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Co Down distiller’s gin receives global award six months after launch

Local Co Down distillery, Hinch, which launched its Ninth Wave Gin and Hinch Whiskey Time Collection brands last summer, has received gold status for its gin at the World Gin Awards in Glaziers Hall, London on January 15.

It was awarded a Gold medal and certificate in the Contemporary Gin Style category after judges from a panel made up of international journalists, specialist drinks retailers and industry experts completed a blind tasting session on a variety of gin profiles originating from all four corners of the world.

The contemporary category covers gins with flavour profiles where juniper is still discernible, but other flavours such as citrus, spice, and floral notes are more prominent than in a Classic Gin. Contemporary Gin is a catch-all term for gins described as New-Wave, New Western, New American Dry, and must be bottled at a minimum of 37.5% ABV.

Ninth Wave, which is part of a growing production line at the £15m distillery set to open to the public this summer, is a premium product that taps into Celtic heritage. It is the craft work of Belfast-born Head Distiller Aaron Flaherty and his team, who have a wealth of experience working for some of Ireland and the UK’s best-known spirit brands.

The award will further raise the profile of Ninth Wave which is already exporting globally.

“We are delighted to receive the Gold Award at the World Gin Awards,” said Flaherty. “It marks the perfect start to what will be an exciting year for Hinch Distillery as construction revs up for a public launch this summer.

“We believe our Ninth Wave gin is mystical and otherworldly and we’re very proud of the methods that go into making it but to receive an award when the product is still in its infancy and from those at the top of the spirit industry, is confirmation that we are producing a product worthy of holding its own on a global stage.

“We would like to congratulate everyone at Hinch for their contribution to the development of this award-winning recipe, and of course the industry experts who have joined us on this journey. In particular, we would like to thank Amanda Ludlow who is a world gin awards judge and the founder of The Gin Lounge, and of course at a local level, the insights from Northern Ireland’s industry stalwart Michael Stewart have been invaluable.”

Hinch Distillery is the brainchild of well-known Northern Ireland entrepreneur Dr Terry Cross OBE.

Dr Cross has invested £15m in the project which will conclude with the opening of the two-floor distillery and additional public features including a visitor centre, coffee shop, public restaurant, pub, outside courtyard space, multi-purpose events spaces catering for weddings to corporate events and a retail shop.

The World Gin Award is one of many accolades the company has received and comes just six months after its products were launched to the public through a variety of independent off trade and on trade establishments here in Northern Ireland and abroad.

The company has entered another category at the World Gin Awards which will be announced next month.

It is hopeful about its bid for the Best New Launch Award in the design category at the event.

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