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Craft Gin ISSUE 5

CONNECTING SMALL BATCH GIN DISTILLERIES TO THE TRADE

Merry Christmas from

MEADOWS GIN


Craft Gin ISSUE 5

CONNECTING SMALL BATCH GIN DISTILLERIES TO THE TRADE

Merry Christmas from

MEADOWS GIN

W

Note from the Editor

elcome to issue 5 and the last issue of 2019.

Brixham Gin

It´s been a year of many ups and downs, both

See page 22-23

politically and commercially, and as my father said

to me, “you can be sure of two things - death and taxes.” I can also be sure that the Gin industry is evolving at a rate of knots, Those that have been distilling for five years or more will not recognise the market now, It is, without doubt, one of the most enjoyable and progressive industries and everyone distilling Gin should rightly be proud of its evolution. It´s been a great year for me personally, as not only have I made great contacts and learned so much about Gin, but for me, I know I have made some good friendships. I am also looking forward to getting out on the road and will hopefully meet many of the producers and trade at a number of events and Christmas Markets, and I’m sure I will make a number of new acquaintances, The success of any magazine is down to the readers, and the introduction of producers to a variety of trade, This will be my referendum for 2020 - to ensure the full support of the producers and pointing the trade in the right direction. I wish you all a great Christmas wherever you may be, and look forward to catching up with you all in 2020. Thank you to all those who have supported the magazine and offered welcome advice as it has developed. All the very best

Chris Keightley I Publisher

Inside this issue.... P. 4-5 ........................................................................Lunan Gin

P. 34-35 .............................The Fuddy Duck Distillery

P. 6-7 ...................................... House of Elrick Gin Q&A

P. 38-40 ............................... The Scottish Gin Society

P. 8 ........................................................Meadows Gin Q&A

P. 42 ........................................ Poetic Licence Distillery

P. 11 .......................................................................Cushiedoos P. 12-13 ............................................................. Inshriach Gin P. 14-15 ...............................................Deerness Distillery

A Christmas recipe from the Isle of Wight Distillery See page 42

P. 42 .................. The Isle of Wight Distillery recipe P. 43 .................................................................Cricketers Gin P. 46-48 .......................................Twelve keys Gin Q&A

P. 16 .................................. The Little Quaker Distillery

P. 24-25 ...........................................Sliabh Liag Distillers

P. 48 ....................................................................Barentsz Gin

P. 18 ....................................................................Dyfi Distillery

P. 26-27 ................................................Brighton Gin Q&A

P. 50 ..............................................................Crafty Distillery

P. 20 ................................................. Symphonia Gin Q&A

P. 28-29 ......................................................... McQueen Gin

P. 52 ...................................................................Murphy’s Gin

P. 22-23 .............................................................. Brixham Gin

P. 30 ........................................................... Kinrara Distillery

P. 54 ...............................................Bee-ginning Gin Q&A

Editor: chris@craftbeermag.co.uk Design: designercraftginmagazine@gmail.com PUBLISHED BY CRAFT DRINK MAGAZINES LTD I PRINTED IN THE UK The Publisher cannot accept any liability for transparancies, disks or any written material submitted for publication. Reproduction of any written material or illustration wholly or in part for any media is expressly forbidden without prior consent of the publisher.

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Lunun Gin

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ecently launched in October 2019, Lunun Gin was created by MasterChef: The Professionals finalist and restaurant owner, Dean Banks. The new, premium Scottish gin is a fresh addition to the market with its unique Asian-inspired flavours. Described as ‘no nonsense – just taste’, Lunun is a high-quality spirit focussed solely on flavour. Its premium quality comes from the single-fold distillation process used to create it, which makes for an easy to drink gin. Its distinctively smooth taste has been developed with the chef ’s palate in mind. Influenced by Dean’s travels to over 40 different countries and his expertise in fusion cooking, Lunun features six key botanicals: kaffir lime leaf, sea buckthorn, Sichuan pepper, kombu kelp, ginger and lemongrass. This intriguing combination offers a smooth, citrus essence with a pleasantly spicy aftertaste to deliver a well-balanced gin. Truly versatile, Lunun is the go-to gin for all occasions perfect for sipping neat with ice, in a cocktail or simply served with tonic and a slice of lime. Or you can always get creative and experiment with garnishes such as kaffir lime leaf, a stick of lemongrass or a sprinkle of Sichuan pepper to fully bring out the aromatic flavours of the gin. Dean said: “I’ve always wanted to create my own gin and it seems like the next natural step for me after establishing my restaurant in St Andrews. I wanted to create something that people judge solely on the taste and not the ‘hype’ that often comes with contemporary artisan gins – in fact, Lunun is the opposite to an artisan gin. There’s no smoke and mirrors

with Lunun. People who appreciate a qualitytasting gin without any of the other nonsense, will enjoy this one. “Although our chosen botanicals give Lunun an Asian twist, all can be sourced in Scotland, keeping the distillation process straightforward, just like the gin. Customers will only require a slice of lime to garnish – it’s about keeping gin-drinking simple and accessible and focusing the entire experience on the taste. Chefs will appreciate this too, and it will hopefully become the chef ’s choice of gin in restaurants not only here in Scotland and the UK, but across the countries that have inspired the gin.” Distilled in Dean’s hometown of Arbroath, Angus in the North East of Scotland, the gin’s name is an adaptation of Angus’ most peaceful, secluded beach,

‘Lunan Bay’. With the environment in mind and supporting an eco-friendly ethos, Lunun will package and distribute its bottles to customers in a plastic-free process. Dean continued: “Lunan Bay is one of my favourite places in Scotland and a place close to my home. This gin reflects that and my travels, but it is also a drink that will be appreciated by those who are just looking for a high-quality gin to enjoy, whether at home or in a restaurant or bar. A hugely impressive debut, Lunun is a gin that ticks all of the boxes and is sure to make big waves in the gin market. Lunun Gin is available to purchase online now at www.lunungin.com

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Q & A ..

House of Elrick Gin Tell us about the history of House of Elrick Gin, and the inspiration behind your Gin.

The story of House of Elrick begins at the height of Scottish Enlightenment in the 1720s. Elrick house was once the home of an entrepreneurial family, inspiring us to create our brand House of Elrick. The house was once known to be gifted a Jacobite rose by Bonnie Prince Charlie, which can now be found growing in our beautiful walled gardens next to Elrick House. Stuart decided to purchase the land in order to revamp the grounds to create a Scottish destination back in 2014. Currently, we’ve just celebrated our third birthday – which is crazy! We started distilling back in 2016 as an evening/ weekend commitment, attending events when and where we could. Today, we’re now situated in our new office next to the distillery, with a few extra pairs of hands. Your Old Tom Gin harps back to the 18th Century. Was there a recipe you could go on?

Our Old Tom Gin takes us back to the traditional recipe of Old Tom Gin, created at the height of the Gin Craze in the 18th century. It all started when people started to identify a black tom cat on the wall of a house, thirsty revellers would whisper “Puss?” at the door, if gin was available “Mew” would respond. A coin would be given through a pipe and a shot of gin, sweeter than London Dry would return. Since the launch of our original Old Tom

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was a hit, we introduced a fellow brother Old Tom coconut to sit by his side. Old Tom coconut is primarily used for cocktails, creating a unique twist on the original Old Tom. The recipe basically includes a mix of traditional botanicals and flavouring in coconut Old Tom. Your relationship with local farmers and producers is very important to you, are all your Botanicals sourced this way? Do you grow any on site?

It’s important to us that we continue to support local business and produce around Aberdeenshire. It contributes into our brand; we want to produce the best quality and sustainable products for our customers. Currently, we don’t produce any of our botanicals on site. However, it is something we have considered before we launched as once all our gardens are fully refurbished, the intent was always to grow what we can. We have already planted a large number of Juniper trees on the estate grounds, our gardener is well underway with the planning for the future. How do you set yourselves apart in what is a very competitive market?

Gin is an extremely trendy product in the current market today, especially with the flavoured gin craze right now. We source local quality ingredients and we are known as the only spirit to distil with fresh water from Loch Ness, which shows that we only use the best quality hand-picked ingredients in our gin. The mission at House of Elrick, is to create a unique destination experience with Elrick House and surrounding gardens. We have a lot of things planned for 2020, but we can’t tell just yet! I am a great believer and follower of Hand-crafted produce how much of the process is Hand Crafted at The House of Elrick?

Our Gin is distilled in singular batches of 600 bottles per run, which means we can maintain control of the quality over every single bottle distilled in the premise. A huge part of what makes hand-crafted produce so important is the distillers who make the gin. Our gin is hand crafted by Director and Owner Stuart, who ensures the best quality hand-picked ingredients are used within the distilling process. As our team has expanded in recent months, we would hope to eventually have extra members of staff that can help with the distilling process.

Have you entered any competitions in 2019 and how did they go?

We’ve been busy these past few months at House of Elrick. But did manage to win a Silver Medal at the 2019 New York World Wine & Spirits. In past years we have also won some amazing awards however, the main priority for our brand currently is to ensure Elrick House is fully renovated and the brand continues to grow. Alongside this, the brand is evolving, our team has grown which means we can prioritise entering more competitions in 2020. We have some events planned already for next year, so it’s bound to be an exciting year for us at House of Elrick. Do you have plans for further Gin’s in 2020?

As the gin and spirit industry is one of the most competitive industries in today’s market, it is more difficult than ever to develop as a small business. Continuing into 2020, we hope to help to increase the overall tourism rate in Aberdeenshire and start to welcome the public to the estate. Our gardens and Elrick House will soon be open so our land can become a tourist destination to the public. In terms of spirits, we have some exciting launches in the pipeline. We want to branch out in the spirit market, so yes - we do have a few things up our sleeve. How are your plans going for Christmas sales? Will you be doing Christmas Markets, or do you focus on specific areas of trade during the winter months?

We have some Christmas food and drink events lined up soon which will get us in the Christmas spirit. At the events, we will be selling Christmas cocktails, G&Ts and our hand gift-wrapped products. Throughout the Christmas countdown, our socials will be kept up to date with last-minute deals, and Christmas themed drinks so you can try them out at home. In the next few weeks, Director Stuart will be attending some of Shanghai’s spirit trade shows. This is an exciting opportunity for us to see the gin market across the globe and continue to develop with international sales at House of Elrick. T: (Office) +44 (0) 1651 862141 E: info@houseofelrick.com W: https://houseofelrick.co.uk/ Social Media: @houseofelrick

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Meadows Gin

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019 has been an amazing year for Meadows Gin. As we look back over the past 365 days, we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved since our launch last December. From our humble beginnings in Urmston, Manchester, the Meadows Gin spirit has evolved into a genuine force of nature, taking the gin scene by storm. This year has seen Meadows Gin gain national recognition. With a coveted IWSC Silver Award under our belt, a string of new high-profile stockists, including Harrods, Tom Kerridge’s new restaurant in Manchester, The Bull & Bear, and the London Cocktail Club, and a feature on BBC Radio Manchester, we cannot help but feel immensely proud of the how quickly we’ve grown and been recognised by some of the best in the business. With the year coming to a close and Christmas just around the corner, we’ve fully embraced the festive spirit by bringing a taste of the winter meadow to Manchester City Centre. Christmas shoppers can join us in the fragrance department of Harvey Nichols and take a relaxing break at our pop-up bar with a classic G&T or a more indulgent signature cocktail. Shoppers can get their hands on our new miniature range, ready to fill Christmas stockings. Exclusive gift boxes will also be available for the festive season, as well as special edition Meadows Gin/Franklin & Sons collaboration crackers for an extra bang! So, what does 2020 hold for Meadows Gin? We’ll let you in on a little secret: our

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master distiller has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to develop three sensational new flavour variants. We’re so excited about launching these unique gins, but we can’t say too much; all will be revealed soon! We hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. See you all soon! For sales queries please email sales@meadowsgin.co.uk Available to buy from selected stockists and via the website www.meadowsgin.co.uk/shop


HAND-CRAFTED ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT

FREE•YOUR•SPIRIT I S L E O F W I G H T D I S T I L L E R Y.C O M | +4 4 (0) 1 9 8 3 61 3 6 5 3


JUST THE TONIC FOR MIXER MARKET

Cushiedoos is sold in packs of 24 at £1.20 RRP per 200ml. SKU - available to the on-trade via ten wholesalers.

SCOTTISH TONIC WATER PROMISES NO QUININE, LESS SUGAR, ALL NATURAL

Cushiedoos

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new premium tonic water has entered the market with a distinct proposition unlike any other tonic brand. Cushiedoos (pronounced coo-she-doos) is uniquely made with natural artesian mountain water and a blend of Scottish heather, Scottish silver birch, yellow gentian and wormwood – no quinine, no artificial ingredients and 24% less sugar than the market leader. The result is a tonic bursting with fresh, floral elderflower notes that delivers that trademark bitterness (without having to fly to another continent to source the quinine), and yet has a remarkable smoothness and clean aftertaste. Andrew Ligertwood, founder of Drink Better Ltd and the creator of Cushiedoos tonic, explained that whilst Scotland is on the world stage when it comes to so much of its national produce, there was a glaring absence of any premium tonic made with Scottish ingredients. “Scotland has a reputation for excellence when it comes to our amazing natural larder,” he said. “Provenance, sustainable sourcing and supporting local are very

high up the value index when it comes to marketing and promotion and buyer motivation. It struck me, as a I was enjoying a gin and tonic – the gin was made in Scotland but the tonic wasn’t – that there was a gap for a premium tonic water made using Scottish ingredients and research then showed me that there was a demand for it.” THE WATER

The water – not from just any old spring – is drawn from ancient artesian springs, high in the Cairngorms National Park. It is one of the purest, softest waters in the world. For fifty years it filters its way through the cracks and crevices in layers of granite until it emerges naturally and its chemical make-up lends itself perfectly as a mixer for gin or vodka. Why? Because it has smaller molecules which create a larger surface area for other flavours to interact with.

being cultivated at the Secret Herb Garden, a specialist herb nursery near Edinburgh. For now, Drink Better Ltd imports these botanicals from Europe but Andrew hopes to harvest the first plants within the next weeks/months. He added: “Everything we use in Cushiedoos is natural: there’s nothing synthetic, nothing has been tampered with. The botanicals provide the balance between bitterness and freshness, the lack of quinine and lower levels of citric acid means it has an extraordinary smoothness and clean aftertaste. My aspiration is that we have as minimal a carbon footprint as possible and that our entire production process is managed within Scotland. At the moment I have to buy in yellow gentian and wormwood but the plants being grown by the expert team at the Secret Herb Garden will reach maturity soon and will be put straight into use.” The only other ingredients that go into Cushiedoos are citric acid and British beet sugar – the low sugar means it’s only 24kcal per 100ml, which is 24% less sugar than the best-selling premium tonic water.

THE BOTANICALS

The Scottish heather and Scottish silver birch are both wild-foraged in the Scottish Highlands, and the yellow gentian and wormwood are

W: www.cushiedoos.com Facebook: @cushiedoos Twitter: @cushiedoostonic Instagram: @cushiedoos

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Inshriach Gin

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nshriach gin was born from a collaboration with another gin brand. Juniper grows abundantly at Inshriach so we went picking, and they brought the industry experience. That association sparked an interest in distilling, gave the bones of what might be required to run the business and, more importantly, opened a door just a crack, through which could be seen all the botany and potential of the Cairngorms.

INSHRIACH ESTATE

Tasting Notes NOSE

Upfront it’s resinous but fresh like a winter’s forest walk, opens into grapefruit and peach, then dry with potpourri and a backbone of aniseed.

PALATE

Warming peppery juniper, with an olive oil feel on the tongue (when taken neat), spiced and tangy but not hot, superbly creamy all the way through into the finish, with a gentle prickle of juniper re-emerging at the back to bring it all together once the vanilla creaminess fades.

Inshriach itself is a small estate not far outside Aviemore, Walter Micklethwait and his mother Lucy took a leap of faith, bought out their family and took over back in 2008. They got an Edwardian country house, a scattering of cottages, a good stretch of the River Spey, a belt of native woodland and a farm that is now managed as much for ecology as it is for yield. Over the last 10 years they have built a renowned holiday business and since 2014 Walter has been on the gin. The Inshriach forests now belong to the forestry commission and stretch 6000 acres into the Cairngorm mountains. That puts the estate at the very centre of the Cairngorms Connect project - the largest, most ambitious and most exciting habitat restoration project in Britain.

but that’s not the Inshriach way. Reworked using salvaged materials and with the copper still taking centre stage alongside a wild west moonshine saloon, the distillery won Channel 4s Shed of the Year competition in 2015. After a year playing with recipes and setting up a business, Walter launched his signature Inshriach 43% Original and 57% Navy strength gins in 2017.

THE DISTILLERY

PHASE 2

The chickens were evicted from the distillery in 2014. A sensible person would have pulled the building down down and started again

Distilling always took place on site but blending and bottling were subcontracted, initially to Houstons and then to Kinrara (who were later

Powerful enough to be enjoyed neat or with a few cubes of ice, and if you have to mix it, stick to a very dry martini to experience the true character of this gin.

to the game but much more experienced). As word of their gin spread Walter built a bottling room and a bonded warehouse, partially solar powered, fed by spring water and built out of locally milled larch. By 2018 the entire production was in house. Inshriach distillery now also produces Duncans and Fidra Gins, develops a few special editions each year and occasionally puts out experimental fruit gins and liqueurs in such tiny quantities that nobody would ever notice. 43% ORIGINAL & 57% NAVY STRENGTH

Inshriach gin is understated, it doesn’t shout or use fancy packaging or point of sale. Sustainability is more important than saleability. All the ingredients are gathered by hand within a few miles and freezers filled with juniper, sloes, strawberries and rowan. Rosehips are harvested as they hit peak ripeness. Douglas fir is picked on demand and the flavour changes between orange and tangerine with the seasons. The water used for everything is soft and slightly peated from draining through the granite hills. Inshriach Gin is the alcoholic equivalent of a walk in a Scottish forest, fresh, crisp, pure and piney. The 57% takes the gentle character of the 43% and adds bite and purpose without sacrificing smoothness. W: www.inshriachgin.com E: walter@inshriachgin.com

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Deerness Distillery THE JOURNEY

Deerness Distillery

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eerness Distillery is situated on the ancient island of Orkneyjar. These days it’s better known as Orkney. Orkney compromises approximately 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited. An area of outstanding beauty and ancient historical ties to the sea, and it’s from these ancient links of people and land to the sea where the team at Deerness Distillery took some of their inspiration for their multi-award winning Sea Glass Gin. Carefully crafted from start to finish in Orkney’s first distillery in over 130 years. Sea Glass Gin will evoke your senses with each sip. Taking you on a pleasurable sensory journey through warm spices, hints of citrus and of course juniper, Sea Glass Gin is a true reflection of the Orkney Islands ever changing seascape with its rich botanicals and fresh taste. The distillery also produces the award winning Scuttled gin and the UK’s most Northerly distilled vodka, “Into the Wild vodka” with plans afoot for a small batch whisky, a rum, a new café and expanded visitors experience, to learn all about how they distil and make their spirits. Stuart who is the master distiller at Deerness, has been busy this last while developing some new liqueurs, which the distillery are planning to launch this Christmas to be enjoyed by all over the festive period. With Christmas on the horizon the distillery shop staff are busy getting some fabulous hampers prepared with their award winning spirits and some exotic tonic pairings on the website, so check out www.deernessdistillery.com in the next few weeks for the perfect Christmas present for the gin lover in your life, even if it is you J!! All of their spirits are distilled by hand and to enable this within the building are three Portuguese handmade copper alembic stills – each have been named! So there’s “Walt” a 5 litre test still; “Zing” the 30 litre vodka still and “Matilda” the 300 litre gin still. ‘Walt’ is self-explanatory, with any new recipes being first distilled in a small quantity for blind tasting and evaluating. ‘Zing’ is used solely for distilling vodka, ensuring that there are no traces of botanicals that can interfere with the desired pure taste of the end product. ‘Matilda’ is used solely for the distilling of gin, a process

that in total takes around two days. The botanicals are added to neutral grain spirit at different times before a 12 hour hand controlled “One Shot distillation” process occurs. During which the still is entirely operated by Stuart, keeping a close eye on the temperature and output of the spirit and in doing so produces multi-award winning artisan gin. After the resulting vodka and gin is cut with purified Orcadian water (produced by a water treatment system, designed and built by Stuart), which enhances the smooth finish to their spirits the bottling process begins. Each spirit is manually bottled into a variety of sizes; 100ml, 200ml and 700ml and passed down the production line for labelling. Labels are applied and the product is packaged to await delivery throughout the UK and abroad. The distillery boasts a beautiful shop and tasting room, which will allow visitors to sample and purchase the spirits created on the premises and enjoy carefully selected Scottish teas and coffees. There will also be the opportunity to purchase other Deerness products, such as Orkney Crystal and Orkney Tweed, as well as glass and artwork from local Orcadian artists and other carefully selected products. The distillery also has its own range of merchandise which has been sourced and produced by local businesses and packaged using items such as luxury recycled gift bags and ethical tissue paper. This is a testament of Stuart and Adelle’s commitment to the

environment and their ethos of supporting small local businesses like their own. Further to this idea of keeping their carbon footprint as small as possible, construction is about to commence for a polytunnel on site, in which they will grow botanicals and garnishes to be used in their products. These will include cucumber, mint, lavender, lemon leaf verbena and tarragon to name a few. The botanicals were also chosen for their ability to be grown in Orkney as the couple had made a conscious decision that they did not wish to forage the countryside for their ingredients. “We wanted to leave the Orkney landscape for locals and tourists alike to enjoy and assist in protecting the environment for the future,” Stuart continued “and we also hope this will enhance the hands-on experience for visitors coming to the distillery, as they will be welcome to take a wander through the polytunnel as well,” Adelle added. The couple continue welcoming visitors from near and far to the distillery to be able to share with them their story and passion for their products and surroundings. “We are aiming to continue to build our excellent reputation as our brand ‘Deerness Distillery’ grows,” Adelle said. “We want people to know that they will get a quality product no matter if it is gin, vodka or rum down the line, or any of our planned liqueurs.” W: www.deernessdistillery.com

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THE LITTLE QUAKER DISTILLERY

The pride of County Durham

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he Little Quaker Distillery based in Darlington is now one year old and what a year it’s been. The north east based distillery has gone from strength to strength over the last year. The dream of owners Paul and Leanne Colman brought Quaker Gin to life culminating in it winning a Bronze medal at the IWAC awards in 2019 less than 6 months after bringing it to market. A year down the line and they now have 3 different gins and a rum on the market. The Black Diamond rum named after the 3rd train to run on the worlds first railway line between Darlington and Stockton paying homage to those local roots. 2020 promises to be a big year for The Little Quaker Distillery. The Little Quaker Distillery plan to grow the business this year, and are in the process of developing links with a major tonic supplier. If you would like information regarding the Little Quakers range of Gin and Rum then please contact Paul or Leanne at their email address below. E: thelittlequaker@gmail.com T: +44 791 961 8125

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The Portsmouth Distillery Co.

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he Portsmouth Distillery Company sits within the fabulous 18th Century ancient monument that is Fort Cumberland, on the far eastern tip of Portsea Island, surrounded by the sea and centuries of naval history. Here we lovingly distil our artisan spirits in a 500 litre pot still and a four plate column still. We are proudly the first distillery on the island since 1824. Fort Gin is made with three key hand picked botanicals that actually grow within the walls of The Fort - gorse flower, elderflower and sea radish. When blended with twelve other carefully selected botanicals they produce an exceptional gin which has a rich, full, floral bouquet, is silky smooth on the palate, yet with a robust Fort flavour and a delicious warmth on the finish. There is an initial sweetness which comes from the sweet orange peel, you are then hit by how smooth it is, which comes from Nutmeg, Ground Almond, Oris Root and Angelica Root. The spice then comes in with Cardamom, Coriander, Szechuen Pepper and Pink Pepper. The taste now starts to tail off in the teardrop profile and the herbaceous element kicks in, encapsulated by fresh lime peel. The Gorse Flower, Elderflower and Chamomile then combine to provide a wonderful ‘biscuit’ finish. This is all nipped off by the Sea Radish which gives a long lingering taste on the palate.

Fort Gin, like all of our delicious spirits, is let down to 41% abv, as it is made in a pentagon Fort, and 4+1 = 5. After much mixing and matching with numerous mixers and garnishes in the summer of 2018, we found that a light tonic and a squeeze of lime is the perfect serve - just simply let Fort Gin do the talking. And what a conversation it is! T: 02392 733339 M: 07775 708960 W: www.theportsmouthdistillery.com Facebook: @PortsmouthDistillery Twitter: @pompeystill

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Dyfi Distillery T

he founding of the multi-award winning Dyfi Distillery seems like the culmination of 35 years worth of serendipity. One brother (Pete) moves to a botanical paradise, to study Environmental Sciences and Botany, forgets to leave, and becomes an expert forger there. The other brother (Danny) spends his working life becoming an accomplished blind-tasting judge and even being decorated by the President of Portugal for services to the drinks industry. Looking back, it almost seems inevitable that the next step would be to open a distillery which specialises in, and wholly celebrates, the sense of place which Pete has spent over three decades foraging in. So those who knew Pete and Danny hardly seemed surprised when the distillery became the first to win the Great British Food Awards Best Gin trophy twice (2018 and 2017), or was declared “The best gin in the world, in my humble opinion” by BBC drinks guru Joe Wadsack. 38 botanicals are currently used at the distillery to produce four gins, of which 28 are foraged from native species within the UNESCO World Biosphere of Wales’ Dyfi Valley. There is a precision to everything here. Meticulous botanical preparations precede complex distillations using a bespoke still designed and handmade for them by the prestigious Müller family in the Black Forest. Dyfi Original is in many ways a classic gin, but pushes the boundaries of complexity and smoothness. “We wanted to make the

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ginniest gin you’d ever taste,” quips Danny, “But by using an ancient juniper preparation technique, and foraged botanicals which share characters with juniper, but aren’t quite the same, we can modify texture, and how the flavours layer on the palate.” Pollination was the second gin the brothers released, in 2016. The 29 botanicals feature a blend of wildflowers and herbs, and took over two years to develop. The Telegraph’s Victoria Moore described Pollination Gin as akin to “A heat haze on a summer meadow.” Hibernation Gin was launched in 2017. A barrel-aged gin. But not any old gin and not any old barrel. A wild fruit-based gin distillate was created to rest in a 100 year old White Port cask, a first for the industry. “White Port and Gin are both frequently served with tonic water, so its logical there should be a sweet spot of flavour when we combine the two in

a production process” suggests Danny. The resulting taste is a core of juniper, crab apple, bilberry and blackberry essence wrapped up in a praline-scented shell. The creativity hasn’t ended though. In October 2019, following another two years of research, Pete and Danny launched Navigation Gin. This is the distillery’s Martime edition, bottled at Navy Strength and marrying umami characters in the seaweed-derived botanical blend with the umami notes to be found in an ancient vintage Madeira barrel. An initial caramelised orange note gives way to those distinct umami flavours to create something as remarkable as it is unique. E: danny@dyfidistillery.com


STUNNINGLY UNIQUE

HIGHLAND

GIN

Badachro Gin is a truly authentic expression of the Scottish Highlands. The marrying of traditional botanicals with hand-picked local myrtle, gorse blossom, elderflower and more, in our copper pot still in Badachro, produces the most deliciously full flavoured, small batch spirit. Such genuinely artisan production, genuine provenance and uniquely stunning flavour is exactly what today’s demanding gin lovers really want.

For more trade information and to stock, contact gordon@badachrodisitllery.com badachro call 01445 741 282 or visit badachro badachrodisitllery.com PAGE 51.indd Badachro Gin FP1 A4 Craft Gin ad.indd 1

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Ulrich Dyer with Bronze Medal winner Symphonia No 2 Apple Gin at the Irish Gin Awards

Q&A ..

Symphonia Gin Symphonia No 1 Dry Gin won a silver medal in the International Wine and Spirits Competition scoring 93 points out of 100 which is fantastic. Symphonia No 1 Dry Gin and Symphonia No 2 Apple Gin each won two stars in the Great Taste Awards.

Tell us about the history of Symphonia Gin and the inspiration behind your gins

I grew up with a great interest in chemistry which then became my chosen subject of study. After studying for a PhD in chemistry I spent time researching at Harvard University before joining the pharmaceutical industry. After 30 years working in laboratories, I decided to break away and do something creative within the food and drink sector. My wife suggested I could make gin. I spent months researching the industry, so, in June 2018, Symphonia Gin was brought to the market.

Do you have plans for further gins in 2020? I love that you are producing a variety of flavours. Are there more exciting gins on the horizon?

Let’s just say - watch this space. The Irish countryside is full of flavours.

You’ve appointed a new Head of Sales. What’s your sales focus?

Heather McCracken is our Head of Sales so she’ll be the face of Symphonia as she makes her way around Ireland meeting her contacts in the industry. Symphonia launched in June 2018 and since then we have made great headway but demand for a dedicated sales person has grown hugely over the last year as more and more hotels, restaurants, bars and trade are asking for our range. Nature plays a big part in your business as does science. Tell us about your processes and how science enables a better product.

Living in Ireland, and being surrounded by such luscious countryside, I thought about provenance, our environment and how I could make gins in the most environmentally way possible so I combine my passion for the Irish countryside with my love of science. I have developed some innovative distillation processes, such as vacuum and microwave distillation, to extract flavours and fragrances from ingredients which would be impossible using traditional pot-still distillation. This gives a wider palette of flavours and this allows a greater complexity and subtlety in the taste of these gins. We grow our own botanicals as much as possible. How do you set yourselves apart in what is a very competitive market?

Our distillation processes sets us aside and

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it’s these processes which really grabs the attention of consumers. They love how our processes are so different. I am a great believer and follower of hand crafted produce. How much of the process is hand crafted at Symphonia Gin?

Everything we do is handcrafted from growing our own botanicals, to distilling, bottling, labelling and packing. Did you enter any competitions in 2019 and how did they go?

We did indeed and we did really well. Symphonia No 1 Dry Gin was named Irish Gin of the Year in the 2019 Irish Gin Awards and Symphonia No 2 was awarded Bronze for Speciality Gin of the Year.

Dr Ulrich Dyer, of The Woodlab Distillery with the Silver Medal winner Symphonia no 1 Dry Gin and the prestigious accolade from the International Wine and Spirit Competition

How are your plans going for Christmas sales? Will you be doing any Christmas Markets or do you focus on specific areas of trade during the winter months?

We have been attending lots of events in Northern Ireland such as Belfast’s famous Twilight Market and Armagh’s Georgian Day. Much of our time will be spent fulfilling orders ensuring Symphonia Gin lovers have enough of their favourite tipple for the festive period. Where can people buy Symphonia Gin?

Currently, people can purchase online from Master of Malt. We are developing an e-commerce site so soon people will be able to re-order directly from ourselves. Trade can place orders with Drinksology or contact Heather directly. W: www.symphoniagin.com


Merry Gin-Mas

from

Brixham Gin!

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C

hristmas is the busiest time of the year for us at Brixham Gin ensuring everyone has the perfect gin tipple! Nothing better than having the Brixham G&T whilst wrapping presents, putting up the Christmas decorations or a cosy night in watching a Christmas film. Not only is it Christmas we have a new Sales Manager Amber Borrie who is travelling the South West to find pubs/ restaurants and farm shops to sell our two premium gins. We pride ourselves in being a local Artisan gin company distilled in Brixham with all our processes completed by our team. Our small team of 3 have a busy time over Christmas not only making our gin but then out and about selling at Christmas markets and tasting events. We have jumped on the Christmas gift range this year from gin filled baubles, miniature gins with Christmas bobble hats and our collaboration with Ella’s chocolate shop with Red Sails and Tattered Sails chocolate truffles. G&T gifts sets! All of these can be purchase as great presents or stocking fillers. Our Christmas bauble set includes 1 bottle of Red or Tattered Sails gin 35cl, enough to fill up all 6 baubles on the tree then treat yourself to a double gin and

tonic afterwards! The baubles are re-useable so you can have them year after year pride of place on your Christmas tree. All you need to do is re-order the gin! We love working with local businesses so we have team up with Ella’s Chocolate shop to create the perfect gin chocolate, they have used both of our gins and created the ‘Red Sails Chocolate’ these are made with a gin infused centre and colour bright red to reflect our iconic Red Sails. Then onto our ‘Tattered Sails Chocolate’, the citra hops in our gin give the chocolate a fresh citrus flavour. A beautiful design of flecked red spots to match the Tattered Sails look. From here we have

created our chocolate gift set of 2 miniature bottles of gin and 10 mouth-watering chocolates. Who doesn’t love gin and truffles? Over November and December we have a busy events calendar. From tasting events at Greendale Farm shop and Darts Farm shoppers can pop by and try our gins whilst Christmas shopping and purchase a bottle on the way out, we will be selling our Christmas gift sets as well. The perfect present for gin lovers! We are also attending serval Christmas markets in Marldon, Dartmoor Zoo and Dartington shops. We will have our full range of gins/gifts to sell in the busy markets in the lead up to Christmas. We will have plenty or samples so all can be very merry this Christmas! Brixham Gin is a delicious blend of herbs/ spices and most importantly made with love. Each batch is tested/tried and adored by all. Our gin is the perfect Aperitif for Christmas drinks with the family and a great way to start the new year! You can also re-use your glass bottle as a Christmas table centre piece decorated with lights. And to top it off our Christmas has come early! We are now listed with the National Trust. You can purchase all three sizes of both of our gins across Devon in their shops. We also are attending a selection of events with them. We have recently taken part at Greenway House Brixham in their Autumn Tea Festival. Showcasing our gins through samples and displays in the shop. After a long walk a warm taster of gin goes along way. Look out for our Events page on our website where you can come and visit us! From all of us at Brixham Gin, Merry Christmas! W: www.brixhamgin.com

Craft Gin Magazine 23


Q & A ..

Sliabh Liag Distillers

Tell us about the Sliabh Liag Distillery, and the inspiration behind your Gin.

Sliabh Liag Distillers is setting out to reclaim the distilling heritage of Donegal and we want to share the rich cultural heritage of the are though our spirit brands . The moment of inspiration for An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin came while picking dulse (a type of sea weed eaten as a snack on the wild atlantic coast) when Moira posed the question to me had any one used seaweed in alcohol. At the time I was working for Wm Grant & Sons and I asked Moira to leave it with me. A short while later I came back and said I think Gin is the way to do it and we felt we could capture “the magic of the sea” (or dríaocht na farraige in Irish) and the concept of an Irish Maritime Gin became both exciting and scary at the same time – and in our view when that happens you have to do it!

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You are based in Donegal which has a fantastic history of distilling, do you feel the onus is on you to enhance and build on the reputation of the area?

Donegal has a rich illicit distilling heritage, which includes my grand-father who made fine poitín, and it is really important to us that we champion the cultural heritage and reputation of the Sliabh Liag peninsula and build a legacy of which everyone can be proud. Ultimately being in this position is a privilege and we feel that the Sliabh Liag Distillery will complement many of the existing businesses in the area and hopefully be a catalyst for a few more. Are your botanicals sourced locally? Do you grow any on site?

The conventional gin botanicals (juniper, coriander, angelica, orange and lemon peels


Have you entered any competitions in 2019, and how did they go?

We haven’t entered as many competitions this year as its difficult to know whether to enter as a London dry, which we are though not typical, or a contemporary which we are but not typical. We did enter the Class magazine awards because we like that it is judged by bartendenders and An Dúlamán won the Category champion which is quite an accolade. Do you have plans for further Gins in 2020?

This year we extended the range with An Dúlamán Santa Ana, a barrel aged Armada (Navy) Strength expression. The commander of the Duquesa Santa Ana that was lost off Loughros Mor was a nobleman from Rioja so we brought some rioja barrels over from Spain and aged the gin before bottling it with its newly acquired sweet wine notes and rose gold hue at 57%. It’s the first Navy Strength Irish Gin and it is divine. We will continue to make this in 2020 and we have a couple of ideas that hopefully will intrigue people but we are keeping them under wraps for now.

and cassia) come from all over the world but the 5 seaweeds are harvested along the shore in Donegal with Dúlamán (channel wrack) and Pepper Dulse being harvested by us. 4 of the seaweeds are dried but the shyest one pepper dulse, also known as the truffle of the sea is harvested with the low tides of a full moon and frozen to maintain its unique mineral, garlic umami character.

How are your plans going for Christmas sales?, Will you be doing Christmas Markets or do you focus on specific areas of trade during the winter months?

How do you set yourselves apart in what is a very competitive market?

Ultimately it comes down to us as a team and a unique sense of place, the county of Donegal is often seen as a place apart and the Sliabh Liag peninsula as one of rare beauty and isolation. The market for gin has become very competitive and we hold true to our savoury taste as a counterpoint to the way the category has become very sweet, we use our sense of place in the Donegal Gaeltacht and use the stories and legends of the area. We tap into the celtic in our labelling and the power of the sea, with the bottle inspired by those washed ashore from the armada wrecks, and celebrate the brilliant plants that cling to the rocky coastline and we distil to a London dry single shot standard, never mixing batches and hand numbering all the bottles.

is completely manual and the cut points are determined by Moira and Sean’s (the distillers) excellent palates. Each batch is left to marry for 10 days before being bottled, corked and wax and stamped with the distillery seal sealed by hand. We are developing a space on the website that will allow you to put in the batch and bottle number and it will give you complete transparency on the ingredients, the distillers on the day, the batch size etc and photos of us harvesting the pepper dulse on the shore from that batch.

Plans for this year’s Christmas are done and focus on An Dúlamán Gift Packs with glasses, and the An Dúlamán Santa Ana is always presented in a gift tube so hopefully they will go well. The team is really small currently so we will do some of our local Christmas markets but we wont be going too much further afield. We should have our off sales license by then so the distillery will likely be busy with tours as people come home for Christmas. T: + 353 (0) 749 739 875 M: + 353 (0) 872 328 609 Twitter/instagram: @DeeSliabhLiag

I am a great believer and follower of Hand crafted produce, how much of the process is Hand Crafted at The Distillery?

An Dúlamán is manufactured in our hand beaten 500L copper pot still and we use an unusually low ABV in the still to start. We have found this gives us big flavour and a super soft texture that allows the seaweed to shine. All the seaweeds are hand harvested with Pepper Dulse being only picked on the full moon. The distillation

Craft Gin Magazine 9


Q&A ..

Brighton Gin Tell us about the History of Brighton Gin, and the inspiration behind your Gin

Our mission is to take the Spirit of Brighton to the world! Our small batch, super-premium, award-winning Brighton Gin – distilled beside the seaside – is genuinely hand made by our fabulous team using the purest grain spirit, juniper, fresh orange and lime peels, angelica root, locally-grown coriander seed and milk thistle. Our gin-loving founder, MD and well-known broadcaster, Kathy Caton, had the idea for Brighton Gin as an absolute light-bulb moment. While out for a seafront run the morning after a very late night on the gins, dancing around a friend’s kitchen table, she was struck by the realisation that if she’d been drinking anything other than gin she wouldn’t have been off her sofa let alone going for a run. Kathy has always maintained that gin is the one drink that lets you get away with it Brighton is a place that needs to get away with it on a frequent basis, and she thought ta da! Brighton needs its own gin! Tell us about pure wheat spirit and the difference this makes to the finished product?

We’ve used 100% organic wheat spirit since the very early days. One of our founding principles is that if there’s one way of doing things or a better way, we want to take the better way! The base spirit comes from Italy - it’s not from the UK (although we’d love it to be!) because British organic grain is only

26 Craft Gin Magazine

used in food products as it is prohibitively expensive to be used in gin manufacturing (and this goes for all UK gin producers). We use a very high quality grain spirit because it ensures the smoothness of Brighton Gin. It’s approximately 4 times more expensive than other options – but we believe you can really tell the difference, it’s super-smooth, and we reckon it gets you quite a long way in sparing you the hangover you’d get from less high quality options! (Drink enough of anything and you’ll feel rubbish though, of course!)

Do you source Botanicals from your surroundings? Do you grow any on site?

When we were developing the recipe there was a vast list of botanicals we wanted to use, which Kathy then distilled individually to isolate the flavours and which has eventually whittled down to six, everyone of which has earned its place in the bottle. We’ve deliberately tried to create a really well integrated gin that is smooth enough to be sipped neat and is certified vegan too, so it can be drunk with a clear conscience!


We use fresh orange and lime peel. The oranges are sourced through a local fruiterer (we juice the fruit and drink it on the spot in the distillery). As part of our vegan credentials we ensure that we use either unwaxed peel or those with a vegan wax (having discovered that animal waxes are often used) and every fruit is peeled by hand. We are very pleased to have sourced lime peels that are a by-product from a juicer in the South West - at Brighton Gin we are committed to tackling food waste and doing things in as ethical a way as possible and we’re delighted we can save somebody else’s byproduct from landfill and put it to good (and delicious!) use. Our local fruit supplier works with a homeless organisation in Brighton to give them all of their surplus fruit and vegetables - zero waste and helping people out. Regarding the juniper, like lots of producers we are currently importing from Macedonia through the locally-based (and lovely!) Beacon Commodities however we’re also working with the Sussex Wildlife Trust on a very exciting - and very long-term - plan regarding juniper - but it’s a bit soon to be doing the grand reveal on that. Watch this space though! How do you set yourselves apart in what is a very competitive market?

There’s no doubt at all that we’re now in a very competitive and crowded market - it’s changed hugely in the 8 years since Kathy had the idea. Since our very early days though we have taken the choice to absolutely focus on quality, quality, quality in everything from our raw materials to our production methods. Our target market are the adventurous consumers who are looking deeper when picking the food and drink they consume. It has to be top quality when it comes to taste but consumers are interested in the production, the people, the provenance, the principles and the passion behind a brand. Our company is powered by a love of gin and grounded in the spirit that defines Brighton: independent, fun-loving, openminded and ethically conscious. We’re confident that by continuing to work in this way and put quality and sustainability above all else, we can continue to reach new consumers and grow our brand – whatever the competition. We believe that business can be a force for good and we have put sustainability and ethical decisions at the heart of what we do - you can be a commercial enterprise and still make a positive difference.

I am a great believer and follower of Hand crafted produce, how much of the process is Hand Crafted at Brighton Gin?

We are very, very proud to say absolutely everything is! We do everything by hand from start to finish whether that’s peeling the fruit, stirring the gin, or labelling and waxing the bottle. We’re very proud that every single Brighton Gin bottle has been hand produced. Kathy’s mum Jude is our production manager and is a stickler for quality control and making sure that each bottle leaves in as perfect a condition as is possible. However, we also love that each bottle has very subtle differences too and we can tell who has waxed them! As a hand-crafted product that takes time and a lot of hands to make, our focus is very much on quality and consistency, not pile it high volume. It means that this is reflected in our bottle price but the core production team of Paul, Jude and Josh have done every single element. Our original waxers, Kathy and Ellie, have been ‘retired’ now for not being good enough! Have you entered any competitions in 2019? and how did they go?

We have and they went very well - and we’ve also been nominated for things that we didn’t know about and have then been blown away to have taken the top spot! We were delighted to be named Handmade Gin of the Year 2019 in the Global Excellence Awards, and our Seaside Strength has been named Navy Gin of the Year 2019 by David T Smith and the Craft Distilling Expo team. It also took silver at the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition and was starred by Great Taste Awards. We also won the Sussex Drink Producer of the year which blew us away as it was voted on by the public - it’s been a bonanza year on an awards front and we never, ever take them for granted.

Do you have plans for further Gins in 2020?

Our mission is to take the spirit of Brighton to the world, building a globally recognised gin brand, rooted in ethical and sustainable production. We’re delighted with how the release of the Seaside Strength gin has gone - we’re working on some very exciting limited products for the years ahead but are a bit too superstitious to talk about them publicly just yet! The team have got such exacting production standards that we won’t release anything without everyone’s sign off. But watch this space! How are your plans going for Christmas sales?, will you be doing Christmas Markets, or do you focus on specific areas of trade during the winter months?

We love Christmas at Brighton Gin, it’s the time of year when we’re super-busy going out to tastings and events. This year, we decided to run our own event at the Old Market in Hove. We invited the best of the Sussex food and drink producers to be under one roof so that people could eat, drink, be merry and maybe even do some Christmas shopping! We also run the Brighton Gin 4 O’Clock Club whereby we visit folks at their premises allowing staff or groups of friends to have fun and learn lots whilst sipping on a Brighton G&T. We’ll be out doing tonnes of tastings and samplings, so if you’re a venue or a keen stockist of Brighton Gin and fancy us coming in to do a tasting, give us a call and we’ll do our best! T: 01273 448 092 E: info@brightongin.com Twitter: @brightongin Instagram: @brightonginstergram Facebook: @brightongin

Craft Gin Magazine 27


McQueen Gin

M

cQueen Gin makes unique, adventurous and world-first gins that are distilled to be different. Launched four years ago by husband and wife duo Dale and Vicky McQueen, the adventure began with the couple’s passion for innovation, and has been built on their mission to bring experimental flavour combinations to gin-lovers worldwide. The brand’s range of adventurous gins includes five world-first flavours; Sweet Citrus, Mocha, Smokey Chilli, Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Orange. All are distilled with pride and precision in McQueen’s new state-of-theart distillery in Callander, where the stills are hand-charged to ensure each batch retains its unmistakeable juniper character. The brand has already secured contracts with major retailers throughout the UK including Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda. McQueen has also secured a listing for its popular colour changing gin with Aldi in Australia and has ambitious plans for expansion into the United States and China. Just this month McQueen released three new

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festive gins, Black Cherry & Vanilla (exclusive to Morrisons) Clementine and Cinnamon (exclusive to Sainsbury’s) and Blood Orange and Cranberry (exclusive to Aldi). Dale McQueen, co-founder of McQueen Gin, commented: “At McQueen, we’ve made it our mission to push the boundaries of the gin world; crafting distilled to be different spirits which adventurous gin drinkers will enjoy exploring as much as we enjoy crafting.” McQueen recently opened its first shop, The McQueen Gin Emporium, on Stirling’s high street selling the brand’s full product range. This includes; Super Premium Dry, Forest Fruits Gin, Pink Gin, Coconut and Lime Gin, Raspberry and Vanilla Gin, Sweet Citrus, Spiced Chocolate Orange, Chocolate Mint, Mocha, Smokey Chilli, Violet Gin, Black Cherry and Vanilla, Blood Orange and Cranberry, and Clementine and Cinnamon. The company’s distillery in Callander also stocks the brand’s full product range and offers

guided tours of the facility. Both are open seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm. Dale continued: “My wife Vicky and I have been passionate about gin for years – we came up with the idea for McQueen Gin whilst sitting in our garden enjoying a nice G&T! We wanted to create products that would resonate with adventurous drinkers looking for an experience unlike anything else available on the market.” PRODUCTS

One of McQueen’s sell-out successes is their Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin. Arriving on the palate with a beautiful blend of forest fruit flavours, add premium tonic to this striking blue gin and sit back and watch as it transforms to a delicate pink colour. Exclusively available from Aldi, this gin sold out in a matter of days when it launched in Scotland last year, securing McQueen further contracts to supply Aldi’s UK and Australian stores.


One of McQueen’s newest creations is its festive Black Cherry and Vanilla Gin, available exclusively in 250 Morrisons stores UK-wide. Notes of sour cherry and spice complement a subtle hint of smooth vanilla and the unmistakable juniper character recognised in all of McQueen’s creations. Enjoyed over ice with premium tonic or shaken in a martini, this is a fantastic edition to any gin lover’s collection.

McQueen’s Sweet Citrus Gin, one of the company’s world-first flavours, is a fabulous combination of sweetness and zestiness. Bursting with citrus alongside some of the lighter juniper and coriander floral notes, this refreshing gin combines creamy vanilla with sweet honeydew melon. To find out more about McQueen Gin visit www.mcqueengin.co.uk

Craft Gin Magazine 29


Kinrara Distillery

K

inrara Distillery is nestled within 12,000 acres of Kinrara Estate, just outside Aviemore, within the Cairngorm National Park. Founded in 2017, we make unique highland dry gins infused with local flora and berries. The centuries old Cairngorm estate was founded by Lady Jane Gordon, beautiful socialite and co-creator of the famous Gordon Highlanders. Known as the ‘Empress of fashion’, she was born during Britain’s notorious gin craze, and later held lavish parties and soirée evenings where up and coming artists were invited to perform. It was in her drawing room that Rabbie Burns first read his poetry to Edinburgh society. The estate offers a stunning range of flora and berries that we hand forage for our gins and mix with carefully sourced botanicals. This allows us to create our award winning, unique range of premium highland gins. Our gins are crafted on our two small 100 litre stills, by our Head Distiller David. We pride ourselves on creating a handcrafted small batch spirit. From the distillation of the gin right down to the bottling, everything is lovingly done by hand, by our small passionate highland team. 2019 has been a busy second year for the distillery. Our Highland Dry gin was voted in the top 10 best gins in Scotland by the general public, along with being awarded the Silver Medal in the Distilled Gin of the Year category at the Scottish Gin Awards.

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We also released our 3rd Artist Edition Gin ‘Freya’ the Fox, a limited edition of 2000 bottles. Our Distillers Edition Gins have also made their way into some of Scotland’s main Supermarkets, allowing us to further expand our range of gins. W: www.kinraradistillery.com E: Info@kinraradistillery.com


‘This is a perfectly balanced gin that makes a great G&T – we think this could become a real classic.’ The Scottish Gin Society www.highlandliquorcompany.com


Thunderflower An old Devon legend says that the small white ‘thunderflowers’ that are found growing on the thatched cottage roofs in this ancient landscape, can ward off both lightning and witchcraft.

Thunderflower Gin is a London Dry with enough character to see off any approaching storms or spells.

One-shot distilled in very small-batches at our nano-distillery in Devon, our eleven botanicals are vapour-infused with only pure Dartmoor spring water added to the final

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spirit to create a unique, full-bodied gin.

PROUDLY DISTILLED & BOTTLED IN DEVON WWW.THUNDERFLOWER.CO.UK hello@thunderflower.co.uk

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THE FUDDY DUCK DISTILLERY

THE

BIG MOVE

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F

uddy Duck is going from strength to strength so much that they have bought a new two storey 200m2 premises. The 1st floor will be hold a brand new Gin and tap bar. 16 craft beers will be on offer from around the UK. As well as their 5 flavoured Gins and toffee vodka. They will also serve a few locally made Gins. The bar will be 4 metres long with a purpose built coctail station. The bar area will have an Alpine theme with rustic and chunky seating and a few comfy chesterfields to make you feel at home. Below the bar,

will be the microbrewery and distillery were all the magic happens.This bar will be all about the fun were the locals can unwind, party and dance the night away. Sales of flavoured gin in the UK have contributed more than half of all the growth in the gin category in the past year, with sales netting ÂŁ165 million, up an impressive 751% on the same period last year, according to figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. Fuddy Duck is passionate about flavoured Gins and this is were most of there sales are. The young party goers love gin, but do prefer to have Gin and lemonade.

Jason the owner of Fuddy Duck says he will be launching at least 5 more flavoured Gins by Christmas to add to their collection of Cranberry & Raspberry, Grapefruit, Pomegranate & Elderflower and the best seller Fruit Salad. I dont compromise when it comes to the botanicals. A good heaping of Juniper goes in all our Gins and the ABV stays at 40%. The Gin and Tap bar should be open by Christmas and is located at: Unit 7 Endeavour Way, Boston, Lincolnshire PE217TF. W: www.thefuddyduckbrewery.co.uk E: jason@fuddyduckbrewery.co.uk F: @fuddyduckbrewery T: @fuddy_duck

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THE GROWTH IN SCOTTISH GIN AS SCOTLAND NEARS 100 SCOTTISH DISTILLERIES BY JULIE DUNN OF THE SCOTTISH GIN SOCIETY

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Map courtesy of James Porteous, Electric Sprit Co.

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s we approach 100 distilleries making gin here in Scotland, we felt it was time for reflection, but more importantly, to look ahead at what the future may hold. None of us have a crystal ball, but we thought it’s a good time to ask some industry insiders what their thoughts are. But first, let’s rewind – The Scottish Gin Society was established by Stephen White in 2016. The idea was simple, to build a community of fellow Scottish Gin lovers, and follow the journey of this incredible catego-ry. Stephen’s belief was that Scottish Gin would thrive and grow and ultimately challenge our other na-tional drink – whisky. So, in 2017 we set about documenting the distilleries and gins that were popping up all over Scotland and in 2018 we launched our online A-Z of Scottish Gin directory and Scottish Gin Distillery map, continuing to research and add new distilleries and gins as they appeared, keeping our followers up to date with the se-lection of Scottish Gins available. The growth has been far beyond anything we could have imagined. In the coming months, we fully expect to log the 100th gin distillery in Scotland. Compare this with 2000, when there were just 2. It’s not just the number of distilleries that is quite incredible, there’s also the Scottish Gin brands that are contract or cuckoo distilled. The number of gin expressions on the market is growing at a rapid rate, with brands regularly releasing new flavours, colours & strengths to their portfolios. And this is part of the brilliance of the Scottish Gin market - its constant innovation. The actual spirit lends itself to experimentation and there seems to be no end to the development of new and different ways to enjoy it. But how did we get here? And where is the industry going? Well, here are the thoughts and opinions of some of the people at the heart of the Scottish Gin industry on why there has been such an explosion of interest in recent years and what the future might hold for us. WHAT’S BEHIND THE BOOM? First off, we spoke to Andrew Niven and Wiebke Petersen from the industry body, Scotland Food & Drink for their insight into what’s behind the Scottish Gin boom. They told us that “the spirits sec-tor is changing, primarily due to the shift in the consumer’s drinking behaviour. Consumers are starting to drink less but better quality, resulting in a higher willingness to pay more for

premium products. Consumers also enjoy experimenting with new drinks, flavours and brands which aids the category’s growth. Furthermore, unique and social experiences gain popularity among consumers which drives the popularity of cocktails and other mixer drinks more than ever before.” They are also of the opinion that the versatility of gin makes it a popular choice for drinkers: Gin is a key player in the cocktail world due to its high versatility. Over the last couple of years, a diverse range of unique flavoured and coloured gins as well as gin liqueurs have been introduced and gained immense popularity among the younger adult generation, which helped grow the gin industry. The huge variety of gins available means there’s a gin for any style of cocktail on the market. And - love it or hate it - flavoured gin is, and will continue to be big business: Flavour innovation is arguably the biggest driver of gin growth in the UK. In the offtrade, the val-ue of flavoured gin has grown by 192% over the last year with 50+ new products and it now ac-counts for over a third of all gin sales. In the on-trade, Gordon’s Premium Pink has overtaken Gordon’s Original to be the no.1 gin in the market, demonstrating the impact of flavours from a prod-uct less than five years old. The rise of pink and flavoured gins, is definitely an area to watch, Martin Murray of Dunnet Bay Distillery, winner of 2019 Scottish Gin Awards Distillery of the Year added, the growth in super-markets expanding their ranges; and the likes of Caorunn, Hendrick’s and Edinburgh Gin releasing new editions/expressions, are meeting consumer’s demand for craft gin. This is supported by Alan Wolstenholme, Chair of the Scottish Distillers Association, who believes that pioneering brands such as Caorunn and Hendrick’s reinvigorated the industry. He also says: “The market has been receptive with a desire by consumers for “genuine” product, possibly with a local angle and with engaging stories about the product. However, a key element must be the

sheer number of energetic and enthusiastic individuals who have worked hard to bring their prod-ucts to the public’s attention and thus driven the growth.” The individuals behind the brands are breathing life in to what was once seen as a pretty dull cat-egory, and shaping it to be something no one could have predicted. The vibrant, innovative atti-tudes of the gin brands have made Scottish Gin more attractive to spirit drinkers. But can it last? And Alison Higgins, Brand Ambassador for The Scottish Gin Society, and someone who definitely knows her Scottish Gins, believes there is another reason for the gin boom of recent years. She says: “Over the last two and a half years, we have seen growth, creativity and innovation beyond our wildest dreams. As touched on, the people behind the brands are what makes this category so special. The one area we can’t ignore is the growth in gin experiences. More and more consumers can now enjoy gin where it’s made, which looking back to 2017 there were only a few brands that opened their doors. I think there will be continued growth in gin-experiences (excluding festivals), so distillery visits, gin schools, foraging and the like, attracting both consumers from home and abroad.” WHAT WILL THE FUTURE HOLD FOR SCOTTISH GIN? We don’t have a crystal ball so it’s very hard to predict how an industry as surprising and regener-ative as Scottish Gin will develop in coming years, but again, most people have a firm opinion on this. The Scotland Food & Drink team gave us some very interesting statistics to explain their view. They say: Global alcohol consumption fell back by 1.6% in 2018, according to data from the IWSR, with some 27.6 billion nine-litre cases being consumed. The figure represents a setback after 2017, which saw a small uptick of 0.1%. However, among categories in growth in 2018, gin was the clear win-ner, with volume sales up by 8.3%. In the UK, u gin was up 32.5% year on year.

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According to the WSTA’s Market Report, total UK spirit sales last year were worth over £11bn, with around 400 million bottles sold – meaning that one in every five bottles of spirit sold in the UK in the last year was gin. Volume sales of gin are predicted to rise 23% globally by 2023. So, it looks like the gin market is set to continue growing? Yes, but at a slower pace, according to Scotland Food & Drink. They tell us: Within the next 10 years, the gin sector is likely to slow down in the UK. With the large amount of gin brands available on the market, the market is becoming highly saturated. 402 new gin brands have entered the UK market since May 2016, 367 of which are premium brands. This means there’s a real challenge for brands to stand out and achieve any loyalty and repeat purchase. They also predict the public will be consuming less alcohol in the future, so more product innova-tion in lower / no alcohol options can be expected: “Due to increasing health awareness, consum-ers are likely to be drinking less alcohol in the next decade, and even opt for more low- and no-alcohol alternatives. The traditional gin category might share shelf space with more nonalcoholic alternatives.” It’s also possible that we might see more adventurous consumers becoming bored with gin, as they did with Vodka in cocktails. Rum, vermouth, tequila and mezcal are some of the competitor spirits that have recently been seen more and more in the cocktail scene, so it’s essential for the gin category to keep up to date with the latest trends and adjust to the competing market. Martin Murray, thinks the future will see some of the bigger players acquiring some of the smaller brands. He also predicts that, while consumption won’t grow, consumers will continue to diversify their ‘go-to’ brands and try more of the smaller craft gins as well as new flavours. James Sutherland, owner of 56 North, Talk Gin Podcast host, and South Loch Gin creator- hopes to see the “gin liqueur” market and the trend for sugary gins give way to consumers returning to well-made Scottish full strength gins. He also cites “micro regionalisation” as a key trend for the future, where brands all buy from small local producers and companies and gin consumers buy from local gin producers, creating ‘micro gin regions’ within Scotland. He says “We’re already see-ing this in Scotland where certain brands can be huge in a small area and go 15miles away and they don’t exist!”

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When asked about the future of the category, Alan Wolstenholme thinks it will become even more congested in terms of numbers of brands but inevitably it will get harder to stand out and get shelf space. He thinks we might see takeovers and some brands simply exiting the sector. But he says: ‘However, until I see a glut of unsold secondhand stills I won’t believe the boom has turned to bust! I think volume will continue to increase and successful companies will upscale their produc-tion capacity.’ WHAT’S THE BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR SCOTTISH GIN? It’s clear from talking to people within the industry that there is still potential for growth, but few see that there is much more room for new brands to enter and the sector to remain sustainable. One key area for growth, however, is the export market. Andrew Niven told us that HMRC export figures show that, in the last 12 months to May 2019, gin exports from the UK were worth £730m, while domestically over 76 million bottles of gin were sold in the last 12 months (WSTA to March 2019), worth £2.3 billion, putting the total value of the category at just over £3bn. Of the £730m gin exported from the UK, around £350m heads to the EU with the remaining £380m worth heading further afield. But, they say challenges exist, especially with Brexit uncertainty, EU tariffs post-Brexit remain a possibility and with Spain being one of the largest producers of gin outside the UK this could make a serious dent in exports to Europe, especially for smaller producers who don’t have the econo-mies of scale of their larger multi-national competitors. Ongoing global trade disputes mean that tariffs applied by the US could also be extended. In the UK the duty on spirits, which has been fro-zen in the last few budgets, may well start to rise, depending on the hue of future governments. Andrew says: “Scottish gin producers will need to understand the trends, what the consumer is looking for and whether their

new product development pipeline is in tune with the market.” Alan Wolstenholme is cautiously optimistic about the future of the category and sees digital de-velopment playing a key role in increasing worldwide distribution. He sees a big opportunity in “primarily establishing Scottish Gin as a premium category internationally, allowing significant exports.” Martin Murray also sees export as a key opportunity for Scottish Gin producers, as some markets are starting to grow gin cocktail sales, but he thinks gin producers may come under pressure to discount their product, that will make things difficult for some of the smaller players. When asked about opportunities for the Scottish Gin category, James Sutherland told us that the key issue is the constant drive for new products rather than good products, he is concerned that the market may lose the ‘craft’ angle in the rush to get new products out. But he does see an op-portunity in the innovation of lower sugar and lower ABV products that are made in the same way as gin and retain the flavours and skills we have in Scotland. James also touches upon the prickly subject of the regulation of gin production, ensuring Scottish products are made in Scotland. While this could be a threat to the industry and perhaps not wel-comed by all, it can also ensure the highest quality within the Scottish Gin industry and is some-thing he would welcome. SO, WHAT’S THE CONCLUSION? The future of Scottish Gin is a hot topic and as we speak to more people about the Scottish Gin industry, a clearer picture is emerging. Yes, it seems as though the arrival of many more new dis-tilleries on the map could lead us to breaking point, but on the other hand, there is a clear appe-tite for new and innovative gin brands, especially those that have a great story to tell. And while there is always the threat that the gin bubble will suddenly burst and the public will abandon their love of gin for another spirit, it’s unlikely that this is going to happen any time soon, or that the category will be altogether forgotten. It’s also clear that gin producers are going to have to continue to evolve and innovate and think of new ways to grab the public’s attention if they are to grow and survive. All in all, it’s a very exciting time for the Scottish Gin industry and the wonderful people who make up the community. As ever, The Scottish Gin Society is proud to be at the heart of that community, supporting and promoting it and watching with eager excitement to see what the future brings!


Gin industry

News

POETIC LICENCE DISTILLERY

v Poetic License Independent Small Batch Distillery based in the North East of England are releasing a new gin liqueur on a limited run, “Tutti Frutti”. This is their 2nd limited run gin liqueur for 2019 and it’s the first one produced with the new Head Distiller, Ben Murphy and Senior Distiller, Lewis Hendry. The gin liqueur has an ABV of 21% and is available in a 70cl bottle, a departure from their normal range of gin liqueurs which are available in 50cl bottles only. Tutti Frutti has an RRP of £21.95 for the 70cl bottle, making this quality artisan product affordable but still retaining the craft associated with the production. 2019 has also been quite an auspicious year for the distillery as they have collaborated with other trailblazing companies

to produce gins and gin liqueurs that break the traditional perceived boundaries. They have just launched a blood Red Psycho path Halloween Gin in collaboration with “Psycho Path” who are the North East’s largest Halloween styled fear event. This takes us now to the next gin liqueur with Greene King making the Tutti Frutti their ‘Gin of the Month’ in selected Greene King outlets. This is something the distillery is proud to be associated with. Ben Murphy, Head Distiller says, “We wanted to produce a gin liqueur that is more ‘on trend’ and at present the gin craze has turned more towards fruitbased liquor gins which are generally half the ABV strength of your classical and traditional gin styles. It was great to really think outside of the box when producing Tutti Frutti, reminiscent of fruit sweets, a true burst of flavour as well

TUTTI FRUTTI GIN LIQUEUR as ensuring the liquid visually matches the taste experience, hence we opted for a bright orange colour of the gin liqueur.” Jonathan Graham, Ops Director, Poetic Licence Distillery agrees, “It has been a great project to work on with everyone within the distillery having input into the taste and colour of the end product. “We are also exceptionally proud that Greene King, are taking this product into a number of their participating venues, whilst we will have this available to other venues and available online it has been great secure a large order on this product.” The new Tutti Frutti Gin Liqueur will be available at all Green King sites and available to purchase directly online via www.poeticlicensedistillery. co.uk/shop/liqueurs

A CHRISTMAS RECIPE FROM THE ISLE OF WIGHT DISTILLERY www.isleofwightdistillery.com

YULETIDE EGGNOG

A warming, winter-spiced cocktail, perfect for enjoying by the fire on a chilly evening, with sweetness from homemade festive syrup – add to your cocktails at home for a yuletide twist. INGREDIENTS: 40ml Mermaid Gin 60ml Fizzy Apple Cider 25ml Festive Syrup 1 Free Range Egg METHOD – FESTIVE SYRUP: Mix 100g of sugar with equal measures water and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Add star anise, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, then simmer for a further 10-15 minutes, before leaving to cool and straining. METHOD – YULETIDE EGGNOG: Whisk the egg and pour into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Add gin, festive syrup and fizzy apple cider, then shake vigorously. Pour into a crystal tumbler and garnish with grated whole nutmeg.

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Cricketers Gin

C

ricketers Gin is an independent British gin company set up by father and daughter founding partners; Rachel and David. This London Dry Gin, has only just launched in the Berkshire area. The Cricketers Gin journey began in spring of this year, on a relaxed Sunday afternoon, with a refreshing gin and tonic and watching cricket on Pinkneys Green, opposite Rachel’s home. Surrounded by the stunning Berkshire countryside, father and daughter decided that this quintessential British game of cricket, along with the local wild botanicals growing in abundance, deserved a bespoke gin of its very own. David has a lifetime of experience in the restaurant industry; having worked with prestigious brands as a sommelier, owned his own restaurants, and has studied in Beaune, Burgundy and with WSET. Today he is happily enjoying retirement and the launch of Cricketers Gin! Rachel enjoyed a successful career in Brand and Marketing, before following her dream to become a Primary School Teacher. After teaching for 15 years, Rachel now runs her own tutoring business where she works 1:1 with children struggling with the curriculum. This business has allowed her to spend more time with her own children, and of course develop the exquisite Cricketers Gin recipe! Their combined experience, together with their shared love of a gin and tonic, have been the winning combination that has culminated in the creation of this gin.

Surrounded by beautiful woodland and nature, Pinkneys Green in Berkshire is home to three of the local botanicals featuring in Cricketers Gin; wild marjoram, milk thistle and blackberries. These unique flavours harmonise with zesty orange, spicy coriander, and subtle tones of liquorice. After a great deal of research, Rachel & David decided that the independent and established Wharf Distillery, who pride themselves on being a grain to grass distillers, was the perfect place for their gin to be distilled. They worked side by side with Laurence Conisbee, an expert in small batch distilling, to ensure their unique, local ingredients and their developed and beloved recipe delivered an exquisitely smooth juniper-forward gin, showcasing Cricketers Gin provenance.

This gin is very much a product of its surrounds, with wild botanicals and the village cricket club at the heart of its conception. Rachel, Cricketers Gin Director wanted to demonstrate how business can fuse with community and nature, and has worked very closely with her local pub The Pinkneys Arms. The Pinkneys Arms is a small, independently run free-house, nestled in the heart of their village, it is full of character and charm, and has been established for over 200 years. Three friends; Ian, James and Steve share a passion for exceptional food and drink, and believe in sourcing the best seasonal quality produce. The owners and their talented events organiser Tina, have been strong supporters of Cricketers Gin and are passionate about their collaboration with local artisans. Rachel and David are looking forward to the coming months as their fledgling gin grows, the heart of that growth will be continued collaborations within their local Berkshire community. W: www.cricketersgin.com E: premiumgin@cricketersgin.com T: 07792 294777 TW: @CricketersGin FB: /CricketersGin I: @cricketersginberkshire

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DAM GOOD GIN

coastaldistillery.co.uk PAGE 41.indd 1

COASTAL DISTILLERY

®

23/08/2019 14:14


W W W.T H E R I V E RT E ST D I ST I L L E RY.C O.U K


Q & A ..

Twelve Keys Gin Matt, tell us about the formation of Sartorial Spirits and the meaning behind Twelve Keys Gin

We were in Edinburgh about five summers ago, for a 40th birthday party of one my wife’s friend’s. We were quite early, and there were a couple of guys at the bar that my wife was keen to introduce me to. She said “they’re quite entrepreneurial, and you’ll really get on with them”. She introduced us and they offered to buy us a drink, and I suggested a gin and tonic to start the evening off. “Good choice!” They said, “have you tried Pickerings?”. “I’ve never heard of it” I said, “what is it?”. “Oh, it’s just a really good gin”. We got talking and I found it is was their gin… “what do you mean it’s your gin?” I asked. “We make it!” they said. “What do you mean you make it?” I asked. It turned out they were Matt Gammel and Marcus Pickering, of Pickering’s gin. I wasn’t new to business, having set up several software businesses over the years, but had never been involved in the drinks industry. I was really captivated by the success Pickering’s had achieved in such a short space of time, and it wasn’t anything to do with aviation, oil & gas or software. It was something much more sociable, and much more interesting, that called on my education in product design and brand building. I left Edinburgh buzzing, and spent several months learning about the industry, looking for an opportunity, that wasn’t just about launching another gin.  I did a lot of research, particularly on Sipsmith, and started to develop a business

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plan around creating bespoke spirits for existing brands. There was a little bit of it at the time, but not much. Sipsmith had made a couple of collaborative gins, and I had a sense that Pickering’s were looking that way too. Although the gin market was really starting to take off, it was very early days in terms of the market, such as a boutique hotel, being ready to commission their own house spirit. However, with the increase in consumer interest in gin, the risk was falling and the opportunity was developing to create bespoke tailored spirits, hence Sartorial Spirits. Without any experience in the industry, the concept was to collaborate with people with lots of experience, and provide in essence a concierge type service for brands wishing to commission their own spirit. I also needed to prove the concept and create a demonstration product, born out of collaboration. Hence

Twelve Keys, which was originally created purely as a signature showpiece. The name Twelve Keys actually comes from a notorious alchemist, called Basil Valentine, who I came across indirectly after having read, “A Spirituous Journey” one of Jared Brown’s many books. Jared and his wife, Anastasia, are well known drinks and cocktails historians, and Jared was also the genius master distiller behind Sipsmith. In 1599, Basil Valentine published the “Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine”, a formidable cryptic visual set of clues of how to create the Philsopher’s Stone. However, the historians couldn’t find any records to this person being real, and believe that he was actually a discreet collaboration of alchemists, working under the cover of the pseudonym Basil Valentine, to avoid detection and persecution by the church.  Basil Valentine’s Twelve Keys, seemed the perfect analogy for our own ‘secret’ collaboration of experts, working together to turn base metal into gold (taking a set of botanicals and turning them into something really special), ultimately the collaborative concept behind Sartorial Spirits.  The production of your Gin is contracted out, however I understand you produce the honey for the Gin. How is your business perceived locally? And what effect if any does your business model have nationally. The decision to contract our gin out was taken because I couldn’t raise even £1 towards putting a small R&D distillery lab together


in our outbuildings, which really surprised me. The concept was right, as there are now many collaborative and commissioned gins on the market, but I think investors felt that the market was saturating, even five years ago, and couldn’t quite buy in to the opportunity.  With only limited funds to work with, we decided to focus our budget in favour of brand building, instead of buying our own stills. I set about finding a distiller with the same production setup we were aiming for originally, and commissioned them to help us develop the liquid. In reality, this was also proving the Sartorial Spirits concept. In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t make the investment in kit, but it has made for an interesting debate locally.  By focusing on brand, we aimed to create an exportable brand, rather than another craft Norfolk gin. I always felt it was important to develop something that would work with the on-trade more-so than the off-trade, and

something that had international export appeal. The trade off is that whilst we do harvest one of our of key botanicals, honey, pure and unfiltered from our bee hives in our wildflower meadow, we don’t actually distill our product in Norfolk. It’s distilled in Glasgow, by a wonderful team, on a beautiful CARL 450 litre still with a vapour infusion column.  Some feel that this is sacrilege, that regardless of where you source your botanicals, it has to be made in Norfolk. But, I am proud to be a Norfolk business, and I’m proud that one of our key botanicals is actually our own Norfolk product.  From a different perspective, one could argue that by contracting out the production process, we have been able to focus our limited resources and funds on brand building, key to this industry. In fact, we setup a third party production process from distillation, to bottling through to bonded warehousing that effectively allows The Twelve Keys ‘permanent’ pop-up bar - a successful collaboration between Twelve Keys Gin and the new Fairfax & Favor shop in Holt, Norfolk.

us to operate from a laptop (apart from putting a bee suit on every so often), and deliver traceable quality controlled volume, without any investment in these processes. I’m actually quite proud of this setup, and it makes exporting at volume under bond incredibly simple. Locally, this is a challenge for some to accept, but nationally it’s of far less relevance, internationally, it’s a non-event. You are very proud of your roots, do you see yourself as a Norwich Gin or Norfolk Gin?

My roots are actually the Isle of Wight, but I’ve had a very nomadic lifestyle, and ended up in Norwich working as an offshore helicopter pilot, before creating Twelve Keys gin. We love the rural Norfolk lifestyle, and have put years of work into creating our wildflower meadow. It’s in it’s fourth season now, and looks more and more stunning every year. We manage it very traditionally, with a single hay cut once a year, some of it cut by scythe, and the rest with our trusty old Massey 35 affectionately known as “Matilda”. Sometimes we graze it down over the autumn months with a few rare breed Norfolk Horn lambs, the best grass cutters of all. I grew up on a rare breeds farm on the Isle of Wight, and it all feels very much like home from home.  I don’t think we’re a Norwich Gin, that’s Bullards, and they’ve done a great job with their new design pack and distillery setup (actually in a building I was considering at one point). I’m not sure if I even see us as as Norfolk Gin, more of a Gin from Norfolk, from a Norfolk based business. Norfolk Gin to me, implies a small local craft brand, a tough sell for export and placing in premium on-trade bars.   You have a very good reception overseas, why do you think this is?  

I think simply because we focused on creating a high quality exportable brand. The drinks industry is essentially an expensive brand building exercise. We used a top photographer and video guy to help portray the brand, and commissioned Stranger & Stranger to develop the visual language and on-pack design. Our signature cocktails were developed by a top bartender from the Dandelyan Bar, and we were lucky enough to be able to film them being made there too. Our photo shoot was taken in an old 16th century Manor House I lived in as a student, which we took over for an entire weekend. It’s a long story, but we’ve always u

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stayed in touch with the family who own it, and they are great friends. The end result was a premium contemporary design that had export appeal, and a simplicity that appeals to the European market. People love the branding, and love the imagery.  To compliment this, we developed a flavour profile that was different; rich, indulgent and unexpected, and we are proud to have been awarded a silver medal at this year’s International Spirits Challenge.  We had a wonderful reception in Hamburg last year, and began exporting to Germany just a few weeks later after a trip to BCB in Berlin. Germany is our best market by far, and we love going back there each year. Transparency in the market is important do you believe there is that transparency in production of Gin?

I don’t think there is enough transparency, and that includes locally made gins that source all of their botanicals from out of county, in addition to those of us that contract our processes out. Much of this is to do with educating the consumer on different production processes and the value proposition you are trying to sell.  I’m less worried about it now than I was a year ago. We’ve had time to settle

into our own skin, and we’re proud of our achievements. I used to be scared to tell people that we contracted our distillation out, but we’ve nothing to hide and are honest about what we do and how we do it. It’s only really an issue to some locally, but they’re not our target market. That said, I think the industry could do more to regulate gin, particularly with flavoured gins, that simply don’t taste of gin (being the predominant flavour of juniper). What are your plans for Twelve keys Gin in 2020?

We’re taking a little bit of a step back next year, in terms of committing to trade shows and marketing spend. The UK market is very saturated, over-saturated in fact, and I’d rather focus on developing our export market and long collaboration with Fairfax & Favor, an incredible Norfolk based company making high end country footwear and accessories.  We’ve just created our first ‘permanent’ pop-up bar with Fairfax & Favor, in their first retail shop in Holt, Norfolk, and there will be more to follow around the country. It’s great exposure for us, and our brands work incredibly well together. It actually gives us a physical presence in Norfolk too, which may help our value proposition locally, we’ll see.

What are the advantages you see in starting out in the market with your business model?

The advantage is clear, and I know Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers would agree, as it’s advice he gave me very early on. Focus on building your brand, not making your product. Invest in building your brand, not in making your product yourself. Once you have traction and turnover, you can always set up your own distillery, but the industry is tough enough and competitive enough already. The ability to free up cash flow and resources is invaluable, and contracting also provides a quality controlled value chain, that can deliver volume when you need it.   Will you be looking at further Gin releases in 2020 that you can hint about?

Not with gin, but we are more than just looking at other categories...! W: www.sartorialspirits.com W: www.twelvekeys.com E: matthew@sartorialspirits.com T: +44 (0) 7742 327723 T: +44 (0) 1603 552078 Social Media: @twelvekeysgin

BARENTSZ MANDARIN & JASMINE GIN THE ULTIMATE GIN FOR CHRISTMAS lBarentsz Gin is launching a Mandarin & Jasmine Gin in time for Christmas. Mandarins are a sure sign that Christmas is on its way and fans of the citrus fruit will now be able to enjoy this exquisite flavour in a new gin expression. Building on the success of the original Barentsz Gin, launched in 2016, Founder Michael Claessens, has developed a new gin; delicately infused with natural mandarin peel and exotic jasmine flowers for a distinctively smooth and fresh taste. “The secret to Barentsz Gin comes first and foremost from it’s unique base spirit - a sophisticated marriage of golden rye and winter wheat. The creamy texture of the rye gives a longer, rounded finish. Wheat adds complexity and brings out sweeter notes which compliment the fresh taste of the mandarin peel and the delicate bouquet of our signature jasmine flowers,” says Michael. The remaining botanicals are a classic blend of juniper, orange peel, coriander seeds, almonds, liquorice, angelica root, cassia bark

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“SO SMOOTH YOU CAN DRINK IT STRAIGHT” and orris root. Barentsz Gin is pot distilled in small batches in London to guarantee a distinctively smooth and superior taste. Barentsz Gin pays homage to the intrepid Dutch explorer - Captain Willem Barentsz - with their new pioneering spirit; infused with mandarin peel and exotic jasmine flowers and inspired by Barentsz’s quest

through the Arctic for a Northeastern trading route to China. Mandarin oranges symbolise luck at Chinese New Year and Barentsz Gin source their jasmine flowers from China. Barentsz Gin celebrates a shared seafaring heritage with a sublime, sophisticated, pioneering spirit, that is born of innovation and craftsmanship. The origins of gin are found in the chronicles of Anglo-Dutch history. Barentsz Gin is inspired by the Dutch, but perfected and distilled in London. Barentsz Mandarin & Jasmine Gin is best enjoyed in a G&T or neat, over ice with a twist of mandarin. Available online from the Barentsz Gin website shop www.barentszgin.com and 31Dover.com and comes in a luxury gift carton, priced from £38.00.


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Literally a wheelbarrow load of fresh pineapples and oranges goes into every batch. It’s then smoked, torched, macerated, pressed and distilled with Hills & Harbour Gin to create a complex cocktail. Try it neat, with a mixer or simply shake and strain.

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Crafty Distillery

W

e’re from Scotland. The country that invented almost bloody everything. That’s why our logo is a little bolt of inspiration and shaped like Scotland. Our mission is to create tasty honest craft spirits for everyone who likes a tipple. We make our very own spirit from local grain to add to our gin. Hardly anyone does this as it takes ages and costs more. So why do we bother? More Taste. More Honest. More Crafty. Galloway is our home and a special corner of Scotland. Surrounded by forests and unspoilt coastlines, it’s the perfect larder for our ingredients. Opened in 2017, our custom built distillery enjoys enviable views over the Galloway countryside. Welcoming thousands of visitors from around the world every year, we offer engaging tours and serve up a range of tasty local produce, cocktails, artisan coffee and more from our Tree Bar & Café.

SMOKEY & CITRUS DISTILLED COCKTAIL

Smokey & Citrus Distilled Cocktail. Made with a wheelbarrow load of fresh fruit in each batch, we hand-smoke, torch, macerate, press and then distill all these fresh flavours to create a big and complex heart to this cracker of a cocktail. It also includes our award-winning Hills & Harbour Gin to the base and some natural sweetness for balance. This creates big flavours through pure distillation. Several days of process, many skills, techniques and craft achieves something truly special - the world’s first distilled cocktail. 0% Artificial ‘stuff ’. 0% Nonsense. 100% Distilled.

and extremely moreish. Crafted with our own spirit, all botanicals are naturally input for distillation and no essences, sweeteners or nonsense added post production.

HILLS & HARBOUR GIN

Bringing together 11 botanicals including traditional, locally foraged and world ingredients, make this gin really special. To ensure vibrancy, all of the five basic tastes are hit with elements of sweet (Mango), sour (Orange), bitter (Noble Fir) salt & umami (Seaweed). We also create sensation by hitting the nerves with subtle numbing Green Sichuan Pepper & tangy Bay leaf. The traditions of gin are respected with classic ingredients at the base making our gin complex but balanced

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Botanicals: Juniper Berries, Coriander Seeds, Orris, Angelica, Liqourice, Mango, Orange Peel, Noble Fir Tree Needles, Bladderwrack Seaweed, Green Sichuan Pepper Seeds & Bay Leaf. Serve: It’s balanced and versatile so you can

serve any way you like, but we like to add generous measure of plenty of ice with some simple Indian tonic and garnished with a slice of fresh mango.

Botanicals: Smoked Pineapple and Burnt orange fruit, all prepared fresh by hand. Hills & Harbour Base: Juniper Berries, Coriander Seeds, Orris, Angelica, Liqourice, Mango, Orange Peel, Noble Fir Tree Needles, Bladderwrack Seaweed, Green Sichuan Pepper Seeds & Bay Leaf. Serve: You can enjoy neat on ice, with a mixer

(where a bitter, balanced or sweet serve is achieved by adding tonic, soda or lemonade respectively) or simple shake and strain. Garnish with a twist of orange peel, burnt orange slice or dried pineapple slice. W: www.craftydistillery.com





HIGH-QUALITY CRAFT VEGAN GIN

Murphy’s Gin

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urphy’s Gin comes from fairly modest beginnings. Initially the personal passion of one brother with a background in chemistry, a wife who loves gin and a tiny 2 litre copper still. We have now grown into a small batch, artisanal distillery supplying exceptional products to some of the most highly rated restaurants and bars in the local area. Like many Liverpool natives, our ancestry is traced back to Ireland.  William Murphy, a young mariner, left Wexford harbour in 1889 with a dream of better life.  He arrived in Liverpool, which was then one of the greatest maritime cities on earth.  Fast forward 130 years and 4 generations later; and 3 brothers have now embarked on a different type of journey with Murphy’s Gin. We pride ourselves in being a family business and a craft distillery.  We have slowly developed our recipes using a carefully chosen blend of botanicals literally in our kitchen.    Our philosophy is simple; every batch is prepared by hand and we use traditional distillation methods to achieve a superior and authentic gin. We distil in small batches of less than 50 bottles using hand crafted copper stills, the design of which has not changed for centuries. The family motto of the Wexford Murphy’s “fortis et hospitalis” is featured on our labels.  The meaning translates as “brave and hospitable” and truly embodies the ethos of the team and Murphy’s Gin

WE CURRENTLY HAVE 3 PRODUCTS IN OUR CATALOGUE

Murphy’s Original Gin is a classic London Dry Gin; However ours is packed heavy with botanicals giving it a robust and bold flavour profile with citrus and peppery notes. Because of its bold flavour, our Original Gin stands up extremely well in cocktails as well as being an excellent sipping gin. l Murphy’s Pomegranate & Kaffir Lime Gin is delightfully refreshing with a punchy pomegranate flavour paired with the delicate tangy citrus of kaffir lime. l Murphy’s Orange & Passionfruit Gin pairs refreshing bitter orange with fragrant passionfruit, an uplifting and aromatic gin. l

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We don’t use any artificial colours or flavours and our flavoured gins still have a central jumper background. Unlike many flavoured gins which are manufactured in large scale industrial distilleries, our high-quality craft gins don’t use any sugar in the recipes. We don’t need to, as the blend of botanicals and ingredients we use create all the taste you need.  Our gin contains comparatively few calories compared to other alcoholic drinks.  As long as you use a measure for the gin and stick to “diet” or “light” mixers, a gin and tonic can be a relatively waistline-friendly option.  All of our ingredients and packaging have been sourced from UK based companies. Being environmentally conscious, we have deliberately chosen bottles which do not use an excess of glass. This means that more bottles can be manufactured and transported with a lesser carbon footprint than if we used heavy bottomed glass bottles. Our corks and paper labels are all sourced from suppliers with sustainability & ethical credentials and we are composting all of our spent botanicals. T: 07525 440 383 E: terry@murphys-gin.com Social Media: @MurphysGin

Meet our stills: Its traditional for a distillery to name their most prize possessions – the stills. We have 2 traditional copper pot alembic stills which are hand made in Portugal. While stills are commonly given feminine names, we have chosen to name our stills “William” and “Bridget” - after our courageous ancestors who emigrated from Wexford, Ireland to Liverpool - where we have now developed our family business, 4 generations on. While they look polished and beautiful, many distillers think of copper material as a ‘silent contributor’ to the quality of the product. Copper is imperative to allow the complex chemical reactions to take place during the distillation process which simply can’t be repeated using stainless steel.


Q & A ..

Bee-ginning Gin Tell us about the founders of Beeginning, and the inspiration behind your business?

Bee-ginning was set up in January by Angela and myself along with close friends Loretta Scroggie and Gill Lambert. We had the idea following a gin festival in Manchester of how we could bring gin to the homes , clubs and local events to both traditional gin drinkers and also the new audience attracted by the ever growing list of premium and craft gins. We have also developed a great partnership with Mark Busby founder of “Buzzbee’s Tonics who offer a wide range of low calorie tonics. Mark has recently been backed by Lord Sugar who has kindly posted some of our tweets on social media. How do you decide upon the Gins you use for the Gin bar?

We are proud of our roots in and around Manchester and enjoy promoting local distilleries. We can therefore pass on information about their distillery and background into their products. We tend to avoid gins readily available in shops and supermarkets and concentrate on new and exclusive ranges new to the public. You must have done some very lucrative venues can you let us know about your personal favourite Dave?

We have been asked provide the bar for 2 episodes of “the real housewives of Cheshire” which in turn led to a private party for Lauren Simon last Christmas. We have recently become sponsors of Mossley FC and enjoyed numerous events there.

How do you set yourselves apart from similar businesses?

We feel we have a unique business in terms of the range of gins we can offer (approaching 100 varieties) and the fact that we can hold house parties for as little as 10 or host gin festivals for up to 240. We also have the benefit of being able to provide our services both indoors and outdoors. As a great Gin experience is it important for your staff to understand processes and educate customers on the Gin that is served?

We now have 8 staff that work at various events and each one is trained from how to serve, gain knowledge of recommended tonics and garnishes and keep with our high standard of customer service. Do you have any favourite Gins? And in your opinion what makes a good Gin?

Although we taste every new gin we serve for tatse and quality I must admit Brockmans and ginger ale and Slingsby Rhubard again with ginger ale tend to be my favourite. I’m also partial to a Black Tomato served with celery and black pepper. Do you have plans for further expansion in the UK in 2020, maybe franchising your business ?

Looking ahead to 2020, we are aiming to continue our steady growth as a company by attending more external events and delivering more gin festivals for a variety of organisations such as sports clubs, schools

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and churches. We will be working closely with Pitch Productions with their Made In Manchester Music Festivals, after our successful partnership in 2019. We also plan shortly to franchise in Cardiff with Debbie Davey and here are her comments: “As an extension to the exceptional Bee-ginning business, which hosts a number of private parties from festivals, weddings sports and corporate events and are a firm favourite with The Real Housewives of Cheshire, we are excited to announce that we are now conducting all of the services and products highlighted on the website www.bee-ginning.co.uk in the South Wales region. I have known the delightful husband and wife duo, Dave & Ange for almost 12 years now and it is an honour to be asked to head up the team here in Cardiff. Bee-ginning have also teamed up with Lord Sugar backed company Buzzbees Beverages as their official Tonic supplier and I look forward to working with Mark and his successful team. With another busy year set with numerous bookings in the North West and the consistent demand for the UK’s largest growing alcoholic drink GIN, the team in South Wales are enthusiastic to play a hugh part in this ‘ginaissance’! There are lots of exciting times ahead.” How are your plans going for Christmas sales?, will you be marketing to specific areas of trade during the winter months?

We have just launched our Christmas products, everything from our popular gin glasses to festive baubles filled with a range of seasonal gins. We have a number of winter events booked in, including a Christmas gin festival and we are really looking forward to our first valentines gin festival in the new year. Keep an eye on our social media pages for more ‘ginformation’. W: www.bee-ginning.co.uk T: 07815 207 633 E: ginfo@bee-ginning.co.uk


Solway Spirits are a small batch craft distillery located on the majestic Solway Coastline. Producing over twenty one Spirits and Liqueurs for you to enjoy, in 5cl, 20cl, 50cl and 70cl sizes. Solway Spirits Ltd, Annan, Dumfriesshire DG12 6TZ Telephone: 01461 758 388 Email: info@solwayspirits.co.uk

www.solwayspirits.co.uk

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