What did you do before starting Ribble Valley Distillery?
We are both still working full time for our family packaging business and started making gin as a hobby, which we’ve decided to turn into a hopefully successful business. Justine works in branded packaging and Luke works in the manufacturing department.
What made you decide to establish your gin and distillery?
We decided to start our own distillery and, as avid gin lovers, we wanted to create something that was our own and reflected us. The biggest turning point was when we visited Salcombe Gin School and came away with our own gins with completely different botanical profiles but both still equally enjoyable! So after almost 12 months of behind the scenes tasting, testing, designing and research, we came up with our signature 'Little Lane' gin, which really is a mix of both of our tastes.
What is the inspiration behind Little Lane Gin?
The inspiration behind our gin is the British countryside. We are so lucky to live in the Ribble Valley, which is such a beautiful area of the North of England. We really wanted to create a gin that showcased all we have around us. As the Ribble Valley is well known for its artisan, rural and innovative produce, we wanted to add to that with our earthy, floral gin.
Our distillery is a stone outhouse built in 1888 and originally used as a piggery. With it having so much history and standing for over 130 years, we really wanted to keep as many original features as possible. We love our no frills, beautiful little distillery on Little Lane.
Can you tell us more about the distillation process?
We use an 83-litre column still for our gin and vapour infuse our botanicals for a smooth finish. The botanicals we use are juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, oak bark, blackberry leaves, stinging nettles, meadowsweet, heather flowers, hawthorn berries, lime leaves and Roman chamomile. Our chosen botanical profile is to reflect the British countryside and if you went for a walk, you could easily spot these on your journey.
In the future we hope to offer a gin school where the public can come and make their own unique gin. We believe this is the best science lesson ever!
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
Our biggest challenge so far was the unforeseen delay in delivery of our still, but we are happy to say it was definitely worth the wait. Our biggest achievement so far is the gin we have produced. We are so proud with what we have been able to offer the consumer and we feel 12 months of research and testing was definitely worth it to produce our signature gin. From a little idea we had over a year ago to now being able to share it with the world is the best feeling!
How would you describe Little Lane Gin in 3 words?
Earthy, delicate, floral.
What's your favourite way to drink Little Lane Gin?
Our perfect serve is; 50ml Little Lane gin, ice, a wheel of lime, and a couple of blackberries, topped with premium tonic or elderflower tonic for a sweeter taste.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)
As members of the Craft Gin Club, we get new gins every week and we absolutely love it! We get gins from all over the world and we’ve found some favourites from these, Salcombe, Ozmos and more.
What's next for Little Lane Gin - any exciting plans?
Our future plans will include limited edition seasonal gins (we are working on a summer gin at the moment), vodkas, rums and maybe a whiskey in years to come. We want to just keep enjoying our passion and sharing it with the world!
The Gin Guide's profile, tasting notes & review of Little Lane Gin.