Hernö Old Tom

So say hello Hernö Old Tom. Not just the world’s best gin – the world’s best gin for 2 years straight. And it’s sat here. Curled up on our bar waiting for you to take a sip and, well, purr..

Here’s a little background to the world’s best gin, and why you’ll want to take a sip of it – more than twice.


We had to. We couldn’t resist. Even if Hernö Old Tom wasn’t crowned world’s best gin in 2017 and 2018, as soon as we saw the bottle, we just knew that Hernö Old Tom had to curl up on our bar.

Before we get to the whole why Hernö Old Tom is the world’s best gin (twice), if you’re not a gin aficionado you could be forgiven for asking: Who’s Old Tom?

And the answer is staring right at you.


Old Tom Gin – or Tom Gin or Old Tom – refers to wooden plaques shaped like old black tomcats that 18th-century gin dens used to mount outside their establishments to evade the taxes and licensing laws trying to curb the gin craze.

Back then, if you wanted a quick tipple, you slotted a coin under the cat’s paw to receive a shot of gin.

No, we don’t have a plaque here – though that’s not a bad idea.

But we do serve the world’s best gin, Hernö Old Tom.

So fast forward from the 18th-century to now. Where is this Old Tom from exactly?

Hernö Old Tom: The Swedish (and World’s) Top Cat

Hernö is a Swedish gin. In fact, Hernö Gin is the first dedicated gin distillery in Sweden.

And as you’d expect, over at Hernö Gin they combine hand hammered copper stills, natural botanicals, and a uniquely passionate desire to craft truly organic, artisan gin inspired by the natural beauty of the region.

The result? Hernö Gin is the most award-winning gin in Europe and Hernö Old Tom is the cat’s whiskers – and now it’s here in North Cornwall.


Hernö Old Tom Gin is made from the same distilled gin as Hernö Gin, but with an extra amount of Meadowsweet added in the distillation and after diluting it down to 43% they add a touch of sugar.

Why? The sweetening lifts the floral notes, releases an array of juniper and makes the gin even smoother.

What does it taste like?

Here are the tasting notes:

NOSE: Hernö Old Tom Gin is full-bodied with woody spice. Followed by bright, juicy, juniper and floral notes.
PALATE: Super-smooth texture with a light sweetness and botanical notes. An array of juniper, green and crispy, followed by notes of pine flowers.
FINISH: A floral sweetness combined with woody spice and long lasting juniper characterizes Hernö Old Tom Gin.

Sounds out of this world. Except it’s not out of your reach anymore. If you’re in Cornwall, you can drop by and try it for yourself anytime.


If you’re a Hernö fan like us, you’re in for a treat as we also have a bottle of Hernö Sipping Gin #1.3. From the Hernö Sipping Gin series, classic Hernö gin has been matured in a cask which previously held legendary Ardbeg whisky.

Ideally sipped neat over ice, this spectacular cask-aged gin has a clear, light straw complexion with prominent notes of juniper joined by some slight smokiness alongside elegant floral aromas, pine and trace vanilla.

Hernö Sipping Gin #1.3 is a limited run of 1,904 bottles. How long ours lasts is up to you…

Oh, if you love cask-aged gins, make sure you also check out our Ki Noh Bi 11th Edition.

The Bay View