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Silent Pool head distiller branches out on his own

Published:  18 January, 2018

Simon Sherlock, head distiller at Silent Pool for the past two and a half years, has left the company to launch his own distillery.

The first brand to be born out of the start-up, named Distillers of Surrey, will be Sherlock & Sons Gin.

Poised to hit shelves this spring, the “easy sipping” tipple would be positioned at the “super premium” end of the market, Sherlock told Harpers.

A year in the making, the 42% abv gin (rrp: £35) is made with a selection of botanicals, some hand picked to give it an “exclusive” edge, he said, adding small batch seasonal editions would be launched on a three-month basis.

In addition, the self-financed business is looking to expand into whiskies and brandies as soon as it had obtained license, said Sherlock.

Having left Silent Pool at the end of December, Sherlock said it had always been his ambition to branch out on his own, adding he had already received “lots of interest” from the trade, including retailers and department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods, Majestic and Oddbins, he said.

Sherlock is hoping to raise awareness via social media activity, while the gin bottle itself features a “super heavily” embossed label designed in a nod to its premium credentials and to make it stand out on shelf, he said.

The launch follows data released yesterday which showed the number of UK distilleries has doubled in the past five years, boosted by the gin boom.

A total of 49 new distilleries started up in 2017, with seven closing, taking the total number of distilleries operating in the UK to 315 – up 127% in the past five years, according to the latest HMRC data.

Of the new distilleries, 22 were in England, closely followed by Scotland where 20 were opened, while four more opened in Wales and another three set up in Northern Ireland.

This compares to a total of 152 distilleries homed in the UK in 2013, of which the majority were located in Scotland.