Two Birds Gin was established in 2013 and draws it’s inspiration from our very own British countryside! Two Birds produces, amongst other spirits, a London Dry Gin which tries to keep faithful to the the classic gin style. Like other London Dry gins, Two Birds has not ventured down an experimental path but rather, it has done it’s best to uphold that classic juniper forward stance, with earthy notes and a touch of citrus.
Mark Gamble, the co-owner of Two Birds, established the business on 23rd February 2012. After months of wrestling with HMRC to ensure their licensing was in place, he turned his attention to the still. An electrical engineer by trade, Mark designed and built the 25 litre copper and brass still himself, nicknaming it ‘Gerard’s No.1.’
This bespoke still is where the magic happens. Using quite complex electrical controls to make sure that an exact amount of heat is given at every stage of the distillation process, this ability to change the heat input and control Gerard’s No.1 reflux and resting times is crucial in the flavour of the gin. Each batch gives enough gin for about 100 bottles at a time, making it a very small scale production. Given that it typically takes less than four hours for the distilling to take place, Mark is able to keep an ever watchful eye at all times. Two Birds is small batch, handcrafted and carefully controlled – just the ticket for those loosing faith in small scale independent producers.
In Spring 2013, Two Birds London Dry Gin was launched on the market, starting its sale at Market Harborough, where its production is based. Whilst the gin distillation happens in this market town, Two Birds Spirits official headquarters are located in rural Leicestershire, Mark’s home turf. Looking around Leicestershire, it’s easy to see why the countryside became such a focal point to this gin’s character and identity; Charnwood forest proves to have a very beautiful, green and rugged landscape, something which should indeed be cherished. This celebration of the countryside is portrayed throughout everything that Two Birds does, from it’s very name to its pretty illustrated labelling, which uses simply black organic ink hand-drawn on to each and every bottle.
The botanicals used are kept a closely guarded secret; however we can reveal four of the five ingredients (leaving you to guess the last – we think angelica), they include the omnipresent juniper, which plays along nicely with orris root, coriander, and citrus. Fresh spring water taken from deep beneath the nearby Charnwood hills is then added to bring Two Birds to its bottling strength of 40% ABV.
Two Birds London Dry Gin to taste…
On the nose, there is an initial mixture of piney fresh juniper and orris root. On first taste, the piney, earthy backbone prevails, with a touch of sweetness that looms later into a spicy note. The juniper maintains right into the finish, which is very smooth and delicate on the palate. Two Birds has a mineral quality to it, and the orris lasts long after the gin has disappeared.
Two Birds Spirits have two other gins in their portfolio; Two Birds Speciality Cocktail Gin and Two Birds Old Tom Gin. Two Birds Speciality Cocktail Gin contains a double whack of juniper and is perfect in cocktails that require a juniper lead. Two Birds Old Tom Gin contains all the familiar elements of the London Dry but with a deep, enjoyable sweetness brought about by the additon of liquourice root. It’s a soft gin and of genuine quality.
With new distilleries opening up practically every fortnight across America and the UK, it is now tougher than ever to get your gin heard. Competition does not even cover it, this fight for gin survival means that every craft gin has to make sure that what they are offering to the market is in someway different from the rest of the bunch. One sure thing set to carry Two Birds Gin as a brand is their commendable countryside stance and hands-on approach.
They have started picking up accolades too, most notably being awarded the Gold Medal for UK Craft Gin of the Year, at the Craft Gin Awards 2013. Two Birds has created a proper nest for itself in the heart of the British craft distilling scene and this is just the beginning.
Interesting times ahead for this small team, who are definitely ones to watch…
For more information about Two Birds Gin, visit their website: www.twobirdsspirits.co.uk
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