Warner Edwards Gin
In a 200 year old converted barn in Northamptonshire, Tom Warner and Sion Edwards are busy distilling some of the finest small batch artisan gins in the UK today.
Both from farming backgrounds, Tom and Sion first met at Harper Adams Agricultural College in 1997, where they first began discussing ideas to start their own business. As all great things take a bit of time, it wasn’t until over ten years later that they settled on the idea of producing essential oils from the lavender crop grown on their own farms.
Soon they realised however that the lavender crop would keep their still running for only a short period after the annual harvest, so it wasn’t too long before the essential oils business was overtaken by a plan to distill spirits. Both being avid gin enthusiasts, they decided to create their very own gin on Tom’s family farm, Falls Farm in the Northamptonshire village of Harrington.
They set about experimenting with hundreds of samples of different mixes of botanicals and an enthusiastic group of volunteers. They finally settled on a recipe consisting of 11 botanicals sourced from across the world including Dutch angelica root, Sri Lankan cinnamon, Vietnamese black pepper, Spanish orange, Italian juniper berries, cardamom from Guatemala and elderflower grown on the farm.
All they needed now was a still and, never ones to do things by halves, Tom and Sion had a 500 litre Arnold Holstein pot still custom designed and specially manufactured for them in Markdorf, Germany. Weighing around 1,100 kg, with a 4.3m column and a patented copper catalyzer which maximises contact with the copper resulting in a smooth spirit in a 7 hour one shot distillation process, the still was christened ‘Curiosity’ in honour of a rogue cat that left its paw prints in the wet cement on the night the still was installed in the barn!
After distillation in Curiosity, they cut back the spirit to a very healthy bottling strength of 44% ABV with naturally sweet water drawn from a spring only 300 meters from the distillery. The gin is then left to rest for 16 days to allow the flavours to blend together and settle. The bottles are then waxed and labelled by hand on site at the farm.
They distilled the first batch of their gin in November 2012, the culmination of three years hard work. Hugely popular with gin enthusiasts from near and far, Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin has taken the gin world by storm winning awards left right and centre.
Encouraged by the enthusiastic reception for their Harrington Dry Gin, the team have been busy experimenting with different flavours. As well as a cracking seasonal Sloe Gin distilled with berries from Northamptonshire hedgerows, they have created two superb variations: a delicious Elderflower Gin infused with English and Welsh elderflower petals hand picked from their family farms and a lusciously fruity Rhubarb Gin distilled with a variety of rhubarb originally planted in the gardens of Queen Victoria during the 19th Century and now grown by Fraser Key on Crown Estate land in Lincolnshire.
Then in September 2016, Warner Edwards launched their botanical garden range of limited edition gins, distilled with herbs, spices and flowers cultivated in the distillery’s own dedicated botanical garden, originally grown by Tom’s late mother Adèle. The first of the range was distilled with lemon balm and named Melissa after the herb’s traditional scientific name, Melissa Officinalis.
Without doubt, Warner Edwards has established itself as one of the leading lights in the UK’s craft gin renaissance and is a must try for any gin enthusiast!