I recently spent a very enjoyable afternoon with Tom Hills (Head Gin distiller) from the East London Liquor Company learning what they do, who they are and why you should pay them a visit as soon as possible!
The East London Liquor Company have been situated next to the corner of Wennington Green near Victoria Park for the last 10 months. They are a small young team looking to bring a new take on craft distilling and this approach is apparent from the moment you walk into their bar. It’s modern industrialist and just like one of their ethos’ it’s open and transparent with a glass wall behind the bar enabling you to see the two Arnold Holstein Stills where they generate their fantastic craft products. This transparency is also present on their bottles where they have all the ingredients listed and and they actively invite people to come and talk to them about their products and the process that they use to make the craft spirits.
They also subscribe to the idea that the product should speak for itself and they don’t talk of family recipes passed down through generations but instead of how they should be accessible to everyone and their passion for innovation and pushing the boundaries really shines through. They really cut the bull and get straight to the point, a fantastic product from hard work and fresh outlooks. I think a lot of this approach comes from them having a young team that are extremely proud of what they do and see distilling as a crossover between science and art.
The guys at the East London Liquor Company are in favour of transparency and making craft spirits much more accessible for everyone and price their products accordingly.
So what are the products:
Vodka – 40% ABV – Very smooth with no harshness pays tribute to the time and care taken to distill this product. I was picking up flavours of anise from this and as a non-vodka drinker I was very impressed with this.
London Dry Gin – 40% ABV, £18 – described as a gateway gin and their nod to traditional London Dry Gin with a twist. It has an incredible viscosity which makes the flavour last in the mouth for a seriously long time and it full of citrus flavour. This is a really versatile gin and works really well as a G&T with either lemon or cracked black pepper.
Premium Gin #1 – 40% ABV, £24 – The first of their two premium gins this has a very distinctive ultra dry character due to the presence of Darjeeling Tea in the distillation process. This is unlike any gin I have ever had before. The dryness from the tea smooths into citrus from the Casia (Chinese cinnamon) and grapefruit. Tom recommends this as a Gin Sour.
Premium #2 – 47% ABV, £24 – A complete contrast to the premium #1 the citrus is dialled down and herbaceous flavours take its place. Again like all the other products it has an excellent viscosity that helps it to linger in the mouth. It has also been awarded a 5+ by Simon Difford as well. Tom recommends having this in his ‘death row’ drink a Negroni and I can attest to the fact that this is a brilliant combination and the herby flavours more than hold their own. I have to admit I was so impressed with this I took home a bottle of it.
Rye Whisky – Barrelled only a few months ago we still have a couple of years to wait for this to mature and be ready for sale.
So what about the future? They want to really push the limits of what people expect from gin and are looking to experiment with small batch releasee specials and different barrel finishes as well as what they can do with mash bells.
I am really blown away by the talent of the folks at the East London Liquor Company and their passion and willingness to push the boundaries are really making for an exciting future for them. So get yourselves down to see them and drink their products and you will definitely be making a return visit.