Sitting in the eastern foothills of the Pennines lays a city full of vibrancy, culture and also home to the worlds oldest football club, Sheffield Fc but it’s a city full of life and also home to one of the most innovative artisan gin companies in the North of England, Locksley Distilling Co.
Within walking distance of Bramall Lane, the ground of Sheffield United Fc is the home of Locksley Distilling Co. at Portland Works, a community-owned grade 2 listed building for traditional crafts and creative arts.
The companies range now consists of their flagship Sir Robin of Locksley, Raspberry & Cardamom infused edition and the VSOT, we take a look at all three.
With Sir Robin of Locksley (the companies flagship), the initial vision was of a multi-purpose sipping gin that fell somewhere between a London Dry style and an Old Tom. They wanted to produce a gin with a clean, yet rounded mouthfeel, something that could be served on its own or perfectly in a G&T.
It took them eight months to arrive at their final recipe, testing over a hundred or so distillations and blends before coming back to the magical Number Sixty One.
To the nose, you get beautiful fragrant aromas of the juniper and elderflower, to the palate, you get warm notes of cassia with a hint of dandelion creating a distinctive yet full-bodied mouthfeel whilst the pink grapefruit gives an underlying citrus burst and warming sweet finish.
Perfectly served with a wedge of pink grapefruit, neat or with tonic.
The Raspberry & Cardamom (often branded as their seasonal edition) was created for the pink gin market, with so many flavoured editions on the market that contain additional flavourings and colourants, Locksley wanted to be as ‘true’ to their roots as possible.
Using Sir Robin as a base they infuse 30 Raspberries per bottle to achieve not only a beautiful cardinal red tone but a depth of flavour beyond belief. They add a separate distillation of cardamom to give the gin its dimension and complexity. Sitting at 40.5% it’s a full strength infused gin, with a delicate sweetness from the raspberries.
To the nose, you get a bright note of raspberries (the 30 in the bottle really help)
To the palate, the raspberries open up to an oaky note with a helpful hint of spice from the cardamom, finely balancing out the raspberries.
The finish, a real sweet treat as the raspberries and the juniper collide leaving a warming sweet note that lingers.
The Locksley VSOT is one of a kind, standing for Very Strong Old Tom, this Navy Strength Old Tom is the first of its kind! When a company releases a Navy Strength gin it is usually viewed as a higher ABV version of their staple mark usually containing the same recipe but cut with less water to achieve that golden ABV but Locksley isn’t your normal distillery, removing the elderflower that is synonymous with the Sir Robin of Locksley, they incorporate more liquorice root and citrus peel and a larger quantity of juniper which when combined with the liquorice root, provides a beautiful warmth that has a sweet tone.
To the nose, you get beautiful citrus notes, particularly pink grapefruit which dances around the nasal passage before the juniper provides a piney tone.
To the palate, a smooth sweet taste with a spiced undertone begins to develop as the juniper keeps a dominant role the whole way through.
We always describe the finish as being where the money is and what a finish the VSOT has, orange peel and pink grapefruit begins to dance with the liquorice root and keeps that sweetness throughout that we associate with a classic Old Tom, whilst the juniper maintains the warmth, hints of spearmint and pink grapefruit cool down the spiced notes and leave you wanting more.
So next time you’re looking for a new gin for the collection or something that will leave your guests wanting more, Locksley Distilling Co. has the answer.