What did you do before joining Langley’s?
Before joining Langley’s, I managed their export operation as a consultant working with some other fantastic brands including Ugly Drinks and Double Dutch. Before that, I worked for an export agency managing the international interests of brands such as Marstons, Greene King, Aspall Cyder and Innis & Gunn. Before my introduction to the world of beverages, I worked in London in the tech start-up scene for a company called DeepCrawl and dare I say it I even had a brief stint in the world of pensions! However, I love the passion, enthusiasm and social element of the drinks world so once I'd experienced this I was hooked.
What's the inspiration behind Langley’s gins?
Langley’s is inspired by the traditional art of distilling and styled for contemporary drinking occasions. We take pride in our craft, quality and traditional values, our innovative spirit, and confidence in our originality. We use traditional production methods and source the best and most balanced ingredients and botanicals to ensure each gin is refined, elegant, and remains true to its original recipe, while appealing to modern drinking preferences.
We’re seeing a strong trend back towards traditional styles and a desire for high quality, well-made, great tasting gins – a return to gin, as it should be. Alongside this, consumers are becoming more mindful in their choices, seeking premium brands with heritage, a story to tell, and an eye on sustainability – and they care about they what they put in their glass.
What can people expect from your range?
The three gins in our range, Langley’s First Chapter, London Dry and Old Tom, showcase how these styles should be; innovative yet respectful of the history of gin and the craft of distilling.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
Langley’s Gin is distilled at the Langley’s Distillery which houses some of the UK’s oldest working copper stills. The site produces over 40 million bottles of gin each year and has produced liquids for some of the biggest brands in the world in recent history. In terms of our distillation process, we distil our liquids a single time only – this ensures that we only extract the purest flavours from the botanicals we use.
Can you tell us more about the botanicals?
Langley’s London Dry and Old Tom both use wheat grain as the spirit base which is commonly recognised spirit base and where possible we always make sure this is of UK origin. In terms of the botanicals used, we tend to stick to the classics with an obsession instead on striking the perfect balance. It’s much easier to create a liquid that’s completely unique using weird and wonderful botanicals. It’s much more difficult to produce a gin which is well-balanced, smooth and easy drinking, which is more our focus.
What have been Langley’s biggest challenges and achievements so far?
The biggest challenge for Langley’s on our journey so far has been the fact that we don’t own our own distillery. For many years, consumers wanted to know about the distillery and its history and that just wasn’t something we could draw upon. For too long this was perceived as a weakness of the brand but most household names in our industry focus more on the story, the purpose and the emotions a brand can provoke in the drinker, which is the direction we’ve taken the brand in recent years.
Our biggest achievement to date is the presence we have internationally as a brand. Our long-term ambition has always been to become a household gin brand and we’re achieving this ambition ahead of our expectations in a handful of markets whilst having a presence in +30 markets overall.
How would you describe your gins in three words?
Quality. Honest. Elegant.
What's your favourite way to drink Langley's Gin?
One of our key serves, and one of my favourites, is a Langley’s G&B – grapefruit, basil and tonic – featuring our London Dry Gin. The grapefruit really balances the notes of citrus from the orange and lemon peel botanicals in the gin, and the basil adds a savoury note – a mouth-watering summer sensation.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
I think Salcombe Gin is a beautiful brand. They do everything very well and as a super-premium option I would look no further. Bombay Sapphire is also a brand I admire; it’s accessible, good quality and they take their time in launching new products, focussing on getting it right rather than competing to be first to market and as we know, first is not always best.
What's next for Langley’s? Any exciting plans?
We’re embarking on a complete repositioning of the brand and launching our integrated marketing campaign titled ‘Gin. As It Should Be’.
We’re also developing our sustainability strategy, as we’re aiming to become the most sustainable, accessible gin brand on the market. Via a partnership with the ethical and environmental platform '1% for the Planet', we will donate 1% of all sales revenue to the charity. We have also teamed up with Panthera, donating $0.50 for every bottle of Langley’s Old Tom sold to support the conservation of the planet’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems.
Further boosting our eco credentials, we have moved to a 60% post-consumer recycled glass bottle, and 100 per cent recycled paper for both labels and outer cases. This is just the start of a long journey ahead but we have some pretty bold ambitions that we hope to make a reality in the next 12 – 18 months, so watch this space!
Langley’s gins are available to the on and off-trade via Ten Locks. Get in touch with the Ten Locks team at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit @tenlocksdrinks to find out more.
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Review: The Gin Guide's tasting notes and review of Langley's London Dry Gin
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