully vibrant cocktail.

Recipe (again adapted from the Death & Co. book):

  • 2 ounces Gin Lane 1751 Royal Strength gin
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon (I was out of lemons).

The Verdict

I’ve had overproof spirits that have blown me away with their booziness. Gin Lane’s Royal Strength London Dry puts the emphasis where it should be – on flavor.

At 94 proof, it lacks the intensity of a true navy strength gin. But a 47% ABV makes it palatable, functional, and approachable, while still giving it a bigger punch than Gin Lane’s London Dry. It stands out in a spirit-forward cocktail but stands up in one with heavier ingredients. The botanicals are bright and crisp, making for another fine product by a growing gin company.

Note: I received a complimentary bottle of Gin Lane 1751 London Dry Royal Strength gin with the understanding that I would use it in a product review. No one from, or associated with, Gin Lane 1751 influenced this content.

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