Irish Gin, following on from the renaissance in distillery production in recent years, has become a world-class offering, with dozens of new brands finding recognition among awards panels as well as the public, in restaurants, bars and homes all across the world.
Local County Down Distillery, Hinch, which launched its Ninth Wave Gin and Hinch Whiskey Time Collection brands last summer, has received Gold status for the gin at an international awards event held in Glaziers Hall, London earlier this month.
Hinch was awarded a Gold medal and certificate in the ‘Contemporary Gin Style’ category, after judges from a panel made up of international journalists, specialist drinks retailers and industry experts completed a blind tasting session on a variety of gin profiles originating from all four corners of the world.
The contemporary category covers gins with flavour profiles where juniper is still discernible, but other flavours are “more prominent” than in a traditional gin. Contemporary Gin is a catch-all term for gins described as “New-Wave”, “New Western”, “New American Dry”, and must be bottled at a minimum of 37.5% ABV.
Ninth Wave, which is part of a growing production line at the £15m distillery set to open to the public this summer, is a premium product that taps into Celtic heritage. It is the craft work of Belfast-born head distiller Aaron Flaherty and his team.
“This Gold Award marks the perfect start to what will be an exciting year for Hinch Distillery,” said Flaherty, “as construction revs up for a public launch this summer.
“We believe our Ninth Wave gin is mystical and otherworldly,” he continued, “and we’re very proud of the methods that go into making it. However, to receive an award when the product is still in its infancy, is confirmation that we are producing a product worthy of holding its own on a global stage.”
Hinch Distillery was founded by Northern Ireland entrepreneur Dr. Terry Cross OBE. Cross has invested £15m in the project which will conclude with the opening of the two-floor distillery and additional public features including a visitor centre, coffee shop, public restaurant, pub, outside courtyard space, multi-purpose events spaces catering for weddings to corporate events and a retail store.