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Vindependents gin launch flags further expansion into spirits

Published:  14 November, 2018

The Vindependents has launched its first gin, with rum, bourbon, cognac and vodka to follow, as this independent merchant member-owned buying group looks to expand its portfolio into premium spirits.

Called The Eclectic Gin Society Original Blend, and distilled by Kinrara Disteillery in the Scottish Highlands, features objects on the label chosen by each of its 35 members to represent their business.

The gin has been created using ingredients foraged on the estate in the Cairngorm National Park by head distiller David Wilson in conjunction with Vindependents members.

The group’s first venture into spirits came with the addition of two exclusive armagnacs that were shipped in August and hit members’ shops in September this year.

Speaking to Harpers about the foray into spirits, the Vindependents’ Jessica Hutchinson said that members had driven the move, looking to add an extra dimension to the group’s exclusive wine portfolio.

“It’s worked very well so far with two orders for each [armagnac] in two months and exceeding our volume expectations,” said Hutchinson.

“As we ship direct to order and still only take 5% margin there is no brand owner taking all the profit in the middle - there is no reason why members should make less margin on our spirits than they do on our wines.”

Vindependents operates by taking out the middleman or brand owner with the aim of delivering greater margin for its members and currently has a portfolio of over 100 exclusive wine agencies. 

“Next on the list for 2019 is rum, bourbon, cognac and vodka, as requested by the membership,” confirmed Hutchinson.