Poetic License

One of the main brands to cause a stir over the last 12 months originates from the North East of England, Sunderland to be exact, the home of Poetic License Distillery.

Started up by Mark Hird, a figurehead of the leisure trade for 20 years, the seeds were sown back in 2012 when Mark saw the opportunity in growing a business that could reach both the local and national community, opening a microbrewery in 2012 and naming it Sonnet 43, after the famous poem of Elizabeth Barrett Browning who was born a stone’s throw from the brewery site.

Knowing the rise of micro distilling after visiting distilleries in South Africa, he looked to Luke Smith, a man who had started his career at Sonnet 43 brewery, to help him plan and operate a new distillery. After several experiments and distilling courses, on January 4th 2015 the project became official and Luke moved to begin working within the Roker Hotel (now known as Poetic License Distillery Bar and Soul Food), one of Mark’s venues, as a full time gin distiller and using a 5 litre still to produce trial recipes.

It took 7 months to create a London Dry Gin as well as a rough Old Tom Gin within Gracie, the fist copper still to be sourced from China. The 500 litre hybrid allows the use of her as both a pot still and a column still. For their gin, hand-crushed botanicals are macerated for 24 hours and then boiled to gently and gradually release their flavours, whilst the vodka, using British wheat as the spirit base, is distilled 7 times.

This feature though won’t be focusing on their Northern Dry, Old Tom or Graceful Vodka, but their new Fireside Gin, the distillery’s limited edition gin available for autumn/ winter that focuses on ‘Mulled Winter Fruit and Juniper’. It is their second seasonal and comes following the success of their first – Picnic Gin, a strawberries and cream flavoured gin which was available throughout the summer of 2016.

Poetic License Fireside
– 40.1%

Subtle saffron and orris come through on the nose, followed by clove and nutmeg scents. Mulled flavours of clementine, stemmed cherry and cranberry are present on the palate, with soft cinnamon and orange peel bringing a warm finish to the table.

A great gin to serve straight over ice in front of the fire, but one of these will still work well for a refreshing mulled long drink, with the team suggesting “to be enjoyed while cosying up around glowing amber warmth of the fireplace. Pour over large chunks of ice with premium tonic and garnish with cranberries.”

Be rude not to add this to your drinks cabinet now, and these cold nights don’t seem to be easing up anytime soon!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

North East Distillery Launch New Winter Gin

Poetic License Independent Small Batch Distillery have introduced a new seasonal spirit to their range.

Fireside Gin is the distillery’s limited edition gin available for autumn/ winter. It is their second seasonal and comes following the success of their first – a Picnic Gin, a strawberries and cream flavoured gin which was available throughout the summer of 2016. Much like its summer sibling, this gin takes inspiration from the season.

It has flavours of mulled winter fruit – clementine, cranberries and the mulling spice blend of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg – which produce a warming flavour reminiscent of much-loved festive treats. It’s perfect for the darker nights and is best enjoyed while cosying up around glowing amber warmth of the fireplace, as the name suggests.

“We like to set a scene with our seasonal creations” Luke Smith, Distiller for Poetic License, commented. “With Picnic Gin, imagine sitting on a checkered blanket in the park with friends whilst the sun’s shining. However, with Fireside Gin, this one’s definitely for huddling around the fire with – it’s certain to warm those cockles throughout the colder months.”

Poetic License are small batch distillery based in the North East. They make their award-winning spirits on 500L still, Gracie, which is based in a bar of the same name. They have 3 core products, Northern Dry Gin at 43.2%, Old Tom Gin at 41.6% and Graceful Vodka at 40.4%. The Northern Dry Gin is a regional twist on the usual name and has a big kick of juniper as well as some more contemporary additions such as green cardamom and Persian lime for powerful floral and citrus flavours. In contrast, the Old Tom Gin is aged with oak and is sweeter instyle; this is achieved entirely with botanicals such as hibiscus and rose which also impart colour to give the spirit a rose-gold tinge. Their Graceful Vodka is distilled 7 times for purity and gained its name from its glorious smoothness.

However, not satisfied with their core and seasonal ranges, Poetic License Distillery aim to begin producing more limited edition runs which they are calling ‘The Rarities’ early next year. These will be one batch distillations, each creating around 400 bottles, and when they’re gone, they really are gone.

“We love experimenting with flavours and The Rarities provide an outlet for that creativity,” Luke explains. “I can’t say too much about them, but expect the first in early Spring 2017 and keep your eyes on our social media as you’ll find out there first.”

Fireside Gin is available to buy online now, as are the rest of Poetic License products, at http://www.poeticlicensedistillery.co.uk