Q:Why Fifty Pounds?
The scene takes place in London, under the reign of George II at the beginning of the 18th century, a period known as the Gin Craze, when one in three houses distilled and sold very dubious quality gin. In order to stop the excesses of this situation a tax of 50 pounds (excessive in anyone’s eyes) was imposed by means of a legal notice regarding gin, which is known as the Gin Act 1736. After 6 years only two distilleries paid the tax.
Q:Why is it called Fifty Pounds Gin?
The distillers of this gin have privately maintained an original recipe for many years which, due to the work involved and its high quality, was ironically known as Fifty Pounds amongst them in honour of the Gin Act 1736.
Q:Who produces Fifty Pounds Gin?
It is made by a small distillery in South East London which has been distilling gin for more than two centuries, and belongs to a family with an extremely long history of distilling. The master distiller is the president of the English distillers’ association. The company is called THAMES DISTILLERS.
Q:How is Fifty Pounds Gin distilled?
To summarise, a grain spirit distilled four times is taken as the base, this means it is neutral, the botanicals are steeped in this alcohol for at least two days, after which time it will be distilled slowly in a hundred-year-old John Dore pot still (known as the Rolls Royce of stills). The master distiller subsequently throws away the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ and saves just the ‘heart’ after this, the fundamental step of letting the liquid rest for at least three weeks takes place in order that the result combines together properly.
Q:How many times is Fifty Pounds Gin distilled?
4+1: This means the grain spirit used has been distilled 4 times, to make it as neutral as possible, but Fifty Pounds Gin is ONLY distilled once, in order to conserve the essential oils of the distilled botanicals as well as possible, if we distilled the result again the alcohol produced would be neutralised, and it would be increasingly more difficult to recognise the botanicals.
Q:What does ‘batch distilled’ refer to?
Batch distillation is simply the distillation process with a start and finish, a batch or determined quantity is distilled (the liquid which ends up in the still), this is the traditional process as has always been used. At present the great majority of the distillates (gins, whiskies, rum, etc.) are distilled in mass continuous distillation column processes, this means an industrial process as opposed to the painstaking traditional process used to produce Fifty Pounds Gin.
Q:What does the batch number refer to?
If, for example, the batch number of a bottle of Fifty Pounds Gin is BATCH Nº 04/09, it means that this gin is from distillation 4 (approximately 1000 bottles per distillation or batch), and the distillation year is 09.
Q:What does ‘London Dry Gin’ mean?
It is a term that the E.U. recognises as a method of producing gin which consists of distilling a neutral alcohol, whether from molasses or grain, with only natural botanicals, without subsequently adding flavourings or colourings. This means that the result is a colourless gin and is only produced from natural ingredients. There are gins that, due to their colour or due to the addition of flavourings, can only be called GIN. A London Dry Gin does not necessarily have to come from traditional batch distillation; in fact most London Dry Gins are not batch distilled.
Q:Which botanicals and how many does it contain?
8+3: the first eight are the classic ones: juniper, angelica root, coriander, liquorice root, grains of paradise, lemon and orange rind, and savory. And the 3 remaining botanicals form part of the Fifty Pounds Gin ‘secret’ recipe. It can be said that it has botanicals from 4 continents.
Q:Why 43,5% alcohol?
We honestly consider it to be the ideal alcohol content for drinking whether neat, with tonic or in a dry martini; a higher alcohol content could distort the combinations and a lower alcohol content does not provide them with character.
Q:What characteristics does Fifty Pounds Gin have which make it different to other gins?
Significantly its SMOOTHNESS and BALANCE, within its classic cut. This means that the citric flavours do not stand out as in some gins, nor does the juniper as in other classic recipes, nor does it contain exotic or unidentifiable ingredients which distort or move away from the concept of gin. In short, it is the ideal gin for the ideal gin & tonic.