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As the name might suggest, Hayman’s London Dry Gin is a classic gin. Distilled to a family recipe using their blend of 10 botanicals, which are steeped for a full day prior to distillation to allow the flavours to release into the alcohol, it is the careful and consistent balance of juniper, coriander, lemon and orange peel which play a vital role in giving the gin its distinct aroma and taste.
That said, orris root, cinnamon, cassia and nutmeg all work to underpin the citrus flush upfront and the resinous soul at the centre of the experience. Together, they give it the typical dry characteristics and a depth of flavour so highly sought after on the finish. The flavours take you on a journey from candied orange, to piny juniper and onto dry angelica and warming cinnamon. It is quintessential London Dry Gin and in our opinion, it is the ‘go to’ in order to explain to drinkers what “classic” or “traditional” Gin flavours taste like.ginfoundry.com
The story of Hayman’s Distillery and their unique portfolio of award winning gins is a long and winding road. Not solely because of the six gins they now create (each deserving individual consideration and a moment of their own) but also because the family has been in the gin making business for generations.
The original company of Hayman Distillers was founded in 1820 and acquired in 1863 by James Burrough, the great grandfather of the current Chairman, Christopher Hayman. Famous for their flagship gin Beefeater, the Burrough Distillery quickly thrived. In the early 1900’s new generations entered the family business setting new milestones along the way, notably Eric Burrough who sold the first shipment of Beefeater to the USA as early as 1917. Having built the distillery into one of the world’s leading gin producers, Eric passed away in 1970. His cousins Alan and Norman continued to develop the business by moving it into larger premises at Montford Place, Kennington in 1958 where it still resides today.
Lesser known in the fabled story of Beefeater Gin and the Burrough’s Distillery history is just how many other sites were owned by James Burrough Ltd, which not only sold gin but also a vast range of other liqueurs.
Critically to the story of Hayman’s (and where they were based over the past decade) Burrough’s Fine Alcohols Division moved from London in the late 1970’s to a site in Witham, Essex. It focused on supplying pure alcohol to the drink, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. At the time, many of the extended family members held shares in the company but the board comprised of James Burrough’s living grandchildren, Alan and Norman, along with their sister Marjorie who was represented by her husband, Neville Hayman. Under the family stewardship, Beefeater Gin and the company survived the darker days of gin’s recent past where demand was at an all-time low. The company remained family-owned until October 1987 when, for a variety of reasons, the majority of the (extended) family decided to sell to the consortium Whitbread.
After the sale, Christopher Hayman (son of Marjorie Burrough and Neville Hayman) who had started working for the company in 1969, became the Operations Director of Whitbread Spirits Group. Although Christopher enjoyed his role, working for a conglomerate wasn’t for him and he desired to return to a family business.
His opportunity soon arrived and on 17th November 1988 Whitbread sold the Fine Alcohols Division to Christopher Hayman, who was backed by other members of the Hayman’sfamily. Today this business is known as Hayman Limited.
Initially creating gins for a number of markets such as the USA and Japan, Christopher, joined by his son James and daughter Miranda, launched Hayman’s Gin Liqueur in September 2004.
Hayman’s Gin Liqueur (also sometimes known as Hayman’s 1820) is distilled to a specific gin recipe with dominant citrus flavours before being carefully blended into a liqueur. Don’t be fooled by the name however as the liquid is at 40% ABV and while imminently sippable, is no push over. It has both the distinctive character and strength of gin with the sweetness of a liqueur. To taste, the juniper initially takes a back seat allowing the candied citrus notes to come to the fore alongside a viscous sugary hit. It makes quite a good addition to use in a cocktail recipe that requires sugar syrup or triple sec, as the Hayman’s 1820 Gin Liqueur can make for an intriguing substitution.
For those wondering – the 1820 statement itself refers to the date when the distillery acquired by James Burrough was first established. The inclusion of the date was a nod to the idea that they too were at the start of their new journey and establishing their own gins from here on in…
The Hayman’s family soon expanded the range and set out to create different styles of classic English gins under the Hayman’s label, recreating old products from the family’s recipe books while slowly moving away from third party distilling.
Although fast-forwarding the story to 2018 and breaking our linear narrative of the Hayman’s family and their range – it’s worth noting that all of the Hayman’s gins created are now made in a traditional 450L copper pot still called Marjorie, named in memory of Christopher’s mother, along with two other, similarly sized coppers stills, using a multi-shot distilling method.
Interestingly, all the gins in the range actually use the same 10 botanical line up, with the recipe changing from gin to gin to highlight particular flavours and botanical intensity.ginfoundry.com