Another one of the mainstays in the recent gin resurgence here in the UK, Warner Edwards have recently released their 5th expression since their beginnings back in late 2012. With this, lets take a look at how the journey has come along, tasting the expressions along the way.
Warner Edwards is the brainchild of two gentleman, Sion Edwards and Tom Warner. Meeting at Harper Adams Agricultural College back in 1997 and talking about starting a business together ever since leaving, the dream came a reality with the production of essential oils. The idea was to grow crops such as lavender and then extract the oil, which needs a copper still to process this. Ideas spun and the use of the still also came in the form of producing alcohol. Initially, vodka was the tipple of choice to be distilled at Sion’s farm, Bryngwyn Mawr, in North Wales, but through planning and research they decided to distil gin from a converted old barn on Tom’s family farm, Falls Farm in Harrington, Northamptonshire.
The water used in the distillation of the gin is from a protected spring 300 meters from the distillery (one of six available to them) with every bottle containing 56% natural spring water from the farm. The distillation itself happens in a Arnold Holstein still named Curiosity. 11 botanicals are used in Warner Edwards including juniper, coriander, elderflower and cardamom, alongside grain spirit. Curiosity was first used to create the first batch in November 2012, with the distillery opening its doors and selling its first bottles on 6th December that year.
Each stage is hand-crafted, right down to the bottle fills to the wax seal and label finishing. But does all the hard work pay off? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Warner Edwards Harrington Dry – 44%
Soft nose of vanilla and toffee aromas with spice following. Sharp spice beginning on the palate, with sweet ginger and juniper flavours coming through. Creates a very long, mouth-watering finish.
Warner Edwards Sloe – 30%
Infused with local, hand-picked sloes. A deep, bold aroma of fresh sloe on the nose, moving onto the palate effortlessly, with a little sharpness to liven the experience. A rather warm finish that lingers.
Warner Edwards Elderflower – 40%
Harrington Dry Gin infused with freshly harvested elderflower grown in Northamptonshire and Rhualt, then they add a little bit of sugar.
Soft elderflower with a slight sweetness on the nose. A dominating palate of elderflower though, with sweeter tones creating a sharp, fresh and lively long finish.
Warner Edwards Rhubarb – 40%
Created using a crop of rhubarb originally grown in the kitchen garden of Buckingham Palace during the reign of Queen Victoria. The rhubarb juice is extracted using a traditional fruit press and blended with the Harrington Dry Gin.
Subtle aromas of rhubarb come through on the nose, surrounded by notes of fresh earth. Intense palate of the rhubarb, although ripe and stringent which brings a lingering freshness to the finish.
Warner Edwards created the Botanical Garden limited edition range back in 2016, a number of gins using various herbaceous plants foraged from what was originally Tom’s mother’s garden, now converted into the distillery Botanical Garden at Falls Farm. Adèle was a keen gardener and wonderful cook and the team distil her herbs with pure spring water, extracting the flavour and aroma.
Warner Edwards ‘Melissa’ – 43%
Made with Lemon Balm, a member of the mint family, also known by its Latin name Melissa officinalis.
Bold aromas of wax lemon peel, followed by soft chamomile. A slow, intense build of lemon and lime on the palate, with subtle honey producing a long, warm finish.
Two great sipping gins, and versatile enough to involve themselves within a cocktail –
The White Lady of Harrington
40ml Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin
10ml Maraschino liqueur
20ml Lemon juice
Shake all ingredients together with ice and pour into coupette glass, straining out the ice.
A brand that is creating a lot of hype within the bar industry, and by the look of it both bartenders and consumers are clambering to grab a bottle. Always a good sign I’m sure. Look out for the next installments within their Botanical Garden range too, sure to be some cracking expressions released!
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