A new independent small batch distillery, based in the North East, has found the magic number for crafting award-winning gin.
Poetic License, which launched at the Roker Hotel, Sunderland late last year, uses 13 botanicals for its Northern Dry Gin and its Old Tom Gin – both of which won accolades in the Gin of the Year competition at the Craft Distilling Expo 2015.
The majority of the Northern Dry Gin’s botanical bill is made up of juniper berries, imported from Italy, as well as coriander seeds and cardamom pods, which are hand-crushed on site to create a greater surface area for oil extraction.
These are combined with 10 additional botanicals, including rose petals, cubeb pepper, Persian dried limes and Angelica root, to give Poetic License’s Northern Dry Gin (43.2%Vol.) a punchier flavour than many others on the market.
Similarly the brand’s Old Tom Gin (41.6%Vol.), which took first prize in its category at the Gin of the Year awards, combines majority juniper and coriander with 11 other botanicals, including hibiscus and black pepper, cassia bark, liquorice root, lime leaves and rose petals.
This gives the finished product a natural sweetness, without the need for added sugar. After distillation the gin is rested in oak, to produce a rose gold colouring.
Luke Smith, Distiller for Poetic License, said: “While Northern Dry and Old Tom are both true to their gin style we’ve also worked hard to make them unique.
“Putting our own spin on the original idea has given the spirits far more character and we hope they will appeal to those free-thinkers, who don’t necessarily conform to the norm.”
Poetic License, so-named for its wild spirits designed to appeal to discerning drinkers, was first launched by North East entrepreneur, Mark Hird, in September 2015.
The micro-distillery, one of only a handful in the region, currently produces three core products – Northern Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin and Graceful Vodka – all of which are distilled on site and bottled by hand.
“From the very beginning I wanted Poetic License to produce something completely different to the gins and vodkas already on the market,” said Mark.
“Not only are our processes very artisanal, but we have also experimented widely with various botanicals to ensure our flavours really pack a punch.”
Poetic License products are currently being stocked in bars, hotels, restaurants and retailers across the North East, with plans to expand throughout the UK and internationally in the near future.