The tasting article of Hendrick’s Gin has been one of the most widely read on Liquorpress over the last few weeks. The readers seem to be interested in the extravagance of juniper, cucumber and roses, and yet by searching Google, I can’t find much more info on the distillery in Girvan, Scotland, than announced on the official website of Hendrick’s Gin. To finally learn some interesting things about the distillery, I only had two choices: Still looking for more details on Google or the conservative way: browsing through magazines and books. (Photo: Thedeliciouslife)
From a small town to the international arena
Girvan is a small, remote fishing village on the southwest coast of Scotland. Nothing earth shattering, if it doesn’t have two global concerns directly to the north of the city. On the one hand the confectionery manufacturer Nestlé is engaged with the supply of chocolate and secondly there is a lot of distillation going on in one of Grant’s hard-working distilleries. And although William Grant & Sons can be considered a major global player of the whisky and spirits scene and even keeps the trademark rights of Glenfiddich, there comes a gin from this very distillery, whose official launch caused a sensation in the beverages and bar scene and not just because it is the only gin from Scotland. (Photo: baaker2009)
Manufacturing: Unusual and provocative
The above-mentioned distillery is owned by William Grant & Sons since 1964 and for over a decade Hendrick’s has been being produced at this location. Before I get to the botanicals, whose unusual composition has become the trademark of Hendrick’s Gin, I’m still on other factors that make this gin a true “punk”.
The Hendrick’s brand sees itself as a small batch producer. This is justified by the volume of distillation of 450 liters per run with two column stills in contrast to the 1000 liters, which are usually distilled by other small-batch producers. However, I must say that I have already visited gin distilleries, where even 450 liters of alcohol were not produced in one run. Nevertheless, the guys at Hendricks’s know the need of emphasizing the individuality of their product, marketing it strategically and put it in the limelight. Thus, the guides of the distillery especially like to show the 1860 Bennett Still, in which the botanicals macerate in an alcohol / water mixture. On top of this Bennett Still is placed a 1948 Carter-Head, allowing the alcohol vapor to surround the botanicals another time. Nowadays, Carter Heads of this type are rarely used and you see that already here extravagance and individuality is very important for the makers of Hendrick’s.
The botanicals are not shuffled like the daily kitchen salad and then placed in the pot still, but get sorted and layered by a certain mass and size ratio. The production of Hendrick’s Gin includes 11 different Botanicals: juniper cones, coriander, angelica root, lemon peel, orange peel, chamomile, Cubeb, elderflower, meadowsweet, caraway seeds and iris root. But aren’t roses and cucumbers the trademark of Hendrick’s? Right, but the Botanicals are only composed by the above-mentioned plants. The aroma of cucumbers and Bulgarian roses will be delivered by means of pure essential oils that have just these flavors. It is often said that at Hendrick’s one will indulge the love of the English to cucumber sandwiches, which were often, as you would expect, consumed in rose gardens. (Image: Simon Aughton)
Despite all the marketing sophistication, the taste is the one thing that matters most for me and this taste definitely polarizes the lovers of gin. Finally you can say about Hendrick’s Gin whatever you will, but in the end it is an asset to the gin and spirits world.
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