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28 June 2017
Craft gin distiller Pickering's Gin has launched an original collection of gins for luxury liner company Cunard, marking the largest ever export order for the small central Edinburgh distillery. Based at Summerhall Distillery in Edinburgh, Pickering's Gin has created three new unique expressions exclusively for the luxury line’s three ships: the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth.
From this small distillery in Edinburgh the gin has travelled to the high seas, with Marcus Pickering forming a partnership with a FTSE 100 in a year where Pickering’s Gin is hoping to quadruple its annual turnover. To coincide with the £34 million refit of the Queen Victoria, which set sail on its first voyage around the Mediterranean last Friday, the ship has been installed with the very first draft gin tap at sea serving Queen Victoria Gin.
The launch is a lifelong dream of the distillery’s co-founder Pickering, whose great-uncle, Captain George Gibbons CBE RD RNR, sailed as captain of Cunard White Star liners from 1909-1944. Pickering said: “Working with Cunard is a dream of mine and the ability for small companies like ours to work with a globally recognised cruise brand has been a revelation. It is proof that it is possible for David to play nicely with Goliath in such uncertain times, and deals like this really help to secure the future of our business.”
Matt Gammell, the distillery’s other founder and head distiller set about creating three London Dry Gins, each expressing the routes that each of the three Queens sail. “As a distiller, I wanted to turn Cunard’s vision of three distinct flavour profiles into reality. Each of the three Queens Gins contains an array of remarkable botanicals, like lemon myrtle, chrysanthemum and sweet cherry that really evoke the legacy of the ships. It was a proud moment when we received such positive feedback from the team at Cunard.”