The seventh annual World Gin Day took place in the UK recently, highlighting the success of the growing gin industry both at home and abroad.
Phillip Montgomery, Senior Account Manager with market analysts CGA Strategy, believes that the performance of the premium gin market today represents one of the great success stories to date.
“Buoyed by a Premiumisation trend that has taken shape through innovation in serve and popularised by the emergence of a ‘boutique’ product range, gin continues to flourish,” he told Drinks Industry Ireland, “As the interest in premium and ‘boutique’ gin continues to build, established brands are increasingly facing competition from multiple sources moving forward as premium brands look to elicit a changing of the guard in gin.
Although IWSR figures for global gin consumption fell slightly between 2013 and 2014 from 49.3 million to 49.2 million cases, it hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of people like Charlie Downing, Global Marketing Manager for Gin at Diageo plc, who was quoted recently as stating, “Over the past few years there has been a renaissance in gin consumption”.
He must be referring to Europe where gin consumption increased by 7.3% from 12.4 million cases in 2009 to 13.3 million cases in 2014 according to Euromonitor International. And this is expected to increase by another 12.3% to 14.9 million cases by 2019.
IWSR’s Database 2015 has both whisk(e)y and gin performing well in Europe while flavoured spirits and vodka seem to be falling out of favour.
Gin in Ireland
Here in Ireland the IWSR put Irish gin volume sales at 111,700 nine-litre cases in 2014 while Euromonitor International put this volume at 127,811 and it expects sales to increase to nearly 148,000 cases by 2019.
Nielsen currently values the on-trade gin market here at €47.6 million, up 6.9% MAT to May 2015 on a 5.2% rise in volume to over 45,100 cases.
To this can be added the off-trade gin volume – 48,450 cases – to give a grand total of a more modest 93,600 cases.
According to IWSR, super premium gins are growing (from a small base).
This is in no small part due to the emergence of a strong craft gin sector here within the overall gin market where small distilleries are busy producing some gins of their own as the demand for premium gin takes hold.
Dalcassian Wines & Spirits launches four exclusive gins to Irish on-trade
Dalcassian has just taken on four different gins from the world’s oldest gin distillery – G&J Distillery, all part of Quintessential.
All are distilled by Joanne Moore, the only female Gin Master Distiller in the world, who’s worked in the distillery for 20 years giving the gin a consistency like no other.
She’s only the seventh Master Distiller in the 250-year history of the distillery and responsible for the production of over 60% of the gin in the UK and 20% of quality gin produced worldwide. The Distillery has just won the ‘Gin Distiller of the Year’ award at the 2015 International Spirits Challenge, where the G&J Distillery was recognised as the oldest and best gin distillery.
With juniper being the first core botanical in all gin, what sets each of these gins apart is the different array of naturally-sourced botanicals and unique distillation methods used in the crafting of each gin.
Greenall’s – The Original
For exceptional quality at everyday prices Greenall’s reputation for exquisite taste and quality is rooted in its 255-year heritage. Distilled to the original recipe since 1761, with a unique combination of three core botanicals – Angelica, lemon peel and coriander seeds – the recipe features a total of eight different botanicals, giving it a unique array of flavours, renowned across the world.
This pot still gin steeped in the botanicals for a minimum of eight hours gives a classic, well balanced, London Dry Gin.
The brand’s long successful heritage is repeatedly recognised.
In the past six years alone Greenall’s has received 26 international awards
Signature Serve: Greenall’s original London Dry Gin, good quality tonic water garnished with two lime wedges and served over ice.
Opihr – The Spiced
Opihr has received a tremendous response since its recent launch to the Irish market, mirroring international admiration for the brand. The world’s fastest-growing super premium gin has already won an impressive eight international awards since it was born just two years ago.
This London Dry Gin features oriental spices and botanicals including Coriander, black pepper and Cubebs.
Absolutely superb on the rocks for gin connoisseurs, these wonderfully individual botanicals bring intense excitement to cocktails – so much so that Opihr is heralding a worldwide renaissance in gin cocktails with the launch of an international cocktail competition with great expectations for the Irish on-trade. Bars across Ireland will be invited to compete and the successful mixologist will travel to Marrakesh to represent the country in September.
Opihr accolades to date include winning the prestigious Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the brand has already been awarded the Master medal (highest award) at the 2014 Ginmasters, acclaimed as “the stand-out gin of the round”.
Signature Serve: Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin, Indian Tonic, garnished with fresh ginger and served over ice.
Bloom – The Floral
Camomile, pomelo and honeysuckle: these astoundingly special botanicals are combined with four more and loaded by hand into the still where they’re left to rest for a minimum of eight hours to create a premium gin inspired by nature.
Specifically designed by a female master distiller, Bloom’s floral essence has made it a firm favourite with ladies who appreciate exquisite taste.
Dalcassian Wines & Spirits invites Irish gin connoisseurs to create their own ‘Bloom moment’ when enjoying this floral infusion. Accolades for this distinctive gin are many. Bloom has received 29 international awards in the past seven years alone including Double Gold at the San Francisco Wine & Spirit Competition 2012.
Signature Serve: Bloom London Dry Gin, Tonic Water, 3 strawberries, served over ice.
Berkeley Square – The Herbaceous
The remarkable selection of core botanicals includes Basil, lavender and kaffir lime leaves resulting in a complex and delicious gin.
Berkeley Square is distilled slowly for 48 hours in small batches to give a smooth, refined and complex gin – the choice for your discerning gin connoisseur.
Signature Serve: Berkeley Square Gin garnished with a lemon twist or basil leaf served over ice.
Shortcross – international awards winner
Rademon Estate Distillery, the home of Shortcross Gin, is proud to be County Down’s first award-winning craft distillery. Its small-batch philosophy ensures that every aspect of its gin meets its exacting vision. From foraging in the surrounding country estate for botanicals, to labelling, signing and wax-dipping every bottle – everything is crafted and perfected by hand.
Founders David and Fiona Boyd-Armstrong combined the best of old & new technology with a 450L Copper Pot Still and two enrichment columns. The enrichment columns are truly special with each housing seven individual bubble plates enabling Shortcross to set just the right level of reflux when it distils which helps create a smooth and aromatic spirit.
Since its launch in April 2014 Shortcross Gin has won a host of international awards including Silver medals at the San Francisco Spirits Awards and International Wine and Spirits Competition.
Consumers are becoming more adventurous with their choice of gin style, moving away from the more traditional dry gins and looking to try contemporary, modern gins like Shortcross. It’s the versatility and flavour profile of these styles of gin that we believe will see the segment continue its growth.
Premium gins deserve to be served with premium tonics. Not only will this improve on the consumer G&T experience – certain tonics enhance the botanical flavourings in the gin – but it’ll also increases the average spend.
Gin in Ireland is seeing the influence that Spain has had on innovative serves. From pink grapefruit and basil, to orange peel and mint, educating consumers on the serves they can do at home can really help drive sales, build brand affinity and encourage repeat purchase.
Nothing ‘Sloe’ about Exiles
Consumers now drink less but seek higher quality in what they consume. Furthermore, from Wild Geese’s experience in this market, it’s clear that people are now more knowledgeable and more discerning about gin. In that respect, it believes that super premium gin has a bright future ahead.
So there’s nothing ‘sloe’ about Exiles Gin from Wild Geese which struck Gold within nine months of launching. Unveiled only late last year, the new gin won the top medal at the Spirits Masters Series in London.
The first and only superpremium gin produced in Ireland, The Wild Geese Exiles Premium Irish Gin forms part of a trio of new spirits in the Wild Geese portfolio.
Welcoming the first gold medal for The Wild Geese Exiles Premium Irish Gin, André Levy, Chairman of Protégé International (exclusive global distributor of The Wild Geese Collection), said, “Since coming to market only late last year, the Exiles Gin has generated quite a stir and registering its first Gold medal in such a short space of time signals a bright future for our super premium product”.
With The Exiles Irish Gin still very much the nascent stage of its development, the company intends to focus on growing this brand for the moment, building on the momentum of its award-winning performance.
It’s important that your brand proposition is characterised by a rich story and concept with, for example, special production methods, international acclaim and a track record of category awards. In this context, being the only superpremium gin produced in Ireland and the only gin in the world containing shamrock – coupled with its Gold medal at the Spirits Masters Series in London – The Exiles Irish Gin ticks all three boxes.