Named ‘Guiding Star’ after a famous Salcombe Fruit Schooner built in 1874, this limited-edition cask finished sloe and damson gin has been developed in collaboration with Dirk Niepoort, one of the world’s most iconic port producers.
This gin is deep crimson in colour with a slight brick-red tinge from the influence of the tawny port cask in which it was finished in. On the palate it is rich and balanced with flavours of cherry, blackberries, tart redcurrants and spiced marzipan. The finish is tart with an underlying sweetness from the lees of the Niepoort Colheita 1997 tawny port previously aged in the cask.
Limited to 1,500 bottles. 50cl, 39.2% ABV.
This limited-edition release is no longer available to purchase.
We partnered with Dirk Niepoort to create an exceptional tawny port cask-finished sloe and damson gin, that elevates this festive tipple. Our co-founder Angus visited Dirk and his team at Niepoort in their world-renowned winery in the Douro Valley in Portugal. Together they hand-selected a cask that previously aged their Niepoort Colheita 1997 tawny port.
Sloes and damsons were handpicked from the Devonshire coast and we created a new bespoke gin recipe as a base for them to macerate in for several months, taking into account the residual sugar content of the fruit and handpicked botanicals which would complement the natural aromas and flavours whilst drawing out the fruit’s natural sweetness.
After macerating, the liquid was filtered and left to rest for three months, in the 80-year-old tawny port cask Angus selected with Dirk months prior.
The sloes and damsons were macerated in a bespoke gin for several months to draw out the natural aromas, flavours, sugars and colour of the fruit before the liquid was filtered. It was then finished for three months in a hand picked 80-year-old tawny port cask that previously held Niepoort’s famous Colheita 1997 20-year-old tawny port, before being blended with naturally soft Dartmoor water.
‘Guiding Star’ has a natural sweetness coming from the lees in the port cask, creating an exceptionally well-balanced gin that has depth and body with a complex bitter sweet finish.
Dirk Niepoort is the fifth generation of a Dutch family established in Portugal in the mid-19th century. The Niepoort House was founded in 1842 by Franciscus Marius van der Niepoort, born in 1813, in Hilversum, Holland. In five generations the handing over of the business has been done successfully and without major surprise. Until the late ’80s, the business consisted of buying wine from local farmers in Douro, ageing the Port Wine in the cellars at Vila Nova de Gaia before going on to sell it worldwide.
Dirk Niepoort, was born in 1964 in Porto. Despite the family business, he was not particularly interested in wine or the wine business until he undertook an internship in Switzerland Moevenpick at the end of his degree. Dirk discovered the world of wine and the enthusiasm to fully understand what is required to produce great wines, which has now become his way of life.
In 1987, Dirk joined his father Rolf Niepoort in the family business. The biggest challenge for him was and continues to be, managing the balance between tradition and innovation. Dirk’s first step towards innovation was the acquisition of two vineyards in 1987: Quinta de Nápoles and Quinta do Carril in the Cima Corgo region, which traditionally produces the finest Port Wines.
In the early ’90s, Dirk started a small revolution both within and outside of the company. At that time, the Douro was still only known for its Port Wine, although there were two or three wines renowned as Barca Velha, Quinta do Côto or Duas Quintas, no one had ventured to produce table wine. In 1991, and without the full agreement of his Father, but with his permission, Dirk started to produce the DOC Douro wines and in 1993 Niepoort launched its first red wine, Redoma, 1991.
Dirk needed however to understand what was being done elsewhere in the world, and to satisfy his curiosity and willingness to learn, he began a series of trips to discover the great wine regions: France, Germany, Austria, Spain, California, Australia. He discovered, met, learned, applied and transformed Niepoort in the company which is currently a symbol of quality worldwide, represented in over 50 countries.
“A new, glorious sloe and damson gin. Dry and complex with notes of almond and red berries – an intense version of pink gin. Delectable on its own or in a cocktail.”