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Ferdinand are one of the more interesting modern brands you’re likely to come across. It was created from a collaboration of Dorothee Zillikenm, from the esteemed VDP Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken winery estate in Saarburg, Andreas Vallendar, the master distiller and owner of the Avadis Distillery in Wincheringen and Capulet & Montague, a marketing company from Saarbrucken. This marvellous marriage of award-winning wines, distillery know-how and savvy promotion has led the brand to widespread attention and acclaim since its inception. Of Ferdinand’s extensive range of products, among which are varieties of stunning vermouths and an illustrious line of bitters, it is Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin that has stood out the most. The distillation process of Ferdinand Gin begins with a simple harvested grain, which is cut with water before a selection of 30 hand-picked botanicals including the hop blossom, rosehip, garden grown lemon-scented thyme, and lavender straight from the fallow vineyards in the Konzer Talchen, are added for maceration. Vallendar also makes use of both the pot still and the infusion chamber, a rare method which involves charging the still with the botanicals steeped in the spirit while simultaneously stacking the vapour infusion chamber to add extra aromas to the final product. This all occurs in one complex, intriguing distillation. The next step is what makes the gin truly stand out from the crowd. After the distillation process is completed, Vallendar adds a precise measure of Schiefer Riesling, adding complexity and an individuality. Then, after a rest period of four weeks, demineralised water is used the reduce the strength, before the spirit is filled into wine bottles that carry all the hallmarks of rustic nostalgia. With every release, Ferdinand attempts to emphasise the principal regional qualities and distinctive character of the Saar, and remain rooted in a commitment to provenance and authenticity. If it continues to succeed in its efforts with the same exceptional style as it has up until now, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll be hearing a lot more of this brand.

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