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Poetic License gin plans national roll-out after strong regional launch

Published:  30 March, 2016

New Sunderland-based small-batch distillery Poetic License is looking to roll out nationally after a successful launch in the North East late last year.

The distillery currently crafts two gins and a vodka, which are all individually bottled, wrapped and labelled by hand.

It has recently won a listing for both its Northern Dry Gin and Old Tom Gin at Newcastle's City Tavern, which has an extensive 80-strong gin offer.

David King, owner of City Tavern said: "Poetic License's artisanal processes and unique flavours fit well with this philosophy and I'm sure they will make an excellent addition to our collection."

Other listings for Poetic License in the on-trade in the North East include the As You Like It and Floritas bars in Newcastle, and the four-star Wynyard Hall Hotel, County Durham.

Mark Hird, founder of Poetic License, said: "We're absolutely thrilled with how well Poetic License has been received and what we have been able to achieve in a relatively short space of time.

"Our focus now is on targeting more state-of-the-art bars like [City Tavern] and extending our distribution on a national scale."

The distillery's range is also available on the high-end regional off-trade, including Fenwick Newcastle and Lewis and Cooper Ltd Northallerton.

Poetic License was launched in autumn 2015 by entrepreneur Hird, who has more than 25 years' experience in the leisure and hospitality sector.

The Poetic License Northern Dry Gin is bottled at 43.2% abv and uses 13 botanicals, including coriander seeds, cardamom pods, rose petals, cubeb pepper and Persian dried limes.

Botanicals in the distillery's Old Tom Gin, which has an abv of 41.6%, include hibiscus, black pepper, cassia bark, liquorice root and lime leaves.

Luke Smith, distiller for Poetic License, said: "While Northern Dry and Old Tom are both true to their gin style we've also worked hard to make them unique.

"Putting our own spin on the original idea has given the spirits far more character and we hope they will appeal to those free-thinkers, who don't necessarily conform to the norm."  

The distillery currently produces around 400 bottles a week from its 500-litre pot still.

Future plans include limited edition flavours, both a dark and a white rum, and an absinthe.

The brand's identity comes from "our desire to create a drink that blurs the traditional with the unconventional and appeals to those imperfect perfectionists who want to enjoy a tipple that has been carefully crafted and packed with character," Hird said.

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Trade sales enquiries should be directed to Luke Smith on 0191 5103564 or