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Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury, a historical area in London, is known for gin distillation. It was home to famous brands like Gordons and Tanqueray in the 18th century. The “Gin Lane” painting by Hogarth showed Bloomsbury's chaotic past. This contrasts with the modern Bloomsbury Distillery, which started in Spring 2017.

Founders Alan McQuillan and Ben Harriman set up the distillery near Covent Garden. It taps into London's rich food and drink culture. Local sommeliers, bar owners, and chefs often visit for demonstrations and tastings.

Alan McQuillan, once a sculptor, found a link between art and distillation. He made distillation apparatuses from copper, which also served as art. He started with rum in 2011 and gained fame for his exotic spirits. In 2017, the Peated Vodka won a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Initially, the distillery made bespoke spirits for private clients. Clients included Chris Moore, Head Barman at Coupette. In 2017, Bloomsbury launched three spirits for the public. These included Peated Vodka, Amer, and Pastis.

During a visit by FINE+RARE, Alan explained the distillery's unique approach. He compared it to a perfumery, focusing on alcohol quality, botanical oils, and flavour. He stressed the importance of varied distillation methods to capture the essence of each botanical.

Bloomsbury Distillery plans to create innovative spirits inspired by global tastes and cultures. Alan McQuillan's passion for exploring flavours and cultures through distillation is clear. He sees distillation as a way to map the world through flavour, capturing the essence of different places in each bottle.

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