A new range of gins has been launched in the UK by a group of gin lovers and drinks industry professionals inspired by the Victorian gin-making era.
Gin Lane 1751 comprises four styles: a classic London Dry at 40% ABV, London Dry Royal Strength at 47% ABV, Victoria Pink Gin at 40% ABV, and an Old Tom Gin at 40% ABV. They will be available across both the on- and off-trade, with a launch in the US scheduled for the end of 2015.
The gins have been created by a group of gin lovers and drinks industry people who prefer to be known as The Bloomsbury Club, working with leading distiller Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers in London.
The gin – which is positioned as a “gin for gin lovers” – has a classic Victorian style, with bold juniper and hints of liquorice. Each bottle has been individually numbered and the gins are hand-crafted in small traditional pot stills.
There are eight botanicals – juniper, orris root, Seville oranges, angelica, Sicilian lemon, star anise, cassia bark and coriander – to create a well-balanced, complex gin.
The Victoria Pink Gin is infused with naturally blended spiced bitters and the sweetness in the Old Tom comes from the star anise and infusing with natural sugars.
Gin Lane 1751 has been named after a turning point in the history of gin – the 1751 Gin Act which banned the sale of gin in prisons, the workhouse and any shops selling everyday staples. Distillers were unable to sell gin direct, and publicans were no longer able to issue credit. It was in response to the “gin craze” that was most famously depicted in William Hogarth’s Gin Lane illustration.
Because of the act, gin became less readily available and more expensive with quality improving significantly and, by the Victorian era, it had become a drink of respectability.
The gins are already available from Selfridges and TheDrinkShop.com and are set to be stocked by a number of high-profile bars. It will be distributed exclusively by Coe Vintners in the UK, supported by a fully integrated marketing campaign.