Spirit of Harrogate are a passionate British spirits business with exponential sales growth
Spirit of Harrogate (SOH) Limited was founded in August 2014 by Marcus Black and Mike Carthy - 2 local Yorkshire businessmen who had a vision to create local products and put something back into the region they had lived, raised families and worked in for most of their professional careers.
SOH launched its first product - 'Slingsby' London dry gin in 2015 and this was closely followed with Slingsby Yorkshire Rhubarb gin.
In its first year, the business had sales of £133k (6 months trading) and in its second year, it turned over £586k. Feb 2018 saw the year end 2018 with a turnover of £2.9m. Looking ahead, the business is forecast to achieve a 2018/19 turnover of £7.3m.
Slingsby is the fastest selling gin in both Harrods and Harvey Nichols, (the UKs most luxurious retailers) and is also now widely available across the UK in Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Asda and Booths. In Marks & Spencer, it is regionally the number one best-selling gin and now enjoys a listing nationally. Similarly, in September 2017, it launched into 12 John Lewis stores. Within 3 months of the first order being placed, the number of stores listing the gins increased to 22 and Slingsby now proudly enjoys a national listing. According to the latest UK market data, the Rhubarb gin is enjoying a staggering 19,642% growth year on year in the grocery multiples. Off trade, the products are available in some of the UK’s finest establishments such as L’enclume, the Ritz Club London, the Holborn Dining rooms and the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison hotel groups. Put simply, the products are flying!
Spirit of Harrogate’s ethos is ‘relax, indulge and socialise’ producing products which are the essence of why people flocked to the Northern spa town of Harrogate, located in the beautiful green Yorkshire countryside centuries ago and still do so today. The town epitomises relaxation and in the fast pace of today’s modern world we aim to restore and share the ‘Spirit of Harrogate’ across the globe.
The name Slingsby comes from William Slingsby who discovered the famous waters of the Tewit Well in 1571. Subsequently, people visited Harrogate for the healing properties of this water; the same water used in the Slingsby range of products.
Slingsby gin is made using 24 botanicals, 12 of which are locally sourced from the kitchen garden at Rudding Park in Harrogate and a further 5 of which are also sourced from Yorkshire. The water used in the gin is taken from the famous spa waters of Harrogate, combined with the finest pure single grain spirit. The rhubarb used in the rhubarb gin is sourced from Wakefield, part of the famous Rhubarb triangle. A further 2 products are also made by the Spirit of Harrogate, a 57% navy strength gin and a smooth, 7 times distilled vodka.
ABOUT THE RANGE
The key ingredients are hand-grown local plants synonymous with the beautiful and restorative nature of Harrogate including primrose, sweet cicely, nettle, rhubarb, milk thistle, rosehip and Taylors of Harrogate green and jasmine tea. Their master distiller, based at Langley Distillery, Birmingham, has 35 years’ experience producing outstanding quality gins. They expertly combine Harrogate aquifer water, pure single grain spirit and carefully selected botanicals which is masterfully finished in North Yorkshire.
SLINGSBY LONDON DRY GIN
Made with the finest locally sourced botanicals, Harrogate aquifer water and pure single grain spirit. An initial burst of refreshing citrus and grapefruit gives way to juniper, sweet cicely and Taylors of Harrogate jasmine scented green tea. Enjoy with a premium tonic water. We recommend on ice with a twist of grapefruit peel and fresh blueberries.
SLINGSBY RHUBARB GIN
Beginning life as one of their development gins, they have taken their London Dry Gin and masterfully infused this with the finest Yorkshire rhubarb, sourced from the famous 'Rhubarb Triangle'. An initial sweetness of rhubarb and raspberry is followed by the bitter tang of the pink grapefruit citrus base. A tart rhubarb finish rounds off the drink, leaving an unforgettable flavour on the palate. Enjoy with premium elderflower tonic water, on ice with a fresh raspberry to finish.
SLINGSBY NAVY STRENGTH GIN
One glimpse of the sleek, black bottle indicates that this is something very special. Bottled at 57% ABV, Slingsby Navy Strength Gin continues the tradition of the Royal Navy’s ‘proof test’, whereby gunpowder can still ignite if gin is accidentally spilled upon it. The citrus from the grapefruit is more pronounced than their London Dry Gin and once the citrus has mellowed, it allows the softer and earthier botanicals to become more dominant. Enjoy with a premium tonic water on ice with a wedge of pink grapefruit.
Crafted using the finest English wheat, seven times distilled and blended with Harrogate spring water drawn from the world-famous Harrogate aquifer. This produces a bold, characterful vodka with a soft and elegantly smooth finish. Enjoy with a premium mixer or add to cocktails.
Spirit of Harrogate Ltd employs 25 staff and runs a retail unit in Montpellier Parade in Harrogate. The retail unit offers gin experiences where consumers can visit the store and learn more about the History of Gin or experience a cocktail masterclass. The aim of the experiences are to educate customers about gin in general and to help them understand how the product is made and how it has been developed over the years.
Since opening in November 2015, the store has welcomed over 20,000 visitors and is now the number 1 thing to do in Harrogate on Trip Advisor. Experiences have been so popular, they have invested a further £300k in renovations on the unit earlier this year to integrate a ‘distil your own’ gin experience whereby customers can make their own personalised bottle of gin. Having this retail and experience element of the business, allows Spirit of Harrogate Ltd to listen to customers and their feedback on the products and brand.
Slingsby has gained brand recognition on a global scale and are proud to have won over 23 awards from around the world including San Francisco, New York, London and China. The brand has also played on the international stage in 2017, becoming the official gin and vodka supplier to the British Lions rugby tour to New Zealand. Something which as a business, they were very proud to support.
THE SPIRIT OF HARROGATE EXPERIENCE
Spirit of Harrogate likes to do things differently and so they opened the Spirit of Harrogate flagship store to provide consumers with a unique experience.
Visitors are welcome to step inside and discover their range of gins, development gins which is where the best-selling rhubarb gin originated and over 80 tonics sourced from around the world.
In addition to this, visitors are able to book onto one of the gin experiences where they can discover the history of gin and how we make the gin, try different styles of gin and learn how to make their signature serves. They are welcome to try not only their own Slingsby Gin, but also their range of over 250 alternative gins to explore their favourite flavour profile.
Their brand-new experience, which launched in October 18, allows guests to discover the art of distillation and create their very own personalised bottle of gin.
World Duty Free listing for Slingsby London Dry and Yorkshire Rhubarb Gin launched in April 2018;
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