‘Novichok’ vodka ‘may have lacked sensitivity’

11th July, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

Bristol Dry Gin has apologised “if any offence was caused” by the release of its new 75% abv Novichok Edition Vodka following the Wiltshire nerve agent scandal.

The launch of Novichok Edition Vodka “may have lacked sensitivity”. Picture credit: Bristol Dry Gin, Facebook

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fell ill in Amesbury last month (June) after being exposed to nerve agent Novichok. Sturgess died on Sunday, while Rowley is now conscious but “is still very unwell”, according to a statement from Salisbury District Hospital.

Their illnesses followed the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March this year.

On 7 July, Bristol Dry Gin announced the launch of Novichok Edition Vodka on social media, claiming: “Set at 75%, this smooth drinking spirit is no laughing matter.”

The product faced backlash from social media users, who accused Bristol Dry Gin of “poor taste”.

Bristol Dry Gin has responded by claiming that Novichok Edition Vodka was “only named and released after the Skripals had recovered”, adding that “it was intended to lighten the mood, not to cause offence, and reaction has been overwhelmingly positive”.

A statement from the company continued: “We sincerely apologise if any offence was caused, especially to the families of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, and understand that the timing of the release of this product may have lacked sensitivity.

“We appreciate the messages of support which we have received, especially those from the Salisbury community, but also regret any negative feeling generated in the wider community. Negative reactions have been largely limited to a few comments on social media.

“We have received hundreds of enquiries to purchase the product over the last 24 hours, and messages of support from all over the country including from residents of Salisbury and the surrounding area. We would like to thank the British people for maintaining their sense of humour, even through difficult times.”

One Response to “‘Novichok’ vodka ‘may have lacked sensitivity’”

  1. I’m all for a bit of controversy but this was just dumb. It’s a mealy-mouthed apology too – almost like THEY’RE victims of something…”messages of support”. What. The. Actual?

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