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Hensol Castle Distillery Launches Premium Signature Dry Gin

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Hensol Castle Distillery has launched its first own-name premium gin, marking a major milestone in the South Wales distillery’s continued success story.

Hensol Castle Welsh Dry Gin is currently available exclusively at the distillery’s on-line shop but is expected to be in supermarkets in Wales in 2022.  Provenance has been the key in its development, as it is blended from the finest Welsh water with 11 locally-sourced botanicals.  Juniper-led with citrus peel, it also features lavender, marigold and jasmine picked from the 400-year-old castle’s walled gardens.

Copper pot distilled in small batches of just 500 litres, the gin is inspired by its surroundings and has been hand-crafted by Hensol Castle’s four-strong team of distillers, led by Master Distiller, Dai Wakely (36), before being hand-bottled and labelled on-site.

The premium gin comes in 70cl fluted glass bottles and retails at £30.  It can be drunk neat, on the rocks with a premium tonic and slice of grapefruit, lemon or lime for the traditionalist or as a main ingredient in classic gin cocktails.

“I am really proud of this recipe, which takes inspiration from the wealth of history at this castle and its surrounding parklands,” said Mr Wakely, who joined Hensol Castle Distillery in July to spearhead all new product development.

“I wanted to ensure there were authentic home-grown flavours in every glass, and myself and the team have poured a lot of love and hard work into ensuring that’s the case – along with the best Welsh water and ingredients we’ve hand foraged from the castle grounds.

“We really hope that people will also take to the design of the bottle and branding so that it becomes a showcase display item in drink cabinets.”

Hensol Castle Distillery is South Wales’s first full-scale gin and spirits distillery and contract bottling plant. Since starting production in spring 2019, it has enjoyed rapid growth, handling an ever-expanding order book for contract bottling; launching an on-trade collection of Benjamin Hall gins and vodkas as well as Trulo – its market-defining range of low calorie liqueurs.

The distillery has just received accreditation from industry experts SALSA, after being recognised as a beacon of best practice, and more recently opened a successful tourism visitor experience and gin school, which is earning five-star reviews with weekends sold out for weeks ahead.

With plans afoot for further gin recipes in the new year, along with the reinvention of some existing lines, the distillery has no intention of slowing, either – good news for the nation’s gin aficionados.

Figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association show UK sales of gin in shops, supermarkets and online up 30 per cent in a year, equating to 80 million bottles, worth £1.3 billion.[1]

Christopher Leeke, managing director of Hensol Castle Distillery, said:

“We always believed in our vision for this gin and spirit distillery, which is the only one to be housed in a UK Grade I-listed building, but it has required a lot of hard work, love and perseverance to get to this point. In many ways, the launch of our first own-name gin is the culmination of that journey.

“I am proud of everything we produce here, but the unique connection Hensol Castle Dry Gin shares with this magnificent building and its grounds, through the selection of home-grown botanicals Dai and his team have included in this recipe, makes it particularly special.”

The 400-year old Hensol Castle sits with the four-star Vale Resort within 650 acres of Welsh countryside and has already become a popular wedding and conference venue following a multi-million pound investment in 2015.

It is owned by Leekes Retail & Leisure Group, owners of Leekes, the Vale Resort and Hensol Castle in south Wales, which become the sole owners of Hensol Castle Distillery following a buy-out of the minority shareholder in May 2021.