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In 2009, Sipsmith was launched by Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall (formerly of Fuller’s and Diageo respectively) after many years of working in the drinks industry. The pair teamed up with Jared Brown (who in the past has developed spirits in Sweden, Norway, Vietnam, and in the US) to pursue their passion for handmade spirits. As a result the trio have created a gin full of authenticity which is now on a seemingly meteoric rise.

The gin is distilled in a beautiful still affectionately named Prudence (after Gordon Brown’s favourite watchword) and is produced in small batches of no more than 300 bottles a time using the traditional three cuts (where only the heart of the distillation run is retained). Once watered down, it is bottled at 41.6% ABV. Every bottle is numbered with its batch number and although there may be minute variations between them, each batch will carry the distinct Sipsmith characteristics.

Sipsmith London Dry Gin -

Balancing a whole host of aromatic botanicals to create a drink that is dry, spicy, and full of character, Sipsmith is made using ten carefully selected botanicals from around the globe: Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Seville orange peel and Spanish lemon peel. Each botanical plays its part but a noteworthy few namely being liquorice, coriander and angelica play distinctive roles. The liquorice is not used not for its own flavour nor for its sweetness but for its ability to counter some of the tannin in the other botanicals thus allowing for a truer, zestier taste. The coriander and angelica gives it a more traditional London Dry profile. On the palate Sipsmith has strong notes of juniper but there are also definite citrus notes and a depth to the liquid that lingers beautifully.

Sipsmith VJOP  -

V.J.O.P. stands for Very Junipery Over Proof – and in a nutshell describes what the product is all about. It’s at a higher strength of 57% ABV, and uses around 75% more juniper than their original London Dry. 

The result is, as one might expect, a bombastic juniper explosion. Almond, citrus and coriander seem more focused too. It’s Sipsmith, but almost like with a bigger brother, there’s a family resemblance but also it’s own idiosyncrasies. The strong cinnamon dry finish is different – with a more pronounced limey note instead. It’s a great addition to the range and worth  seeking out.

Read our full review here: Sipsmith Gin

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