High spirits as Shropshire distillery scoops top international award

A gin created in Shropshire has taken a top international award.

Celebrations at Henstone Distillery; from left Alex and Chris Toller with Alison and Shane Parr
Celebrations at Henstone Distillery; from left Alex and Chris Toller with Alison and Shane Parr

Henstone Distillery won the prestigious accolade of Best London Dry Gin at the San Francisco World Spirits Award.

Its London Dry Gin was awarded a coveted Double Gold medal and Best Of Class at the awards. A Double Gold means that all members of the judging panel classed the spirit as Gold medal worthy and deemed the gin as being one of the finest products in the world.

For the 2021 awards, more than 3,800 spirits from all over the globe were blind judged by experts in their fields.

The award for the Oswestry-based business follows the gold at the London Spirits Competition for the distillery's Charcoal Filtered Vodka and wins at the Gin Guide Awards for their Navy Gin and oak aged Rosé Gin.

Alison Parr, one of the four directors of Henstone along with husband Shane and Chris and Alex Toller, said “This breadth of award wins has been a fantastic testament to the overall quality of all our spirits. The icing on the cake is the San Francisco World Spirits Award.”

Alex added “We are incredibly proud of our London Dry Gin. It was the first of our products to be released back in 2018; it is packed full of botanicals and oozes aroma and flavour.”

Casks

Early 2021 saw the launch of the distillery’s inaugural whisky. The first bottling batch of their single malt whisky, which was distilled in 2018 and then laid in ex-bourbon casks for over three years, had been mainly pre-sold, with the remaining bottles snapped up from the online shop within hours of release.

Henstone are now bottling casks as and when they reach maturity and the whisky bottles are available in local shops as well as online.

Chris said “Demand for our spirits via our online shop has been phenomenal. We love being able to offer our products with the kind of personal service that only a small business can provide. Many of our orders are repeat business, which just demonstrates how happy our customers are with both the spirits and service.”

“We had to launch the whisky via a couple of Zoom sessions,” said Shane “which certainly wasn’t how we planned it three years ago! We had a number of experts review the whisky and we were blown away with the awesome comments they made.”

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