Some of the world’s most respected personalities and experts from the drinks and gin trade joined forces on 30th April to share their knowledge and expertise on all things gin, in the second annual Gin Guild organised Ginposium seminar.

Watch the video online now:

Over 80 delegates attended including some from Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Germany, demonstrating the international appeal of gin.

The speakers included the following:

  • Christopher Hayman from Haymans Distillers opened the event and provided background to The Gin Guild and the Ginposium
  • Rachel Rees from Campden BRI, discussed factors which can effect flavour and cause aroma damage in the bottle
  • Mark Gamble from Union Distillers Ltd, talked about the myth and materials of water, including whether varying water sources makes a difference in a distilled product. Six different water were tasted, as were six versions of the same gin using the six different water samples, illustrating the potential variations.
  • John McCarthy, Master Distiller at Adnams Distillery led a seminar called ‘Grain to glass’, which examined the benefits of distilling your own base spirit

A panel of industry experts had a discussion on Brand Ambassadorship – the cornerstone of modern brand development.

In the session some key players in the modern on-trade reviewed how brand building is changing on and off line, and talked about the key roles of ‘ambassadors’ in holding the attention of the bar trade in the UK, Spain and the US.

Examples that were referenced were drawn from 20 years of launching and building to scale, Bombay Sapphire, Hendricks and G’vine (and included the example of Jam Jar, funded through crowd sourcing and engaging with communities on line).

The Gin discussion panel included:

  • Duncan McRae, Global Ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin
  • Sam Surl, Ex Alphabet bar and independent expert in Gin and the on trade
  • Jamie Walker, Trade Engagement Director for EWG Spirit & Wine
  • Dan Thwaites, Owner of Jam Jar gin
  • Chaired by Justin Hicklin

Tutored tastings of Gin

David T Smith, freelance journalist and owner of Summer Fruit Cup led a session on Tutored Tastings with a selection of gins. These included:

The importance of Branding in Gin

Nate Brown, The London Bar Consultants / Merchant House led a seminar on ‘Marketing spin or material consideration’, examining a range of topics, including the importance of a brand name to the issue of Artisan and Craft claims.

Professor Alex Speers, from Heriot Watt University led a seminar on ‘Designing a sensory panel and avoiding bias – the basics’

David T Smith, freelance journalist and owner of Summer Fruit Cup led a second session on Tutored Tastings with a selection of gins. These were an eclectic sample including:

  • Napue Gin (46.3% ABV) from Finland
  • Nordisk (44.8 % ABV) from Denmark
  • Vor Icelandic Gin (47.0% ABV) and Vor Barrel Aged Icelandic Gin (47.0% ABV), both from Iceland
  • Daffy’s Gin (43.4% ABV)
  • Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin (42.0% ABV) from the Netherlands
  • Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin (40.0% ABV) which includes Nutmeg and Frankincense.

Single or Multi-shot production of Gin?

Dr Anne Brock from the Bermondsey Distillery (Jensen’s), discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both single shot and multi shot gin methods in her session on production processes, ‘Concentrate and focus. One shot or not?’

Nik Fordham, Bombay Sapphire Master Distiller talked about Destination Distilling and the dream, decision, delivery and delight in creating and commissioning Bombay’s stunning Laverstoke Distillery

Speaker and visitors then networked over a reviving Gin & Tonic (from a wide range of gins in the Theatre foyer. The selected tonic was Fever Tree.

Further videos available for Gin Guild members

The full 2015 seminar films are currently available for Gin Guild members only, but the 2014 footage is viewable by all at in our Ginopedia section