After distilling, the only process allowed for Gin to obey the rules of being a London Dry Gin is diluting in it water. There can be no infusions, no colouring or flavouring added after that. Just water to dilute the alcohol content to “drinkable” levels.
The alcohol content varies from brand to brand, the vast majority of them being from 40% upwards. There is no correlation between quality and alcohol content but it is possible to catalogue precisely that standard Gins normally have 40%, Premiums a little above that, and the ones you find low down on the supermarket shelves a little under 40%. Then there are the special editions, and high strength editions of brands such as Navy Strength. There are also the Uncuts, Gins bottled with as minimal dilution to maintain the alcohol level. They are always above 70 vol. alcohol, extremely aromatic and capable of making more sensitive throats shiver.
What looked like an Uncut version of Bombay Sapphire was launched, but unintentionally. There was an error in the dilution process making for a Gin with a terrific 77 vol. alcohol, way above its usual 40. All this happened in Canada and according to what we could discover, it was batch L16304. The batch has been recalled from retail outlets, but “Bombay Uncut” is now an appetizing prospect, if there’s any left out there.
We would be failing in our duty not to inform you that Bacardi, the owners of Bombay Sapphire, has sent out an appeal for the Gin not to be drunk, due to its extremely high alcohol content. No, really.