In trying to curb this ‘social evil’, the 1736 Gin Act was introduced during the reign of George II, whereby an annual levy of £50 was imposed on those wishing to produce and sell gin. After six years, just two distilleries had agreed to pay this tax.William of Orange prohibited the importing of alcohol to England in the early Eighteenth Century and so began the production and consumption of (domestic) English gin by huge numbers of distillers, the majority being of dubious quality. Its popularity was such, especially amongst the poor, that gin was distilled and sold in one fifth of all London homes. This excessive and uncontrolled consumption provoked a rapid degradation of society, a period given the name the Gin Craze.
Shortly after the Gin Act 1736 a family of independent London Distillers came up with an original gin recipe, known ironically amongst themselves as ‘Fifty Pounds’ in honour of the Gin Act levy, which was characterised by its particular smoothness and flavour.
The recipe remained hidden for generations, until the descendants of those pioneering master distillers rescued it from oblivion and re-discovered its extraordinary qualities. A major key to this centuries-old recipe is in the combination of the grain spirit, distilled four times to guarantee its purity, with the perfect proportion of botanicals used in each distillation. The botanicals, from four different continents, have been bespoke-selected by the plant expert, depending on the season, always choosing the highest quality plants at all times, from wherever they are sourced.
The specialist traditional methods employed in the creation of this superior gin means that production is limited, obtaining approximately one thousand bottles from each batch.
Each bottle of Fifty Pounds Gin is presented in an exclusive bottle, with a design inspired by the first gin bottles, known as case gin. Each bottle bears the individual distillation batch number, together with the year that it was distilled.