At Poetic License we believe in breaking traditions and being bold. It’s what keeps us thirsty and moves us forward. And it’s why we believe in our booze and our craft.
When it comes to our handmade spirits, expect the unfamiliar. Additions here and omissions there have transformed the original you know so well, into something with much more character. All we ask is that you lift up your wild spirit and listen to your inner poet. If you can’t write it then live it, and drink it down. It’s how we’ve got to where we are today.
Our flavours are how we express ourselves. We break the rules to find a tastier way. We believe in bucking the trend and being bold, and it’s why we believe in our booze and our craft.
Our home is set against the rugged North East coastline and uniquely designed around Gracie, our 500-litre copper pot still, which lets us produce on a small batch, artisan scale. It’s here we create our unforgettable flavours so you can enjoy our drinks with the difference in mind.
M e e t t h e d I s t i l l e r I met the wonderful team about 5 years ago, at Blenheim palace was so excited to meet a distiller from up Sunderland, near my hometown Durham. My first bottle was their Old Tom, and I’m on my third now! I jumped at the opportunity to try the new Gracie Vodka and London Dry. Poetic Licence noun The freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect. A small but passionate team lead the distillery, all with the drive to break rules, end the familiar, to create something better – to take poetic licence in the craft of making spirits. The distillery is based in the heart of the North East, along the coast of Roker in Sunderland, directly opposite is the Poetic License Bar where they showcase the 500 litre still ‘Gracie’. Gracie is a bespoke build hybrid still which allows them to use her as both a pot still and column still, the column has 6 plates which purify the alcohol meaning they can make pure, smooth vodka, as well as delicious hand crushes botanical gins. T h e T a s t e Graceful Vodka Now, I remember vodka from when I was younger, drinking when I shouldn’t my dad’s vodka, serves me right, it was harsh and tasteless. How times have changed, and ive had a few surprises with vodka from my favourite distillers. Graceful Vodka is made using British wheat, the spirit base gives it a smoothness and it also distilled 7 times, making it purer each time, and giving it it’s graceful name. My son is a big vodka drinker, and he agrees that it’s smooth, clean and crisp. As a vodka connoisseur he also suggested trying some different colas with it, tonight’s tipple was with the smoke coke, a very different and grown up and something that I will definitely drink again. However, my heart still lives with Gin, so next its onto… Northern Dry Distillers Tasting Notes – juniper that is finely balanced with green cardamom for a warm and spicy flavour. With undertones of lemon and eucalyptus, the inclusion of Persian lime intensifies the citrus feel while adding a note of perfume. M y T a s t I n g N o t e s It’s fabulously juniper led with a big punch, my favourite type of ginny gin. Balanced flavours you can taste on the tongue the lemon and limes. No spicy notes for me, but there is something else I can taste, a little sweetness – that must be the secret! I n S u m m a r y Next time I’m visiting the family in the north, the bar is a must stop, I really want to see Gracie, she looks beautiful. Now I have the core range, I can’t wait to try a few of their collaborations. As a contract distiller they are working not just on their own but bushing boundaries for other brands too.
So here I have a little taste of wildness in the spirit known as Poetic License Northern Dry Gin. A gin that presents itself in the most wonderful looking tasteful designed bottle that feels incredibly sturdy in the hand and will draw you in to love it from the very first sip. I was incredibly lucky to be kindly gifted a 70cl bottle of this Gin and a gorgeous branded glass to match. I had heard so much about Poetic License Gins so I was delighted when the beautiful packaged Gin arrived and I could not wait to give it a try. The Gin itself is crafted on the Tyne and Wear Coastline in the Uk and it is a very tasty Gin indeed that really surprised me with its punchy green cardamom flavour but yet still you get the lemon and Lime citrus flavours coming through too. I really enjoy a citrus Gin and this is a really enjoyable Gin. I tasted the Gin neat at first which was really pleasant over ice. This Gin works really well with a number of tonics and a grapefruit garnish and I can’t wait to explore more combinations and other Gins in the range, I already have my eye on the Old Tom Gin. Priced at around £22 for a 70cl bottle with a 43.2 Abv this Gin really is a must have Gin with a great taste that will look amazing on your Gin shelf. 🍹
Everything about The Yorkshire Forager gin from Poetic License, I love. The fact that there is an authentic backstory into the creation of the gin and also that it’s a local company for me, is always a plus. I have only sampled Poetic License gins when I have been out and about in the North East, or had small sampling bottles from the local farm shop but have never had a bottle in my collection until now and I’m so glad it’s this one! I love the branding on the bottle, its gorgeously understated but also very poetic in nature, like it tells a story with the imagery. Love it. When I received this gin, my first tasting, which I enjoyed, I paired with a light premium tonic and some citrus to complement the citrus infusions however today I decided to add a bit of a foraged sunshine-y twist as it was a lovely spring afternoon, so made a twist on a Collins, with a double measure of The Yorkshire Forager Poetic License gin, a double measure of Black Raspberry Chambord, and a squeeze of lemon juice all muddled together in a shaker, served over ice and a home-grown sprig of rosemary, to match the forager theme. Key botanicals in the initially earthy gin flavour include Douglas fir, sweet flag, citrus, star anise and obviously juniper, which blend into a herbaceous, earthy gin flavour- I really enjoy this type of gin and find it easy to drink and pair, its so versatile and classic. I intend to sip this slowly in the spring sunshine today, and often, as it’s a lovely combination!
I have only sampled The Yorkshire Forager edition from this distillery as I am a newcomer to their range. On first sip I was not sure sure about it as I found it a little too herbaceous for my taste. However, paired with Schweppes Crisp Tonic and garnished with a large wedge of lime, the distinct juniper spiciness and hint of pine made a delicious long sip G&T. I also made a rather stunning Martini with this gin, using extra dry vermouth and violet syrup. With an ABV of 43,2% this gin was perfect for this serve.
I was lucky to receive this gorgeous bottle of The Yorkshire Forager gin from Poetic Licence and boy is it gorgeous both in bottle design and taste. This gin is a collaboration with Alysia Vasey who is known as the Yorkshire forager. Alysia foraged the botanicals for her gin from the river banks of Ripponden to the woodlands of Wadworth and include sweet cicely for the liquorice kick, tangerine root and pine. You get the lovely pine on the nose. I tasted it neat and you get juniper, pine and citrus. I used Yorkshire tonic to mix my G & T and it was a perfect pairing. The gin is delicious with sweetness from the sweet cicely and citrus. I garnished with a Zest Co grapefruit wheel and some garden thyme. A gin that is now on my favourite list. At time of writing you can pick up a 70cl bottle with a price tag of between £35-£39 for this stunning 43.2% abv gin. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I was delighted to be asked to try a bottle of ‘The Yorkshire forager, British forager gin by Poetic License distillery. Coming in at 43% ABV it packs just the right amount of punch.! The team at poetic license collaborated with ‘Alysia Vasey’ of Yorkshire’s foragers fame to create a wonderfully wild, foraged gin.
The finest wild foraged botanicals have been carefully chosen to create a wonderful twist on this London dry. Flavorsome and fragrant this gin, for me, delivers on every level. Notes of Douglass fir, mint and citrus, dominate with herbaceous hints of lemongrass, caraway and star anise. On the nose – it’s citrus bursts with heady juniper.
On the palate – tangerine citrus notes, a slightly earthy and pleasant woody bite followed by a subtle hint of lingering basil. It’s an elegant gin from the word go. The stunning bottle depicts the Yorkshire hedgerows and woodland, it’s beautiful to behold and one sip transports you to the wilds of Yorkshire. The Yorkshire forager gin is priced at £39.95 for a 70 cl bottle. I will definitely be buying more! I served Yorkshire forager with a premium tonic, fresh raspberries and heaps of ice. Looks like poetic license have done it again!
Another cracking gin from their collection.
Owner Mark Hird opened Poetic License Distillery Bar and Soul Food in the refurbished Roker Hotel in Sunderland in March 2015.
It was unrealistic to expect their modest 5 litre still to be able to handle the type of quantity Poetic License were hoping to be able to distill, so they commissioned a 500 litre still named Gracie which was imported from China Since then they have gone from strength to strength, picking up several awards.
Their most recent creation is the Yorkshire Forager gin which retails for £39.95 which has been produced in collaboration with Alysia Vasey of Yorkshire Foragers fame. Alysia who mainly forages in the woodlands and moorlands of South Yorkshire has selected the notes of anise, citrus and pine to create a herbal twist on the London dry gin for a fragrant and flavorsome gin. Main botanicals are juniper, spruce pine tips, sweet cicely and tangerine root which is found growing in the water features of stately home.
On the nose its juniper-forward, followed by the herbaceous aroma from the pine tips.
On the palate the spicy juniper and earthy pine are at the forefront, followed by the anise and sweet cicely, with a final zingy citrus touch.
I served with an Indian tonic water and garnished with a slice of dehydrated pink grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary.
I am incredibly lucky to class Poetic License Distillery as my local, in that it is less than a ten minute drive from my home! In fact, it was Poetic License gin that really catapulted me into the world of craft gins back in 2015 when they launched. One Saturday afternoon, I happened across their distiller doing a tasting session in a local deli, and that was it for me! It helped that, soon after, my favourite local became Poetic License bar, and thus a love affair was born!
Over the last five years, the Poetic License core range has included their Northern Dry gin, Old Tom gin, Gracefyl Vodka and long term expressions: Fireside Gin and Strawberries and Cream gin. Due to rebranding, the Old Tom and Fireside have been discontinued (although I have been assured Fireside will be back at some point as a special edition) and Strawberries and Cream will return as Picnic Gin – its original name when it first came to market. Alongside these core spirits, there have been a number of limited edition gins in the ‘Rarities’ range and each introduction is always a special treat when it is released. Past expressions have included Honey Bee Blossom Gin, Club Tropic, Cherry and Basil, to name but a few! Poetic License gins usually retail around £34.95 to £40, with some limited edition differences and occasional price reductions. In terms of delivery, if you are lucky enough to live locally you can collect from the distillery in person for free. The distillery can ship worldwide, or in the UK, there is a flat rate of £4.95, although I believe free shipping is offered over a certain spend. Please check with the distillery – I always use the collection option!
I am reviewing three gins for you today – the Northern Dry, the Fireside and The Yorkshire Forager, which is a collaboration with Alysia Vasey (yorkshireforagers.co.uk). I chose these three as the Northern Dry is the core mainstay in the collection; the Fireside is my personal favourite – and I managed to grab two of the last bottles out there, recently; and the Forager as I was incredibly lucky to be given a bottle by the distillery for promotional purposes in collaboration with Round of Gin very recently. How could I refuse the opportunity to wax lyrical about my favourite distillery?
The Northern Dry is the distillery’s take on a London dry gin, with an abv of 43.2%. Usually priced at £34.95, at time of writing (Feb 2021), this is down to £24.95 in their Winter sale online. The gin was released in 2015, and recently celebrated its 5th birthday. This is a beautifully light gin, with slight perfume aromas on the nose. Tasted neat, juniper and cardamom are prevalent with a subtle warmth and spiciness. Over ice, the spiciness intensifies slightly and the citrus notes in the background become more prominent. This could easily be a sipping gin! However, with tonic, the flavour profile changes again, as you would expect, and the oils released from the botanicals cause a slight pearlescence in the glass. The gin now takes on a far more herbaceous accent, with quite a savoury taste. There is a very round and smooth mouth feel to the gin, making this a very enjoyable G&T! This is a gin I will always come back to and always features as a staple in my drinks cabinet.
My next review is tinged with a certain sadness as, for the time being, the bottles I have are two of the last in existence! I know it may seem odd to review a discontinued gin, but I do so in the hope that the distillers will definitely bring this back at some point, if they know how appreciated it is! The Fireside Gin made its introduction as part of the rarities collection under the name Spiced Cranberry and Orange gin, and was popular enough to become part of the core range and rebranded as Fireside Gin some time ago. This gin is a real winter gin and, as cliched as it sounds is like Christmas in a glass. Drinking it, one cannot help but feel they have been transported to a blazing hearth, blanket on knee, surrounded by candlelight. On the nose, there is a jammy fruitiness, and neat the gorgeous flavours of orange, clove and cinnamon are incredibly present. These warming winter spices are really accentuated with the introduction of ice – definitely a sipping gin! However, it is equally as robust as a longer G&T, with the tonic bringing forth the rich fruity flavours and mulled spices. I’ll definitely be saving my final unopened bottle for next Christmas!
Finally the Yorkshire Forager Gin. This was a 2020 release for the distillery in collaboration with The Yorkshire Forager herself, Alysia Vasey, using botanicals she foraged herself in the woods around Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Pennines. This gin comes in at 43.2% and is currently priced at £39.95 for 70cl. It is a foraged twist on a traditional London dry and contains anise, citrus and pine as well as botanicals picked by Alysia herself. Neat, there is a punchy hit of juniper and pine along with a subtle hint of citrus and a warming spiciness. With the introduction of ice, the gin becomes more smooth and herbaceous. The anise certainly makes itself known here, and the liquorice sits quietly in the background. Tonic brings a more rounded mouthfeel and flavour. There is almost a berry fruitiness prevalent now, with slight floral notes. This will make the perfect gin and tonic for sipping on a spring evening, when the night begin to get lighter and warmer!
If you haven’t yet tried any of the Poetic License range – please do so! I guarantee, you will not be disappointed!
All gins are sampled neat, with ice and with a light tonic.
Poetic license have been around a little while and I have watched them with interest over the last year or so. They produce some wacky sounding gins which are fun, but rarely are they gimmicky on the tongue. I have their Psycho Path liqueur which is blood red and flavoured as raspberry ripple and delicious.
Their Club Tropicana Gin which transports you to the beach when you drink it, you can imagine the palm trees and juicy pineapples and mangoes it’s just next level deliciousness and I also have their Honey Bee Blossom gin which is one of my absolute favourites. It’s just heaven in a glass.
They keep producing the most fantastical of flavours and they’re not too expensive either, in fact, I think the honey bee is reduced at £30 at the moment, but be quick it’s a rarities gin and will go out of stock. (Price correct as at 02/07/20)
****Feb 21, and I have just been gifted their Yorkshire Forager Gin which is a collaboration with Alysia Vasey – this Gin is beautiful. Delicate, Floral and with a hint of citrus. A lovely smooth gin on the tongue. A gin I highly reccomend from this distiller, and along with the Honeybee Gin is a favourite of mine.****