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  • Writer's pictureThe Gin Bandits

Silver Spear Gin Q&A + Giveaway Details

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

To celebrate hitting 5,000 followers on our Instagram account, we've recently teamed up with Irish based gin brand Silver Spear gin to give away a bottle of their award winning gin to one lucky follower on 24th February 2019. If you want to know how you can win a bottle of their fantastic gin, please check the post on our Instagram account here.

Silver Spear Gin picked up its name after the Silver Spear award, awarded as a medal of honour to Master Huntsman John Henry Watson in 1876 for his military honours. The Watson family were a prominent family from Ballydarton, and their residence Ballydarton House is now the place that the distillery calls its home. As part of our giveaway, we had the opportunity to have a chat with the team behind Silver Spear, to find out a bit more information about their gin.

Who are the team behind Silver Spear Gin?

A small team of four are behind Silver Spear Gin, with a mix of skills in production, technical, commercial and social media experience. The team consists of Michael Egan CEO, Pat Maher Commercial, Laura McDonald Social Media and Marketing, and Dawn Smyth, Production and Technical. The combined team have in excess of 50 Years’ experience in the drinks industry.

Dawn Smyth, who developed the award-winning Silver Spear Gin

When Smyth and O’Reilly was formed back in 2015, was it always the plan to make a gin, or was it something that grew over time?

Yes, our plan was to start with gin and see if we could create a premium gin. We were delighted to reach the final of the World Gin Awards in 2018 winning Best Irish Contemporary Style Gin.

Congratulations on the award, that's an amazing achievement so early on. Silver Spear is currently distilled in Ballydarton House, Carlow. How did you come about landing such a beautiful venue as the home for your distillery?

Dawn Smyth the creator of Silver Spear Gin recipe lives at Ballydarton House and is part of the management team.

Who was in charge of the bottle design and branding?

It was a team effort and we worked with a local brand designer to create the Silver Spear pack.

Is the Distillery open to the public and if yes, is the Silver Spear Award based within the grounds?

We are not currently open to the public, however, we have plans to operate planned tours by late 2019.

You officially launched Silver Spear in 2017, can you tell us how much work went into developing the flavours/ingredients for the final product?

We wanted to create an exceptional gin product with a distinct aroma and flavour. Dawn Smyth, one of the founders, drew upon her thirty years of experience as a food technologist. She wanted to incorporate some of her favourite flavours from the kitchen at Ballydarton, like citrus and coriander. She also set out to create a gin that was refined enough to drink neat. After extensive trials, the secret blend was developed by Dawn and her specialist team over a period of 14 months. The process saw over 200 samples being produced until the perfect blend of juniper, five types of citrus, herbs and spices and a resting period of six to eight weeks created Silver Spear Gin.

Tell us about the stills you’re currently using and who is in charge of the distillation process?

We are only a small micro operation with the capacity to make 1,000 bottles a month. We have a partner artisan distillery to help us scale up who have been carefully selected to work to our recipe.

Do you have any other spirits or gin ideas in the pipeline?

We are currently working on a flavoured gin and another spirit idea.

How would you suggest we serve Silver Spear Gin?

Our perfect serve is a wedge of lime, strawberry, 150ml Premium Tonic, 35ml Silver Spear gin and lots of ice.

And lastly, where can our followers in the UK pick up a bottle of Silver Spear Gin?

Customers can visit our website and go to the “Buy now” button. Wholesale stockists are Tennent’s & Fills Hill’s in Scotland, Tennent’s, Nelson Sauvin and Anjou Wines in Northern Ireland. Master of Malt have agreed to list Silver Spear and we are currently working our way through the supplier approval process.

You can follow Silver Spear Gin on the following social media platforms

Instagram (Don't forget to enter our competition)


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