At Country Creatures we carefully select all our suppliers to provide us with the very best of products: British companies with the highest regard for sustainability, animal welfare and attention to detail to produce the highest quality food, drink and everything else we use across our inns and pubs. We wanted to showcase some of these companies through our Country Creatures Supplier Series to share some of the highest level of producers engaging in non intensive and traditional techniques to create some of the best tasting and highest quality products around.
Nestled in beautiful old farm buildings and just down the road from The Double Red Duke is the Wood Brothers distillery, which we are focusing on for part 6 of our series. Literally minutes from all our Country Creatures properties this is a truly ‘local’ supplier with the Wood Brothers gin and vodka on all our drinks lists. What better idea, then, to take the Double Red team for a gin tasting experience and tour of the distillery. See our video of the day below.
The ambition of farm diversification was behind the entrepreneurial decision for brothers, Ed and Charlie, to set up The Wood Brothers Distillery in the 200 year old stone granary barn. Historically the farm has produced mushrooms, farmed livestock, and grown arable crops, and a as family run farm the brothers have been actively involved from a young age. However, after working in the distillery business for a number of years, with unprecedented knowledge of the systems and set up involved, Ed set his eyes on the old barn for their new distilling venture. Together with his brother, Charlie, they started the task of converting the old barn. Equipment was ordered, but for the most part, the conversion, the design, and finally the installation, was a project created and completed by them alone. The first spirit was run off the still early in 2018. The arable land on the farm produces grains, the use of these allows the distillery to claim its status as Single Estate, something rarely found in distilleries in the UK. By creating the base spirit the brothers are able to hold complete control of the products from seed to glass. This also has a large environmental and sustainability impact as 99% of the ingredients used in producing the spirits come from within 1 mile of the distillery.
The Single Estate Vodka was the first spirit to come off the still. After the hand crafted base spirit is run through the Carter Head Still, with its 9.5m column containing 42 copper plates, only pure water is added. This blends it down to the perfect bottling strength of 40% ABV. Using soft English winter wheat, when processed with our technique, the Single Estate Wood Brothers Vodka has flavour characteristics of caramel, vanilla, honey and hint of pepper. The Vodka can be mixed simply, reinventing refreshing classics such as a Vodka and Tonic, but at the same time the flavours hold their own when combined for more extravagant cocktails.
Following the age-old route of the one shot distilling technique, our Wood Brothers Single Estate Gin combines home-grown herbs, lavender, rosemary and dill, with traditional gin botanicals, such as juniper berries, angelica root and citrus peels. This is run through our copper pot still, with the only additional additive after the distilling process being pure water which blends it down the ideal bottling strength of 44% ABV. Our signature serve for The Wood Brothers Single Estate Gin is a classic Gin and Tonic, garnished with orange and rosemary. Alternatively it has been hailed as being a superb base for short drinks such as Negroni or Dry Martini and long cocktails alike.
Charlie and Ed offer tours of their distillery, where you can also taste the gins they are making. There is also the chance to try your hand at becoming a master distiller yourself at their gin school. Just go their website to book your place.