Once known as ‘Mother’s Ruin’, gin has becomes the must have for the sophisticated ‘Drink Less, Drink Better’ generation.
Brought to the UK by William of Orange in 1689, by the middle of the 18th century, gin was blamed for leaving many of London’s poorest citizens in a state of catatonic inebriation. The ‘Gin craze’ eventually saw the poorest people ruined by gin made from cheap grain.
But now another William – William Chase – is restoring gin to its former glory across Britain with the introduction of Williams Great British Extra Dry Gin – or “GB Gin” for short.
“GB Gin is the first single estate English gin to be created in over 200 years,” says Williams Gin founder, William Chase. “Our first challenge as distillers was to create the world’s best vodka – Chase Vodka. And now we have used that as the base for the world’s finest dry gin.”
‘We take our spirits very seriously and this is a very, very fine gin so that you can sip it neat but it’s also perfect for creating a well-balanced gin and tonic or a sweet martini,” he says.
Gin is enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the UK which, according to William Chase, is all about consumers drinking less but being more discerning about quality. It is believed that consumers of premium quality vodkas are now driving the increased sale of gin in the UK. Gin sales have increasing by 11.6% to 304,750 cases over the last year according to the International Wine & Spirit Research. UK gin now makes up 7.9% of the home gin sector. “Bartenders in Britain have fallen in love with gin again,” says William Chase. “Also, traditionally it was women who drank gin, but now more and more men are drinking it. Discerning customers are developing a love for the flavour of gin in cocktails over vodka.” Chase believes that gin had become a no-go area for a lot of people due to the way it was produced.
“Gin was being shunned by a lot of people to its provenance,” explains Chase. “Historically, it was a cheap product made from poor quality grain that couldn’t be used for anything else.” “Our success is because we’re a real distiller, not a large company churning out stuff made from low quality ingredients or just simply redistilling neutral gran spirit. We make it with love from our own distilled spirit made from potatoes grown, fermented, distilled and bottled on our family farm deep in the middle of England.” “We use Juniper buds and berries to ensure the driest gin possible, followed to 10 fine botanicals, which include cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, almond, coriander,cardamom, cloves, liquorish and lemon.” “On the nose, you experience dry juniper with zesty citrus. Juniper, dark chocolate and citrus zest is upfront on the palate, followed by warm spicy notes in cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger,” he said. GB Gin has been very well received in markets throughout the world and nowhere is this truer than in Spain – which is the world’s biggest consumer of gin.
“Great British Gin has become a Great British export,” says Chase.
So with a new style to add to their portfolio, how does it fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes –
Williams Great British Extra Dry Gin – 40%
Warm notes of cinnamon mix well with faint juniper aromas on the nose. Extremely soft on the palate with a kick of spice once it hits the throat. A little dry with the bold notes of citrus but the warmth of the cinnamon comes through a little more. Very long.
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