Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The 40% abv expression, described as a “drier, spicier” gin designed to be drunk in a “G&T”, launched three months ago in Spain has now entered France, Italy, Hong Kong, Denmark and Dubai.
Juniper-led in taste profile, the gin's supporting botanicals are cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, bitter almond, coriander, cardamom, cloves, liquorish and lemon.
Speaking to Drinks International from the Moscow Bar Show (MBS), George Shropshire, sales director of Chase Distillery, said that in the UK market Waitrose and Sainsbury’s had also both shown interest and that a listing was imminent.
Also at MBS was son of brand owner William Chase, James Chase. He said the gin would be positioned at “Hendricks prices at [about] £26” and added: “It is designed with the Spanish market in mind – they like their gin very dry. But it’s only a matter of time before people in the UK will want their gin really dry too.”
Shropshire said he hoped a Russian distributor would soon be installed. “If we develop really good products then bartenders around the world want access to them,” he said.
“Many of the bartenders [we have spoken to at the show] have worked in London and want access to the same products. We hold hope for the gins and flavoured vodkas in particular,” he said.
The Herefordshire-stationed distillery now produces around 115,000 nine-litre cases of spirits per week, with volume having doubled year on year.