Here at Griffiths Brothers, we are very much looking forward to a full-on, big summer. With events popping up all over the place and the major festivals resuming, here’s hoping that this spells the end of Covid misery and lockdowns as we steadily return to normality.
We have now jointly launched the ‘Old Amersham Garden Party’ along with our friends at Old Amersham Gin. This is our first endeavour into hosting an outdoor event, although we have been involved in enough gin events and festivals to understand what makes a successful one! The idea came to fruition when we bumped into each other at a Christmas event last year – and we thought, why not?
So, if you haven’t already got tickets, please click on the link below to order them today. Old Amersham Garden Party | Bookitbee
Gin Awards and Competitions
I recall reading an industry article on gin awards early on in our distilling journey and in particular the question, ‘do we really need them and how important are they?' Interestingly, a sizeable survey of spirit consumers demonstrated that 55% of customers would be influenced by an award medal being displayed on a bottle.
This, at the time, stood out as a significant point. These stickers were proven to matter when it came to consumer choice. But would the increase in revenue generated by these awards cover the cost of entering the many competitions, buying the digital rights and maintaining the production cost of the stickers. Who knows? As the spirits market has increased considerably so have the number of competitions.
Every distillery is looking to differentiate from one another. After all, who wouldn’t want to talk about their spirits as ‘award winning’? The problem that seems to have arisen from this is the vast number of gins that are being crowned ‘world’s best’, due to the various categories and competitions.
The other dividing factor in the competitions is the gold, silver and bronze awards; and let’s face it, who wants to shout about achieving a bronze award. A bronze medal for an athlete in the Olympic Games is a huge achievement, but with the spirits industry being saturated with awards it isn’t considered to be as desirable, and raises the question of ‘why not gold or silver?’.
A gold medal is very desirable, with the industry certainly then taking note of your distilling efforts. Despite the number of competitions, they are difficult to achieve, and the more popular the competition the harder it is to gain this credential. We were very fortunate to pick up a gold medal, for our Export (No.2) Gin, in the San Francisco World Spirit Competition, which is the largest in the world.
Unfortunately, as we all well know, it does come down to the judge’s taste. Sometimes a panel can consist of just a small number of people. Just because they do not highly recommend a gin does not mean it is not good quality or to someone else’s preferred taste. I have observed distilleries who have entered multiple competitions who achieve bronze in one and gold in another for the same gin. From our perspective this does leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Having previously judged in a competition I can relate to the fact it becomes increasingly more difficult to truly quantify the differences in taste. I think that gins may benefit from being tasted earlier on in the day by the judges as compared to those tasted later. It could also be considered that by increasing the flavour quantities and producing a stronger flavour profile it may be of benefit when up against competition. I might try that in the future 😊.
To summarise, and from our point of view, it would be a mistake to overlook a spirit because its bottle isn’t adorned with a medal. There can be exceptionally fine margins between gins, and you might find you prefer a bronze winner over a gold. The gold and silver medal gins are usually more universally appealing in flavour. Please spare a thought for the distillers behind the brands who put their creations forward to be judged and classified. It’s a bit like putting your child into a popularity competition; it can hurt if they don’t achieve gold.
Our new limited-edition Platinum Jubilee Gin has been launched. We hope Ma’am would approve! With such a positive response, it is a shot in the arm when a new product sells so quickly. With only a few bottles left from the first batch, we do hope this edition is thoroughly enjoyed over the upcoming celebrations and the long bank holiday weekend. No need to panic, the next batch is nearly ready to head out of the distillery doors.
The flavours of our new edition contrast with our previous gins. What could be more British than the flavour of earl grey tea? We have added bergamot and other big citrus notes of pink grapefruit, lemon and lemongrass, along with grains of paradise and cubeb peppers. These provide the gin with a backbone of spice and earthy pepper notes. We recommend serving with a curl of pink grapefruit peel, a couple of strawberry quarters, Mediterranean tonic and plenty of ice.