For my birthday this year my family all chipped in and got me a bottle of Sipsmiths London Dry gin and a tour round their distillery in Chiswick, London. Sipsmiths is now synonymous (very proud of myself for spelling that correctly first time!) with the recent revolution in the gin market. You can’t move in Britain these days for craft gins. It seems the world and his wife have got themselves a still and are having a go. But Sipsmiths have every right to claim to have been one of the front runners to it all!
It was in 2009 that they started up in Hammersmith having been granted the first gin distilling licence in London for nearly 200 years. In fact no one in government actually knew the process on how to issue the licence, no-one living had been asked before!
Gin is spirit that is steeped in botanicals and other aromatics. At it’s worst it just tastes like alcohol. Some of the cheap and nasty own brand stuff (which is still the UK’s best seller) is worse than paint stripper to me. I get why people don’t like it. But with Sipsmiths we’ve entered a brave new world.
From their 3 copper stills – Prudence, Patience, and Constance – they’ve been producing the kind of gin that you can sit and drink neat without having to make that face. You don’t have to search through the smell of ethanol to get to the weak smells of juniper and some other stuff like in the past. You can smell and taste everything in there.
It all stems from the passion and pride that the founders Fairfax and Sam, and head distiller Jared, have had since the start. Everything is meticulous. It’s one part science, one part art, and a huge slice of eccentricity. And thank God for eccentrics in this world!
This gin is fabulous, do yourself a favour and pick up a bottle!