Last week I bought tickets to the Great Exhibition of the North Event at Fenwicks. They were running the Hepple Gin event (Moorland Spirit Company) and I wanted to attend for two reasons 1) The company I work for are heavily involved in the event and I am proud of my colleague(s) who worked hard to contribute but 2) because I love gin. (I actually wrote this blog post straight after the event so I don’t forget what they told us (albeit I am slightly inebriated so remember that as you scroll through!)). Hepple gin is distilled not far from where I live in the north of England (in a place called Hepple of course) which isn’t far from Simonside and for those of you not from the north it’s closer to Northumberland than Newcastle, which is a beautiful part of the world.
The Hepple event took us through the how the gin is created, we started with a gin and tonic (on arrival) then they explained to use their three-step process to distilling. They start with the traditional copper pot which, and demonstrated to use what constituted a London Dry Gin (apparently, they cannot add anything but water and ethanol) by using the copper process it allows for the chemical reaction and for the sulphates to be removed in the process. Once the Hepple gin has been through the copper pots they don’t stop there. They proceed to use a compressor that creates a strong concentrated juice from the Juniper berries (the amount they make is c50ml from every batch and this is enough to create over 3,000 bottles of Hepple Gin due to it’s strength!) Hepple uses the green juniper berries which give it more of a piney forest-fresh taste not the purple berries we’re more familiar with. After they’ve been through the second step Hepple uses a vacuum process which allows them to infuse the final flavours and create a really special gin.
We finished the event with two cocktails, the first being a martini (stirred not shaken) which was fresh and enjoyable and allowed us to really taste the citrus elements of the gin. The second was the White Lady cocktail which included Cointreau and egg whites for an incredibly smooth taste (if you didn’t already know I am a HUGE fan of cocktails that contain egg whites. No, they don’t taste eggy it just allows for a smooth drink that will slide down your throat).
The botanicals for Hepple are all sourced locally bar the lemon which comes from the Amalfi coast in Italy which I love. They are all handpicked and an incredible amount of times goes into producing each bottle.
So where does it rank? The bottle if beautiful and I love the fact that it’s local. From a taste perspective I liked it enough to make sure I bought a bottle on my way out of the store but it’s more on the fragrant side, with a strong scent and after taste which I don’t always love in a gin. All round a great gin and one if you’re serious about getting to know your gins then you need to give a go. It’s an 9 on the gin rating and I really enjoyed the clean fresh taste of it served with ice and a slice of lemon.
If you’ve tried it I’d love to hear what you think?