Aberdonian gin featured in Vogue and on shelves of Harvey Nichols

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Left to right Alex Lawrence, Ben Iravani and Josh Rennie
Left to right Alex Lawrence, Ben Iravani and Josh Rennie

The first juniper-based spirit to be distilled in Aberdeen for 100 years has made it into Vogue’s 100th-anniversary edition, just two months after making it onto the shelves of Harvey Nichols.

The locally crafted premium gin created by Ben Iravani, Josh Rennie, and Alex Lawrence, was launched last December and within a month the unique spirit sold out its initial 3318 bottle run.

With support from Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire, Porter’s Gin is continuing to make a huge impression on the drinks industry, recently securing a deal to sell the gin in all seven Harvey Nichols UK stores and via www.harveynichols.com.

The gin also made it into the 100th-anniversary edition of one of the world’s most highly regarding fashion magazines – Vogue. The fashion guru’s bible featured Porter’s Gin in its ‘hot list’ of must-have products in its June edition to celebrate its centenary. The magazine hit the shelves on May 5th.

Ben said: “It’s been an incredible journey so far. It took us two years, and we carried out hundreds of small scale distillations, to perfect the flavour profile of Porter’s Gin. The response we’ve had has been fantastic, not just in the north east of Scotland but throughout the country. Our branding and unique flavour caught the attention of Harvey Nichols’ buyer earlier this year. We’re very proud to have our gin stocked by the luxury lifestyle store as it gives us great exposure to the UK market, while the coverage in Vogue just proves what we have always said – Porter’s Gin is both delicious and fashionable!

“Getting a new product off the ground isn’t easy but we’ve received fantastic support and advice from Business Gateway. Our adviser has been helping us with business planning and strategy development. As we continue to grow we will use our adviser’s expertise and contacts to help us identify opportunities to break into new markets.”

Gordon Mackay, Business Gateway said: “The gin revival shows no signs of waning and Porter’s Gin is helping to shine a light on Scotland as a land where outstanding gin – not just whisky – is distilled. We’re delighted that our expert advice, which includes referring the trio to Interface, has helped them access a range of support from the likes of Scottish Enterprise. Our focus now is on helping the team put strategies in place to manage their growth and achieve their exporting goals which includes running a specialist 1:1 strategy workshop.”

With the help of Professor Andrew Porter of Aberdeen University – who the gin is named after – they were able to source cold-distillation equipment that allowed them to extract light refreshing flavours from 12 botanicals.

After gaining a rectifier’s license that allows them to distil part of Porter’s Gin within their award winning cocktail bar Orchid, the more traditional part of the gin is distilled in partnership with G&J distillers in Warrington, the world’s oldest gin distillery.

Alex Lawrence said: “Porter’s Gin is a unique fusion of modern and traditional distillation techniques. Professor Porter sourced a rotary evaporator which allowed us to create the flavour we wanted through distilling alcohol with botanicals at very low temperatures. We found that Buddhas hand, a rare citrus fruit, and pink peppercorns worked extremely well with cold distillation whereas traditional botanicals generally worked better in a traditional copper pot still so we teamed up with G&J Distillers to work on our recipe together. This partnership suits Porter’s philosophy of fusing old and new, respecting tradition while innovating.”

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