Isle of Wight Distillery Mermaids Gin is small batch gin made at the Isle of Wight Distillery which is located at Rosemary Vineyard near Ryde.
The Isle of Wight Distillery was founded by a winemaker and a brewer who had long thought about making a gin. Conrad Gauntlet started growing vines and making wine at Rosemary vineyard in 1985 and, with over 30 acres of vineyards, is one of the largest wine producers on the Isle of Wight. Xavier Baker has been brewing beer since 1995 and first cut his teeth at the Ventnor Brewery and, after a couple of detours in whisky (Ireland and Scotland), he eventually arrived at Goddard’s Brewery near Ryde. The pair soon met and a plan to produce Gin was conceived. As of Autumn 2017 they are the holders of the first and only distilling license that has been granted to the Isle of Wight Distillery.
The idea behind the Wight Mermaids Gin is to produce a gin with a sense of place by using carefully selected local ingredients and botanicals. The botanicals include,
Rock Samphire – hand-picked from the chalk cliffs of the Isle of Wight
VBG Boudicea Hops – natural for a brewer, grown on the southern side of the island at the famous Ventnor Botanic Garden
English Coriander Seed – the first commercially grown in the UK
Fresh Lemon Zest
Grains of Paradise
The botanical for Isle of Wight Distillery Mermaids Gin are steeped in a pure neutral spirit for a full 24 hours which helps to extract all the essential oils and thus flavours and aromas. After 24 hours maceration the gin is then redistilled using the “one shot” method and distillation takes a full day in their 300 litre column still. The gin rested for seven days prior to bottling to allow flavours and aromas to mellow and marry together. Each small batch is only 450 bottles in total and it is bottled at 42% abv.
Don’t forget the HMS Victory Navy Strength Gin, produced under license to The National Museum of the Royal Navy. It is the same gin as the Mermaid Gin but bottled at 57% ABV!