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Northumberland's Hepple is latest entrant into burgeoning gin market

Published:  29 September, 2015

World-renowned bartender Nick Strangeway and food writer and broadcaster Valentine Warner are the co-creators of Hepple, the latest British gin to hit the market.

The gin is comes from the Moorland Spirit Co, based in Northumberland and goes on sale in Fortnum & Mason this week.

Ex-Diageo and Pernod Ricard NPD and marketing man Cairbry Hill is the company's process designer and sales director and Chris Garden, former Sipsmith head distiller, is master distiller and head of operations.

Managing director Walter Riddell harvests Hepple's botanicals from local moors, bog and woods.

"The notion of what makes a great gin is lies at the heart of every decision we have made at Hepple", said Warner.

"We felt that juniper must lead and that only by combining both it's ripe and young green stages can we reveal the full range of its life and flavours.

"Woven into this is an array of botanicals that are as lively in the bottle as they are side by side in the northerly wind. Through our odyssey of research and experiment it was imperative that we remain faithful to the extraordinary brightness of each ingredient to make the most flavourful of gins."

Cairbry designed what was intended to be "the most advanced flavour-focused distillery possible".

He said: "To capture the full flavour spectrum of each botanical we have to go beyond the conventional. Our method is very time-consuming, but does reveal each botanical with unusual fidelity."

The distillery uses a three-part production process with a copper pot still, a glass still that uses vacuum distillation and high-pressure extraction of the juniper berries.

Strangeway said: "Our method allows botanicals to ring through with great clarity individually and in exceptional harmony together.

"But we find something else, that when we mix Hepple gin with tonic or in a cocktail its flavours remain undiminished and true to their original form."