Chin chin for Sunderland award-winning gin

Poetic License
Poetic License
Have your say

A seafront distillery has received a nod from leading industry experts at the Gin of the Year awards less than one month in to business.

Poetic License Independent Small Batch Distillery, based in Poetic License in the Roker Hotel, entered both of its gins, Northern Dry Gin and Old Tom Gin, into the competition and both received awards.

Poetic License

Poetic License

Their Northern Dry Gin, with a regional twist on the usual name and flavours of juniper, cardamom and citrus, was highly commended in the contemporary gin category. While their Old Tom Gin, which is aged with oak and sweeter in style, came out top in the Old Tom category.

The competition was part of the Craft Distilling Expo, which was held at the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, London, and saw industry boffins deemed the authority on gin gather to taste and pass judgement on the spirits.

The acknowledgements came only a few short weeks after the distillery’s launch at London’s Boutique Bar Show in September.

Owner, Mark Hird, said: “We are blown away with how well the spirits have been received and in such a short space of time. They were in development for a year before they were launched, so to finally have them out there and for people to rate them highly is just superb!”

“Gin is huge at the moment. We’re miles apart from a mainstream brand such as Gordon’s both in product quality and scale. People are starting to seek out different and more pronounced flavour which you only tend to get from small producers like ourselves.”

The distillery is based within the bar of the same name, which opened in March 2015, and was the first distillery bar in England outside of London, with 500 litre pot still, Gracie, situated in full view of punters.

Poetic License creates only 400 bottles at a time and all steps of the process are done by hand.

As well as the gins, the distillery also makes a Graceful Vodka. The distillery intends to continually develop its spirit range and already has plans for a dark and a white rum and an absinthe, as well as limited edition flavoured gins and vodkas.

The three spirit products are now available at venues throughout the North East, as well as in Mark’s own Tavistock venues and will soon be setting up links to distribute to trade nationally.

For home consumption, the products can be bought from the Roker Hotel reception and online.