|The Sipsmith Distillery was created in 2009, and is the first copper-pot distillery in London for 189 years. It is also one of the few distilleries located within London’s city limits. The founders are Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall who have been joined by Chris Garden. Chris is responsible for looking after all the distillation. The distillery is based in a small building in Hammersmith, which was once home to a whisky expert, and is now home to their still ‘Prudence’.
The still was specially designed by Christian Carl, one of Germany’s oldest distillery producers. Prudence is a clever little still, which has the ability to behave either as a traditional pot still, or with the addition of a fractional distillation column. This makes it very versatile as it can create both a high alcohol relatively neutral spirit, or a more complex pot still spirit by bypassing the column.
Due to the size of the operation and the size of their still, the spirits are made in small batches. A sticker on the label will tell you the batch number. Armed with this information you can then go to their website and find out when it was created and how many bottles of it were made. This particular bottle was from batch LDG 122 which was distilled on the 12th April 2011 and it is one of 333 bottles.
Their gin is made by macerating ten botanicals in their Barley vodka. This mix is then distilled (without the column still so as to retain the complex flavours), and then blended with water from the one of the River Thames’ sources – the Lydwell Spring in the Cotswolds. The botanicals are: Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Seville orange peel and Spanish lemon peel.