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Surrey distillery launches Copperfield London Dry Gin

The Surrey Copper Distillery has released its inaugural product, a gin which takes inspiration from Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield.

The Surrey Copper Distillery’s Copperfield London Dry Gin pays homage to literature

The Cranleigh-based distillery was launched by husband-and-wife team Dr Christopher Smart and professor Katherine Smart in 2017. Distillery tours and experiences are expected to start later this year.

Katherine has a PhD in brewing and distilling and worked as an academic before joining SABMiller as global chief brewer. Chris has a PhD in biochemistry and previously worked for Cadburys and Campden BRI as head of brewing services.

The distillery’s first product, Copperfield London Dry Gin, was unveiled at an event at the Charles Dickens Museum in London last night (21 June).

The gin is based on a recipe from Ambrose Cooper’s 1757 book Complete Distiller. The book was the first manual on the art of distillation. For the new gin, the recipe has been tweaked to “appeal and excite the modern palate”.

The gin takes its name from Dickens’ classic novel David Copperfield, with further expressions “planned in due course”.

Copperfield London Dry Gin features 10 botanicals including juniper, angelica, orris root, liquorice, cubeb berries, lemon peel, elderflower, caraway, cardamom and coriander.

Developed as a sipping gin, the expression has been produced in two, two-litre copper pot stills and then “scaled up” in Alice, a 20-litre still.

Full-scale production in a 300-litre carterhead copper still is due to commence shortly.

Bottled at 45% abv, the expression is described as “juniper-rich, lightly floral with woody spice” and “round and smooth with good complexity and length”.

It is recommended served neat over ice, with tonic or in cocktails such as a Martini. A vintage-style thistle shaped glass has also been designed to “enhance the olfactory experience.”

Created by design agency Nude, the bottle design pays homage to its literary roots with an illustration of interwoven botanicals overlaid with copper foiling. The side of the bottle has also been designed to look like a spine of a book.

Copperfield London Dry Gin is available in 700ml and 50ml formats from the distillery. There are 20 bottles available from the Charles Dickens Museum.

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