What did you do before creating Castle Gate Gin?
We have long been a wine merchants and by long I mean since 1844! When Mr. Weaver emigrated to South Africa in 1897, my family (Trease) took over; it has been in our family ever since. Today, myself (Mary) and my brother Philip (5th generation) work with our father Alan (4th generation) to bring the best of wine and spirits to the people of the Midlands. Alan recently celebrated his 60th year with the company and we are all very proud of what has been achieved in that time.
What made you decide to create Castle Gate Gin?
The impetus behind the gin was two-fold really. Firstly, it is important to note that with a company as old as ours, it is essential to keep vibrancy in the place and so we were looking for a new project to sink our teeth into. We were actually inspired by a French acorn liqueur that we tried and whilst we didn’t think it had quite the right balance, it reminded us of the oak trees in Sherwood Forest. Secondly, we found that more and more people were visiting the area and wanted to take home something from Nottingham. Not only this, but locals were wanting to take something from their hometown when visiting friends and family elsewhere and apart from lace, there were few options. Fast forward many discussions, tasting sessions and recipe changes and we released the first Castle Gate Gin, our London Dry Gin distilled with acorns.
Can you tell us about the distillation process and botanicals?
Our Master Distiller is a brilliant man called Mark. We use a traditional copper pot still and keep the botanicals very traditional for the most part. The unique element is our use of acorns which have been foraged by myself and the family in Sherwood Forest and the shires of Central England. We then peel, dry and grind the acorns down for use in the distillation.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements?
Challenges are always present but they always makes the rewards all the sweeter. With acorns being an agricultural product, we are always susceptible to changes in climate year on year. We are in our early days so we shall see the extent to this challenge in years to come. Also being an independent, challenges are always presenting themselves. This is from letting people know who we are and what we are about, to competing with the big supermarket giants, but we have really worked hard at creating a collection of gins that are worth celebrating. We were thrilled to be awarded the Taste of Nottingham 2018 by Visit England and we are delighted to be a finalist in The Gin Guide Awards 2019 for our gins. Both make us very proud.
How would you describe your gins in 3 words?
What are your favourite ways to drink your gins?
We stock over 40 gins outside our own beloved Castle Gate Gin so we are big fans of so many. Of special note would be our fellow local gin, Redsmith London Dry along with Vesperis which is a Scottish gin, made by a woman from Nottingham, and that is also very special.
What's next for Castle Gate Gin - any exciting plans?
We are currently organising our annual grand tasting which we host at the Nottingham Contemporary, a beautiful art gallery in the centre of town. We also have a new website coming out and plenty of tastings across the year. As for a new gin, we have to admit, we do like trilogies so you never know…