Blackwoods unveils 2017 vintage spirits range

by Owen Bellwood

UK drinks group Distil has launched a new range of 2017 vintage spirits for its Blackwoods brand, at the same time as redesigning its Vintage Dry Gin and Vodka.

Launching in January, the 2017 vintage will feature new formulations of Blackwoods' spirits developed in partnership with leading bartenders. The 2017 vintages are the first new Blackwoods vintages to be released by the brand in five years and celebrate the latest harvest of Shetland botanicals used to create Blackwoods gin. The flavour profile of the new vintage has been created with the help of leading bartenders to reflect the latest trends in flavours and mixability. Blackwoods 2017 Vintage Dry Gin will be available at 40% and 60% abv and the company’s Premium Grain Vodka will be bottled at 40% abv. As well as the introduction of the new vintages, Blackwoods is also unveiling a new bottle and packaging design which aims to capture the “vintage roaring 1920s era of cocktails.” The new design is inspired by vintage soda syphons, "recalling the energy and effervescence of the golden age of gin and classic cocktail culture." The new bottles have a faceted design with a copper cap, intended to reflect Blackwoods's copper pot still and small-batch production. The labelling on the bottles include intricate graphics, referencing vintage bars of the gin era, while also highlighting hand-picked Shetland botanicals, such as wild thyme, meadowsweet, cowslip and eyebright, used across the range. Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “The new Blackwoods design celebrates the 2017 vintage and aligns with the new formulation for the popular and successful spirits in the range. The involvement of bartenders in finalising the recipes ensures that Blackwood is up-to- date in terms of consumer appeal, while evoking the classic age of cocktails in the roaring 1920s."