Through the look­ing glass at Hen­drick’s Gin

Cu­ri­ous palace where magic hap­pens

Ayrshire Post - - Ayrshire Life - Abi Smil­lie

“A gin made oddly”– put sim­ply by the gin gods them­selves – Hen­drick’s.

It’s the tip­ple sought after and en­joyed by mil­lions across the globe but made closer to home than you think – in the heart of Gir­van.

And it’s at the newly de­vel­oped multi- mil­lion pound Hen­drick’s Gin Palace where the magic and won­der be­gins.

The most sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment since launch in 1999, Hen­drick’s Gin has been im­pres­sively ex­panded to meet the global de­mand for the ever pop­u­lar drink.

Wil­liam Grant & Sons, the fam­ily owned in­de­pen­dent global spirts com­pany, has in­vested £ 13 mil­lion in the glo­ri­ous ex­pan­sion, ad­ding six new dis­tillers to work un­der Hen­drick’s Mas­ter Distiller, Les­ley Gra­cie’s watch­ful eye.

In­no­va­tion has al­ways been in the brand’s DNA, echo­ing the ethos of Lewis Car­roll who cried “cu­ri­ouser and cu­ri­ouser”.

And it’s this spirit of in­ven­tion and Alice in Won­der­land- es­que man­ner that car­ries through to the cus­tom- de­signed com­plex which is en­cased in an en­chanted walled gar­den, lead­ing to a mag­nif­i­cent “Vic­to­rian in­spired” palm house.

Sur­rounded by two botan­i­cal hot houses, the palm house is used to “cul­ti­vate un­usual botan­i­cals and flora from around the world”.

An in­ner sanc­tum that is Les­ley’s lab­o­ra­tory fea­tures a “cu­ri­ous flavour li­brary, a lec­ture theatre that en­cour­ages schol­arly learn­ings and a suit­ably stylish bar”.

And, of course, there are two stun­ning new still houses.

The Hen­drick’s fam­ily of stills now stands at a proud six – four Ben­nett stills in­clud­ing the orig­i­nal an­tique cop­per pot from 1860 and three pre­cise repli­cas.

The Ben­nett stills were hand­crafted by lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers Car­rick En­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion of the dis­tillery was all done by lo­cal con­trac­tors and builders help­ing to cap­ture the home of Hen­drick’s gin right down to the foun­da­tions.

The three replica stills are guarded and over­looked by a stun­ning stained glass ceil­ing – per­haps spied by Alice her­self as she keeked through the look­ing glass.

Mas­ter distiller Les­ley con­tin­ues that sense of won­der with ev­ery drop she makes.

Les­ley said: “I’ve been dis­till­ing Hen­drick’s for al­most 20 years and dur­ing that time, my team and I have had the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore and ex­per­i­ment on a small scale.

“How­ever, I’m thrilled and ex­cited to take full ad­van­tage of our won­der­ful new dis­tillery and be­gin work­ing on a line e of ex­per­i­men­tal liq­uids, some of which will hope­fully blos­som into fu­ture re­leases and po­ten­tial new ex­pres­sions of Hen­drick’s.”

Pamela Selby, the Global Brand Di­rec­tor for Hen­drick’s added:

“The Hen­drick’s Gin Palace in its de­sign and ex­pe­ri­ence, is in­tended to in­spire cu­rios­ity, open n minds and serve as a plat­form for in­ven­tion.

“It pulls back the cur­tain on the won­drous s pro­duc­tion method and d show­cases the many lay­ers ers of Hen­drick’s that it has be­come cel­e­brated for, some hu­mor­ous, oth­ers cu­ri­ously in­tel­lec­tual, de­tailed and deeply mean­ing­ful.

“It rep­re­sents the con­fi­dence we have in the he brand that helped to kick­start kd the gi­nais­sance and lead­ing role it has played d ever since.”

And with no end in sight ght for the beloved gi­nais­sance – long may it live.

At Alice in Won­der­land’s nd’s top ta­ble it’s time for tea, but t at the glo­ri­ous Hen­drick’s Palace ace it’s al­ways gin o’clock.

Artist at work Hen­drick’s Distiller Mas­ter Les­ley Gra­cie Top ta­ble Hen­dricks an Glasshouse Alice in Won­der­land vibe

Where the magic hap­pens Hen­drick’s Gin Palace

Through the look­ing glass Hen­drick’s Still­house

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