We believe the origins of the Pinckney family date back to 1066 when Seigneur de Picquigny arrived and settled as part of William’s invading army. Centuries later, the name had transformed to become Pinckney and his descendants had spread East, West and South, settling as far away as New Zealand and America. One of the greatest members of my ancestral Clan was another Charles Pinckney, who was an American Founding Father, Governor of South Carolina and signer of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.
At roughly the same time and a little further West, some other pioneers, quite likely also Pinckneys, although clearly from a less genteel branch of the family, set up a small distilling business at what was to become known as Pinckney Bend, on the Missouri River. They were selling whisky for $4 a gallon in 1800 and the story goes that the men buying the spirits were most “put out” by the high price, but there were no complaints about the “quality of the liquor”! So renowned were they and the bend that the name has been adopted as the brand for the popular American distillery, Pinckney Bend.
So it would seem that Pinckneys have been distilling and certainly consuming, spirits for centuries. Most were probably doing rather more consuming than producing and sadly now the price is somewhat higher than in the 1800s, but in starting PINCKNEYS GIN in the UK, we are simply following in our ancestral footsteps, focusing on producing a quality product, in time-honoured fashion.
Our London Dry
The key to making a classic London Dry Gin lies in combining the finest ingredients with expert distillation skills. So we, at PINCKNEYS, have taken our time to get it right, in order to both find the right combination of ingredients to produce a unique Gin with it’s own distinctive soul and one which also reflects the strength of our family’s long history, principled values and business objectives, embodying a desire to produce a quality product in a sustainable manner.
Only the highest quality neutral alcohol and natural botanicals are used in the creation of our hand crafted and excellent gins, the whole process being directed by our Master Distiller, with some 40 years of experience.
We have crafted and tasted our way through so many “samples”, over the last three years that perhaps we should have called our gin, Patience Gin; but of course, the great name of Pinckney prevails and we have ultimately combined the right balance of natural botanicals with the finest neutral alcohol to produce our bespoke, full flavoured and crisp London Dry Gin of distinction, to which we are proud to put our name.
The botanicals we use in all of our gins include Juniper Berries, Cassia bark, Coriander Seeds, Angelica Root and Orris Root Powder. We add Lemon Balm, Pepper, Bay, Lime, Lavender and Grapefruit when distilling our Premium London Dry for our uniquely English Shire flavour! All contain essential oils and each individual botanical is carefully weighed out, according to our unique recipe and added to the still, along with a charge of alcohol and water solution. The lid is then shut and the steam jacket switched on to allow the gentle warming of the still. This warming process allows the botanicals to begin releasing their oils for distillation and it is the extraction of such oils in the presence of alcohol that gives gin its unique flavour.
This process, known as maceration, continues over night.
The following morning, once the maceration has completed, the still is again heated, this time to higher temperatures making the charge boil. The boiling process begins to turn the liquid into vapour, which rises to the swan neck, where the water-cooled condenser turns it back into liquid. The distillation is separated out into three parts; heads, hearts and tails and it is only the heart section that we at PINCKNEYS use in our gin-making process; for it is this liquid which holds the most subtle and refined of the aromas and flavours given off during the distillation.
The concentrate produced is between 78%-82% ABV and cannot be used alone to make gin. We blend the concentrate with neutral alcohol, to create high strength gin that is finally reduced, with pure water, to bottling strength.
The result is our Signature Premium London Dry Gin, delivering a crisp, refreshing and unique taste of the English Shires in which it is crafted, bottled and stored; and our Classic Extra Dry Gin, made to the same exacting standards, delivering a full flavoured, long, clean, “Ginny” Gin, but at a slightly lower ABV strength.
We hope you appreciate the great aromas and sterling flavours of our Gins, glad in the knowledge that in supporting us, you are also supporting both jobs and wildlife in our British Shires.
Strength & Honour!
Charles W Pinckney MRICS
CEO and Founder of PINCKNEYS GIN