If you’re a devotee of “a gin made oddly,” then this is definitely a month you’re going to enjoy.
Not only has Hendrick’s just opened a new distillery, The Hendrick’s Gin Palace, in Scotland, but they are also on the verge of releasing a new limited edition Gin in Australia.
A Gin Palace, You Say …
The Gin brand that has spent over a decade capturing our imaginations with whimsey and nonsense, reported a 13% growth in 2017 and hit the one million cases a year sales mark. So it’s not surprising that their parent company, William Grant & Sons have invested more than $US23million to expand the brand’s Scottish distillery.
Located an hour South-west of Glasgow, the distillery embodies the brand’s unique mix of Steampunk, horticulture and modern sensibility.
As well as being the distilling home for the brand, the new distillery will enable legendary master distiller, Lesley Gracie, the creative freedom to experiment and conceive new Hendrick’s variants.
So what’s so special about this new distillery?
It could easily be said that Hendrick’s have brought the eccentricity and surrealism of the brand to life.
Hidden inside an imposing 13-foot high brick wall, the main building is a magnificent and imposing Victorian inspired, steel and glass palm. Stuffed peacocks, streamer trucks, pith helmets and penny farthings act as embodiments of the brand’s steampunk ethos.
The facility will include two botanical hot houses used to cultivate a range of botanicals and flora from around the world and two new still houses.
Lesley Gracie, the master distiller for Hendrick’s said: “I’ve been distilling Hendrick’s for almost twenty years and during that time, my team and I have had the opportunity to explore and experiment on a small scale.
“However, I’m thrilled and excited to take full advantage of our wonderful new distillery and begin working on a line of experimental liquids, some of which will hopefully blossom into future releases and potential new expressions of Hendrick’s.”
Pamela Selby, global brand director for Hendrick’s added: “The Hendrick’s Gin Palace in its design and experience, is intended to inspire curiosity, open minds and serve as a platform for invention.
“It pulls back the curtain on the wondrous production method and showcases the many layers of Hendrick’s that it has become celebrated for, some humorous, others curiously intellectual, detailed and deeply meaningful.
“It represents the confidence we have in the brand that helped to kick-start the ginaissance and leading role it has played ever since.”
So what’s this Orbium all about?
The brand’s latest expression, Orbium, is what is being called a ‘quininated’ Gin.
Quininated is as you might expect, is a Gin that has had additional amounts of Quinine, as well as Wormwood and Blue Lotus Blossom. These additions give the Gin what can only be described as an ‘oddly exquisite flavour that sits roundly on the palate’.
Created by the legendary master distiller, Lesley Gracie, Orbium contains the same distillates as Hendrick’s, with the added flavours usually associated with gin drinks – tonic (quinine) and vermouth (wormwood).
As the Henrick’s website states “The addition of Blue Lotus Blossom exquisitely balances the overall flavour; but, the trinity of essences together create a complex gin with surprising brightness and a finish that is uncommonly long.
“The result is an unfamiliar taste that is oddly familiar in character designed to open up previously unexplored dimensions of gin as It spirals from floral into an altogether deeper and alluringly bitter place.”
There’s a Pop-Up in Sydney?
A number of venues such as The Tilbury Deck in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo, which will play host to a month-long Hendrick’s pop-up bar (from 19 October to 18 November).
Serve the new gin Orbium alongside four Hendrick’s Gin cocktails, the Assistance Dispensary for Advantageous Cocktail Mixing Bar will feature a custom-made bar that resembles a Victorian bathtub – complete with ornate fixtures such as a converted shower-head light.
Cocktails available during the month-long activation include ‘The Thrilbury’ (Hendrick’s Gin, pineapple juice, cucumber, sugar syrup, mint) and ‘Baz Lime-On’ (Hendrick’s Gin, lime juice, sugar syrup, cucumber, basil leaves).