Britain to experience new gin from iconic Causeway

Giants Basalt Rock Gin in Bushmills has won its first business in Britain in an exclusive UK distribution deal with Hammonds of Knutsford, a highly respected distribution group. The deal will see the recently launched gin become part of the distributor’s speciality brands.

By Sam Butler
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 10:00 am
Updated Sunday, 24th April 2022, 10:54 am
James Richardson and Martha Garbe of Giants Basalt Rock Gin in Bushmills
James Richardson and Martha Garbe of Giants Basalt Rock Gin in Bushmills

Giants Basalt Rock Gin was launched officially earlier in the year by start-up entrepreneurs James Richardson and Martha Garbe, both chemical engineering graduates from Heriot Watt University in Scotland. The gin is produced in a novel hexagonal bottle that reflects the location of the distillery close to the iconic Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim.

The deal comes as the distillery also launches a unique gin experience for local people and visitors keen to learn more about gin distilling and creating original cocktails.

Brand director at Hammonds of Knutsford Tim Dunlop, commenting on the deal for the local gin, says: “It was great to meet James and Martha during their recent trip to Cheshire and to get to see the stunning Giants Basalt Rock Gin bottle in the flesh.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“Having received a sample of the gin a few weeks ago, I was really pleased to find the finished product was just as amazing as when I first tried it. Their attention to detail impressed me from the first communication I had with them, and I have no doubt that customers of Hammonds of Knutsford will become fans of the brand very quickly once we receive our first order from the distillery.

“It is an honour that Giants Basalt Rock Gin will join our extensive portfolio of agency brands alongside some other high-quality spirits. We look forward to seeing this brand grow and I for one look forward to having a trip to the brand home quite soon to enjoy a gin and tonic while stood on the famous Giant’s Causeway rocks.”

Co-founder and managing director Martha Garbe (25) adds: “This is a massive landmark for the brand to be taken on by such a renowned distribution company in Great Britain for when we launch.

“We were massively impressed with how Tim and the team operate over in Cheshire. We feel very confident that the brand will be looked after properly and introduced to the correct venues and markets in Britain.”

Fellow founder and managing director James Richardson (25) explains: “Being taken on as a core agency brand reiterates the work that we have put in over the last two years building not just a gin product, but a complete brand in Giants Basalt Rock Gin.

“Our bottle is instantly recognisable on any shelf, and people immediately know where we come from which is vital in the gin market today to stand apart from the crowd. With Britain being just the start of our exports, we have more exciting news to share in the coming weeks with channels further afield secured for launch day.”

The deal, he adds, will see Giants Basalt Rock Gin introduced to Amazon, Independent retailers, bars, restaurants, hotels, appropriate drinks wholesalers across Britain along with and some of the UK’s largest online drink retailers which will elevate the profile of the brand instantly.

The gin will be the first brand and product to be released from Basalt Distillery this year having started promotions back in October last year along with setting up pre orders for the iconic hexagonal bottle becoming the Causeway Coast’s first gin to come onto the market late last year.

The young entrepreneurs have launched a gin school in partnership with the Causeway Hotel and the National Trust which will take place on the world heritage site of the Giants Causeway itself in the hotel.

Martha adds: “Our Distil with Giants experience is an interactive, hands-on experience that gives participants an in-depth introduction to the art and precision of distilling using iStill technology,” she continues. “We will guide participants through the fundamentals of gin distillation and recipe development from which they will pick from over 30 botanicals to create their own unique gin recipe. Each iStill Nano is controlled on its designated iPad, where they can dial in a chosen head, hearts, and tails cut points to create a desired flavour profile. This enables participants to really create something unique to your own flavour palate.”

Participants will discover the history, production and botanicals behind Basalt Distillery’s flagship gin as they are guided through the tasting experience. The gin is the first to be developed in the area for over a century. Bushmills, of course, is known worldwide for its multi-award winning Old Bushmills and The Sexton Irish whiskeys. Old Bushmills is also a major tourism hub, one of Ireland’s biggest magnets for whiskey lovers. Giants Basalt Gin provides another important attraction for visitors.