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St Giles Gin from East Anglia named one of the best in the world

PUBLISHED: 15:28 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:03 19 February 2018

Simon Melton of St Giles Gin which has won a gold star at the World Gin Awards 2018 and is about to launch a brand new gin this Easter. Picture: Liam Baiiley

Simon Melton of St Giles Gin which has won a gold star at the World Gin Awards 2018 and is about to launch a brand new gin this Easter. Picture: Liam Baiiley

Liam Bailey Ltd

Makers of Norfolk spirit celebrate World Gin Awards win - and are set to launch a new gin this spring.

It’s official – an East Anglian gin has been named one of the best on the planet.

St Giles Gin, launched in Norfolk last Easter by Simon and Alison Melton, took a UK gold award for contemporary gin at the recent World Gin Awards, beating off stiff competition from around 200 other brands.

“There’s only four gold awards given,” says Simon, “and to be honest, I wasn’t keen to enter, with this being our first year, because I didn’t think we had a chance at all. But we’ve had such good reviews, so we went for it!”

What makes St Giles stand out, Simon reveals, is its purity and clarity of flavour. “In the marketplace there’s a lot of different gins being brought out. They’ve been compounded or infused. But we’re distilling ours with botanical ingredients. There’s very few genuine distillers around.”

Simon and Alison imported a 400 litre still from Germany at the beginning of their gin mission, and brought distiller Pete Margree on board, working tirelessly to perfect the recipe.

“There had to be juniper,” says Alison of the flavour profile, “and then we add coriander, orris root (which comes from the iris), rose petals, lemongrass, black pepper, grains of paradise and a couple we never mention because they’re our secret.

“When we started out we didn’t know where this was going to take us and we’re amazed by the reaction we get. It seems so popular. A lot of people who say they’re not a big gin fan, will tell me they like it!”

The duo are hoping they’ll get just as good a reception when they showcase their second gin (whose name is yet to be revealed) this Easter at The Red Lion in Coltishall, where they launched St Giles in 2017.

Alison says the flavour profile of the new naval strength gin is “completely different” to St Giles, while the design of the bottle, and premium quality of the product remains in keeping with their branding.

“We pride ourselves on the smoothness of our gin, that’s what critics pick up on,” says Simon, “And it’s the same with our naval strength. The taste is completely different, it’s more for the connoisseur, but it still has an immense smoothness to it, which is deceiving at 57% ABV. It’s so lovely, with a bit of a liquorice flavour to it, but not too pronounced. It’s a very rich flavour.”

This latest launch from the couple is very much influenced by the coast – a nod to Simon’s background as a diver – and is distilled with botanicals such as sea kelp, Norfolk samphire, caraway seeds and chamomile.

“The new bottle is smaller,” Simon adds, “It’s 50cl but it’s in the same Italian glass bottle as St Giles – the best crystal glass we could find. The label is a different colour but it still holds our lettering font. We spent a lot of time on the quality of the labelling. That makes a big difference to us.”

Discover the new gin at The Red Lion’s beer festival over Easter weekend before it rolls out across Norfolk.

You can try award-winning St Giles in many bars, restaurants and pubs in Norfolk, and it’s also now available for sale in Waitrose in four Norfolk branches, and in Suffolk at the Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Saxmundham stores, as well as at Gourmet Goods in Bury St Edmunds.

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