Craft distiller Durham Distillery has launched a limited release Durham Cask Aged Gin, with just over 1,000 bottles produced, signed by head distiller Jess Tomlinson.
Durham Cask Aged Gin embraces the art of cask ageing, most commonly used in whisky distillation, creating a richness of colour not commonly associated with gin. The cask ageing process has also added a fourth level of flavor to Durham Gin’s unique combination of botanicals.
Jess Thomlinson, head distiller, explains: “I wanted to experiment with the cask aged process and produce a unique gin offering. We used two complimentary types of aged oak casks, American Bourbon and Spanish Oloroso Sherry, to create ours – adding fruity and honeyed complexity with subtle vanilla and citrus zest top notes.
“The American Bourbon cask itself offers a vanilla bean, caramel and oak finish, while the Spanish Oloroso offers spicy sweet fruit with honey and orange peel. The combination just works so well and tastes really, very special.
“We have designed beautiful new presentation tubes, with the artwork inspired by the roundels at Durham Cathedral and indeed our logo. We feel it offers a modern interpretation on the shapes and design.”
The small-batch craft distillery, based in the outskirts of Durham, has been distilling since 2013 and is one of the UK’s most traditional distilleries, using only the highest quality ingredients and a 400 litre copper pot called Lily (after the owner’s daughter).
Originally producing solely Durham Gin, the company, founded and led by Jon Chadwick, branched into Durham Vodka and additional seasonal products in 2014. Managing the entire distilling process in-house, the team of six produces just 300 bottles at a time to ensure maximum quality, with absolutely no shortcuts taken.
Durham Cask Aged Gin
Limited edition, Durham Cask Aged Gin, has been created using two complimentary types of aged oak casks, American Bourbon and Spanish Oloroso Sherry. Available in 70cl bottles from £40, 46% ABV.
Durham Strawberry and Pink Pepper Liqueur
Durham Gin, fresh pressed strawberry juice and pink pepper combined have resulted in this deliciously fruity and warm liqueur. Great served with Prosecco, your favourite mixer or simply over ice. Available in 70cl bottles from £20, 20% ABV.
Made to a unique recipe of botanicals including juniper, celery seed and pink peppercorns, this handmade gin is available in 70cl from £27.50 and 20cl from £10, 40% ABV.
The vodka is triple distilled and slow filtered in small batches, available in 70cl from £27.50 and 20cl from £10, 40% ABV.
The Durham Distillery Way…
Firstly, juniper berries are hand crushed and added to other robust botanicals, including angelica and pink peppercorn. This combination is placed into a mixture of locally sourced spring water and pure grain spirit and left to infuse, or macerate overnight in the still. The next morning a second batch of botanicals is added and the still heated, making vapours rise through a copper tube called a lyne arm. Mounted on the lyne arm is the gin basket which contains the third and final set of lighter, more delicate botanicals.
Its distinctive flavours…
Spicy – the pink peppercorn creates a warm spicy top note;
Savoury – celery seed adds a distinctive savoury character;
Sweet – finishing with the light floral sweetness of elderflower.
The tails of the gin are gathered and slowly filtered through a custom built filtration column, based on the Lincoln County column used by Jack Daniels. It takes up to two weeks to filter and once complete the lyne arm of the still is changed over, and the filtrate redistilled. Another round of distilling takes place as required to ensure the finished article is perfect. The result of all of this process? A few hundred bottles of smooth, clean vodka a month.
Durham Cask Aged Gin, Durham Gin, Durham Vodka and the Strawberry and Pink Pepper Liqueur are stocked in Majestic Wines nationally, numerous shops, bars and independents across northern and southern England, and can be purchased directly on the website with P&P only £5 per bottle, or spend more than £100 and P&P is free at https://durhamdistillery.co.uk/shop/