Globally recognized as the iconic face of the award-winning television drama, Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle announces the launch of Highclere Castle Gin, a super-premium London Dry Gin with botanicals from the castle’s herb gardens, originally planted in the ninth century by the Bishops of Winchester.
“Highclere Castle has been renowned for its entertaining and house parties featuring gin cocktails through the years,” said Lady Carnarvon, the 8th Countess of Carnarvon and best-selling author of “At Home at Highclere: Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey.” “We, therefore, felt that with the ever-rising interest in gin, the family’s heritage, and indeed the Carnarvon’s love of the spirit, that it was a natural step to make a gin from Highclere provenance.”
The Earls of Carnarvon have lived at Highclere Castle since 1679, around the time when gin emerged in England and juniper has grown wildly on the estate since the ancient Roman days. The gin features a delicate balance of juniper, lime flower, orange peel and a touch of lavender. Integrating Highclere’s acclaimed estate-grown oats into the blend adds a unique smoothness and a long, memorable finish. The gin style possesses a versatility that can be enjoyed straight on the rocks the “Noble way,” with tonic, in a classic martini, or in mixed cocktails.
The custom glass bottle, designed and manufactured in England, is inspired by the castle and its architect, Sir Charles Barry. Its shape invokes the symbol of the main tower at Highclere. At the same time, the deep purple glass recognizes the family’s heritage while capturing the brand’s premium qualities.
Adam von Gootkin, co-founder and CEO of Highclere Castle Spirits commented: “After four years of development, we are incredibly proud to launch such a special gin inspired in every detail by life at Highclere - its gardens, the land and to the core its very spirit.”
The 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon run the estate, formed of 5,000 acres with 4,000 acres of arable farming. The family’s archive recalls gin cocktails from the early 1900s, handwritten by Highclere’s head butler. For example, the “Highclere Way” is a classic gin and tonic enjoyed at the castle for many years, made with gin, tonic, and an orange peel finished with a rosemary sprig.
Distilled above an ancient underground water source, Highclere Castle Gin is produced in England’s oldest gin distillery in one of the oldest working copper gin stills dating back to the 1800s. The gin has already garnered two prestigious gold awards through the acclaimed Critics Challenge and Proof Awards, with more international awards expected.
Highclere Castle Gin is currently rolling out across the U.S. and will be distributed nationally. It is available now for online orders in select markets through Reserve Bar (reservebar.com/collections/highclerecastlegin) and at retail in the following states: MA, RI, NH, CT, NJ, NY, GA, KY, TN, and CO. New availability will be announced here on the Highclere Castle Gin website (highclerecastlespirits.com/retail.php) and on the Highclere Castle Gin Facebook page. (facebook.com/highclerecastlegin).