Gin Spin: News roundup 17th July 2016
Gin Foundry takes a keen-eyed look at industry news to bring you a snapshot of the best bits the past couples of weeks have had to offer.
The Spirits Business hosted its Gin Masters last week. The awards, which took place at London’s Holborn Dining Room, judged spirits blind, basing their overall assessment on appearance, nose, palate and balance. Shortcross and Slingsby scored three medals apiece, while Hernö took home Master medals in both of the categories they entered.
It’s great to see Gin getting press and even better to see brands that we know and love rewarded for their stellar efforts. Although, we couldn’t also help but wonder if the sheer amount of categories being judged tipped towards absurdity. There were thirteen in total this year: Standard, Premium, Super Premium, London Dry, Navy Strength, Old Tom, Cask-Aged, Contemporary, Genever, Flavoured Gin, Sloe Gin, Microdistillery and Organic. Surely this is too much? Gin is a fantastically diverse spirit, yes, but if we keep portioning everything off into sub-categories then the eventual prize – be that Silver, Gold or Master – will actually make things more confusing for both consumers and trade alike. Is a Gold London Dry better than a Gold Premium Gin, and what happens if the same gin then only gets a Silver in as an Organic Gin?
The other big issue is multiple award organisers continuing to grow these subsections and naming them differently. Is one award’s Contemporary the same as another’s Modern? What defines it? If the prerequisite for Contemporary is to be based on flavour, does that mean London Dry is also now just flavour style and not a production requirement for competitions? If the opposite is true and Contemporary is defined by production, then what kind of production? Could you not make a contemporary London Dry? It all unravels a little fast to be honest.
The great big ball of orange hasn’t put in much of an appearance yet this year, but that hasn’t scuppered the plans of gin brands, who’ve launched a whole host of events to see you through the summer. Have faith people, as the sun shall appear and these events will be glorious…
Gin Mare hosted a Mediterranean rooftop bar last week and BLOOM is about halfway through its summer-long residency at the OXO tower. Next week, Hendrick’s launches a cucumber coloured bus which – for the very affordable price of £2.50 – will supply riders with a G&T and a cucumber macaron.
More and more gin events are cropping up, so we’re working on putting together a little diary page for you here at Gin Foundry – our favourite drink is being celebrated and we don’t want anyone to miss out!
New gin blog I Love Gin has started a G&T subscription service. The service will see subscribers receive two mini gins and two tonics through the post each month. The subscription – at £14.50 a month – will certainly appeal to gin fans and looks set to soar. We’ve also been left to wonder how feasible it is to have so many competing subscription services, especially considering the news that cocktail subscription service Shaken went bankrupt last month.
Shaken were very open about what caused their downfall – they simply couldn’t find the investment in order to scale up and keep the business afloat, despite great retention numbers. Obviously, we’re all for new gin businesses thriving, but we just know that the upfront cost of liquid can be a very difficult obstacle to overcome and we are hoping new entrants find a way to scale up rapidly enough to sustain their endeavours. That said, we have an inkling I Love Gin will be just fine and that gin fans will have another great option out there for their monthly gin needs. Keep your eyes peeled for packs in the post, they’re sure to make a fair bit of noise over the summer.
In other news…
The Telegraph has shared a report from The Woodland Trust that cries warning of a sloe gin dry spell. A ghastly summer has encouraged a fungus – Taphrina pruni – to develop on the blackthorn bush, which prevents the berries from forming properly. It shouldn’t affect the entire UK, but you’ve been warned – guard those bushes with your life come picking time..!
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