Moorland Spirit Company are the producers of Hepple Gin.
Hepple Gin is the result of a unique collaboration between chef, Valentine Warner; world-renowned barman, Nick Strangeway; drinks developer, Cairbry Hill; countryman, Walter Riddell; and distiller, Chris Garden. Only by pooling their rather unconventional expertise from juniper seed propagation through to the science of distilling and taste could Moorland Spirit Company founders have created this unique gin.
The Hepple estate is a sort of gin Eden. It lies in the wild and remote Northumberland National Park, home to four of the UK’s cleanest rivers, its darkest skies and some of its wooliest, most charming people. Water of great purity rises from deep within the sandstone hills that surround the distillery.
As well as providing our water, these springs sustain a tremendous variety of aromatic plants. Including the ancient juniper from which we pick the young green berries so unique to Hepple Gin, but also the stands of Sweet Gale (or Bog Myrtle) by the burns, the Douglas Fir in the woods and the lovage and blackcurrant in the Hepple garden.
But more than any one ingredient, these hills provide the spirit we spend so much time trying to capture, so crisp and clean and real it crackles in the air. As soon as the car door clanks shut after a long drive to the distillery, you feel it. If this spirit has a word, it is invigorating. And if that word has a Gin, we’ve got a hunch it’s Hepple.
On the nose: There is an immediate fresh scent of green apple, bright grapefruit and spicy juniper. This then opens up to reveal underlying notes of Douglas Fir, and fragrant blackcurrant.
On sipping: The initial fresh citrus flavours evolve into unexpected ripe cantaloupe melon, the spicy fragrant juniper continues to coat the palate. There is a luscious sweet mouthfeel, which is both juicy and quenching.
The finish: Extremely long and this is where the juniper reveals itself further with flavours alternating between sandalwood and cedar with a notable savoury presence that complements the sweet blackcurrant and liquorice. The sweet juiciness is maintained throughout the finish.