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New London distillery releases its first gin

The London Distillery Company (TLDC), founded in 2011, has released its first London-crafted gin. 

Developed at the new distillery in Battersea, London,  pays tribute to Ralph Dodd, an 18th century entrepreneur and engineer, who formed The Intended London Distillery Company in 1807.  “Dodd’s business prospectus detailed his commitment to produce ‘genuine British spirits’ and while he never quite fulfilled his visionary project, his aspirations are finally being realised over 200 years later,” says TLDC founder Darren Rook, formerly London branch manager for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Master of Malt strategic project manager.

The small batch gin, created by Darren Rook and head distiller Andrew MacLeod Smith. Rook, uses organic botanicals, which include: juniper, angelica, fresh lime peel, bay laurel, cardamom, red raspberry leaf and honey from The London Honey Company. (All the grain spirit and botanicals are Soil Association approved organic)

A significant proportion of the ingredients are first distilled in ‘Christina’, a traditional 140-litre copper alembic, with the more delicate botanicals being reserved for ‘Little Albion’, TLDC’s state-of-the-art cold vacuum still.  The two spirits are then married for several weeks before being hand-bottled and labelled by the team at the distillery.

Rook comments: “We came across Ralph Dodd and his story while investigating former distilleries in London, almost a year to the day after founding The London Distillery Company.  Dodd’s ethos about creating genuine British spirits was akin to ours, so we felt it fitting that our first London produced brand was dedicated to him.”

Andrew MacLeod Smith adds: “Any distiller will tell you that it takes many months of research and development to create an innovative, premium organic spirit, and Dodd’s was no different.  For example, we distilled several types of honey, from all areas of the UK, but found that the complex honey produced by urban bees in London gave the spirit a luxurious mouthfeel and added a delightful top note, which compliments the rest of the aromatics perfectly.”

Dodd’s Gin is non-chill filtered, bottled at 49.9%abv and will be available in 50cl bottles at an RRP of £36.95. It is exclusively available from Fortnum & Mason until April 16, after which, Dodd’s Gin will be on general release.

TLDC’s responsible drinking message is taken from a quote in Ralph Dodd’s prospectus: “It is an evil too well known to require a dissertation – for the consequence arising from bad spirits, soon manifests in the destruction of its user.”

The label was designed in the UK by United Creatives and print pressed by Blush Publishing of Wales. The paper used for the label is Strathmore Writing, a range of smooth uncoated British made papers. Strathmore papers are carbon neutral and manufactured using wind power.


About The London Distillery Company

TLDC officially opens to the public from Spring 2013

Head distiller, Andrew MacLeod Smith previously worked as an Engineer in the oil and gas industry before moving to New York City to study film.  After several years, he returned home – driven by his love of fine spirits – to complete the MSc Brewing and Distilling course at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

TLDC is a progressive, green business that uses Soil Association approved organic ingredients in all its standard products. It pledges to plant two oak trees for every cask used, and, by 2014, the TLDC site will be powered by solar energy

The distillery occupies the old milk store, known affectionately as ‘The Cold Room’ at the former Victorian Dairy based at 33, Parkgate Road, Battersea, London.

10 April 2013 - Felicity Murray