Gin of the Month - August 2019
Gin: Whitby Gin
Distillery: Whitby Distillery
Region: North Yorkshire
Garnish: Pink Grapefruit & Rosemary
When the night is as black as Whitby jet, the fog and mist hang low in the salty sea air along the narrow, cobbled streets. By moonlight you see the flash of a large dog scaling the 199 steep steps towards a striking silhouette of the beautiful but daunting abbey ruins, looming down onto the rooftops below. A regal ship sways upon the water within the harbour and the seagull calls echo through the night. You know you can only be in one place… Whitby.
Once a small fishing village nestled on the north east coast, cloaked in enchantment, intrigue and history. Whitby is now a busy seaside town with a reputation that precedes itself and a place that you are probably very familiar with already.
Having said that, there may be one fairly new addition to Whitby’s extraordinary repertoire of charm that you don’t know that well yet… But you will.
Whitby is home to many familiar sights, sounds and experiences. The spirit of Bram Stoker’s Dracula lives on in the streets of Whitby, alongside the legend of Captain James Cook and his boat the HMS Endeavour. Souvenir shops lined with candy floss, edible rock and Whitby jet welcome swarms of coastal visitors. Not to forget the multitude of goths that descend during Whitby music festival weekend, or the tantalising smell of freshly cooked fish and chips lingering in the air.
Alongside the unmistakable atmosphere, history and myths that bring floods of people to Whitby’s shores, there stands a young local export, already carving out its rightful place in history, much like the stormy sea waves leaving their mark on the jagged cliffs of Whitby.
We’re talking about a drink that started from small beginnings, taking over nine months to perfect. Winning two international awards within just four months of being launched. Say ‘Ahoy’ to Whitby Gin: The Original Edition.
This gin doesn’t shy away from the bright glint of silver and gold. In fact, over the last two years the gin has developed quite a thirst for it, winning some of the most prestigious awards on offer in the gin world.
- World Gin Awards 2019, Best London Dry Gin (UK)
- Great Taste Award 2019
- People’s Drink Awards Gin 2018, Gold
- Quality Drink Awards 2018, Silver
- Spirits Business Gin Masters Micro
-Distillery 2018, Silver
- IWSC 2018 London Dry Gin, Silver
If the tales of Count Dracula were more than fables, you could forget blood. His crypt would have been stocked to the ceilings with this award-winning gin (and probably the distillery’s limited-edition batch of ‘Stoker Edition’ blood red gin made with red berries, which we think would have been right up his keep).
On first taste, the flavour of Whitby Gin hits your senses, like the shining beam of a lighthouse cutting through the fog, guiding your taste-buds safely to heaven. Using twelve traditional botanicals and hand foraged ingredients that can be found where the land meets the sea, Whitby gin utilises all the surrounding beauty and nature it was born into.
Only the very best, natural ingredients make it into each exquisite bottle of hand filled and labelled Whitby Gin. The delightful floral scent of moorland heather, the heather tough and resilient like the sailors of old, battling strong winds, rain and hostile conditions.
Sugar kelp, with its unattractive appearance, full to the brim with flavour, hiding in the rocky seabed, awaiting discovery at low tide, much like a weather-worn smuggler keeping to the shadows to avoid detection.
And finally, the sweetness. A treasure chest of liquid gold. Yorkshire honey harvested by a North Yorkshire Moors beekeeper giving the gin depth and a taste you won’t be forgetting any time soon.
This local gin really is a fantastic tribute to its mystical hometown Whitby. If you look closely when you add tonic or ice, you may even notice a pearlescent glow shimmering and radiating from the gin.
As magical and unforgettable as Whitby itself, if you haven’t tried Whitby Gin yet, you really are missing out on a unique piece of history in the making.
About Whitby Distillery:
Just as Whitby grew from once being a tiny fishing village, into a thriving town, popular with holidaymakers, storytellers and all who visit. The Whitby Gin Distillery has similar origins.
Imagined and turned into reality by innovative founders Jess and Luke, after being hit by inspiration during a camping trip back in 2017. Why didn’t a town as renowned as Whitby have any gin distilleries? This needed to be rectified, and it didn’t take them long.
The company started off life, humbly in a small utility room at Luke’s parents’ house. The pair had the perfect blend of skills to undertake this daring voyage into the world of gin. Jess’ business planning background combined with Luke’s food manufacturing expertise really turned out to be the perfect ingredients for success.
Learning how to forage for the natural elements of their gin and holding down full-time jobs, all whilst churning out over 3,000 bottles of delicious Whitby Gin from Luke’s parents’ (who are either extremely supportive, or just huge gin enthusiasts) house. The couple started to introduce the world to Whitby spirit… literally.
Growing up as a child in Whitby, Jess had always wanted their gin to reflect the enchantment Whitby exudes. And boy have they managed! It’s no wonder they put their gin through forty-five rigorous trials before being left with pure Whitby perfection.
The distillery has encapsulated the very essence of Whitby, its pride and stunning surroundings, bottled it (beautifully) by hand for your tasting pleasure and given us all a taste of something many of us didn’t even know we needed until we tried it: simplistic and natural, seaside magic.
Now Whitby Distillery has moved away from its small beginnings and flourished, replacing the two original 25ltr stills Stockwell and Scripps – named as you would any good ship.
Standing in their place an impressive 200ltr still, set within an old cart house on a farm in North Yorkshire. This small, hard-working, family run distillery pouring pride and heart into every bottle of gin they lovingly make by hand, all from scratch.
Soon to move premises right into the heart of Whitby, this shipshape distillery, built from the ground up with legend, imagination, nature, land and sea in-mind, will weather the test of time and become part of Whitby history, we have no doubts about that.
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