Highclere Castle, best known as the location for award-winning television drama Downton Abbey, is now producing a super-premium London dry gin.
Highlere Castle Gin is inspired by botanicals from the castle’s gardens, originally planted in the ninth century by the Bishops of Winchester.
Distilled above an ancient underground water source, the gin is produced at one of England’s oldest gin distilleries in copper gin stills dating back to the 1800s.
Celebrating the historic Highclere estate, the spirit boasts a “delicate balance of juniper, lemon and orange peel and a touch of lavender”. Estate-grown oats are integrated into the blend, adding a “rich and flavourful palate experience”.
The new bottle has been designed with the castle in mind – its tall square shape symbolic of the tower at Highclere. The deep purple glass recognises the family’s heritage and aims to capture the brand’s premium qualities.
Highclere Castle is owned by the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The family’s archive recalls gin cocktails from the early 1900s.
The Highclere Way is a classic Gin and Tonic which has been enjoyed at the castle for many years, made with gin, tonic, orange peel and finished with a rosemary sprig.
Juniper has grown wild on the estate since the Iron Age. The castle archivist recently discovered a reference by the 1st Earl to planting juniper on the estate, dating back to 1811.
The Countess of Carnarvon said: “For years Highclere Castle has been renowned for its entertaining and house parties with gin and cocktails featuring through years.
“We therefore felt with the ever-rising interest in gin, the family’s heritage, and indeed the Carnarvon’s love of the spirit, it was a natural step to make a gin with Highclere provenance.”
Adam von Gootkin, co-founder and CEO of Highclere Castle Spirits, added: “We have bottled history, beauty and a stunning land for the world to experience. This is both rare and refreshingly real.”
The new gin will be introduced to the on-trade at Think Gin on June 18 and at Imbibe Live on July 1.