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Poetic License

Based in the Poetic License Distillery Bar and Soul Food (formerly The Roker Hotel), Mark Hird created the brand Poetic License after realising his potential to succeed in an industry where his expertise as a trained chef as well as food & bar manager, and the access his 12 thriving hotels gave him, would count for something.

He began with a microbrewery, which opened in 2012, and named it Sonnet 43, after the Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem. She was born just a stone’s throw from the brewery site. In late 2013, Luke Smith began working with Sonnet 43, and it wasn’t long before Hird moved on to his project, with Smith in mind.

Establishing a microdistillery of his own was Hird’s next ambition, and he hired Smith to become a full time gin distiller. By January 4th 2015, the project became official and Luke moved to begin working within Hird’s Roker Hotel. Using a 5 litre still to produce trial recipes, the duo distilled for a total of 7 months to create a London Dry Gin that they were happy with - which contains the exact same botanical bill they still use today.

With the recipe decided, Poetic License then set about perfecting its method, which began by crushing the botanicals in a home-brew malt mill. These are then steeped for 24 hours before distillation, which gives them time to macerate with the spirit. This one shot process allows them to produce two different gins at around 400 bottles in a batch.

It was unrealistic to expect that modest still to be able to handle the type of quantity Poetic Lecesne were hoping to be able to distill, so a new, 1.75 tonnes, 500 litres (working volume) still was imported from China. Named ‘Gracie’, assembling the still proved exceedingly difficult, and two days into the process she blew up. Following a further two more days with the electrician and some new parts, Gracie was brought to life.

Since then, things have been very good for Poetic License. The Gin Masters certainly seem to think so; in 2016 they awarded the Poetic Licence Old Tom Gin the distinction of Master in the Old Tom category and Poetic Licence Picnic Gin picked up Gold in the Flavoured category.

Poetic License Baked Apple & Salted Caramel Gin Liqueur

50cl, 21%

A delightful gin liqueur from the Poetic Licence distillery in Sunderland, made in the team’s 500-litre hybrid still (named Gracie!) and using Poetic License Old Tom Gin as a base.  More info

Poetic License Baked Apple & Salted Caramel Gin Liqueur
1
$22.06

Poetic Licence Picnic Gin

70cl, 37.5%

The perfect tipple to enjoy while watching Wimbledon? Perhaps, perhaps! Poetic Licence's Picnic Gin is packed full of strawberries and cream notes - they distil as well as infuse the botanicals to…  More info

Poetic Licence Picnic Gin
$35.95

Poetic License Tutti Fruitti Gin

70cl, 42.7%

Another marvellous release from The Rarities range by Poetic License! This time, the distillers in Sunderland taken on a classic flavour - Tutti Frutti! To achieve the desired flavour profile of…  More info

Poetic License Tutti Fruitti Gin
$38.66

Poetic License Northern Dry Gin

70cl, 43.2%

A wonderfully presented dry gin from Sunderland that features Persian lime as part of its botanical selection.  More info

Poetic License Northern Dry Gin
4
$38.66

Poetic License Sarsaparilla Liqueur

50cl, 21%

A gin-based Sarsaparilla liqueur from the Poetic License folks in Sunderland. Inspired by the classic soft drink that you might see a cowboy sipping should you ever travel back in time, Poetic…  More info

Poetic License Sarsaparilla Liqueur
$22.06

Poetic Licence Old Tom Gin

70cl, 41.6%

An Old Tom gin from the Poetic Licence distillery in Sunderland! tasting inspiration from the sweet style of gin popular in the 1800s, this tasty treat features hibiscus and rose petals as part of…  More info

Poetic Licence Old Tom Gin
2
$38.66

Poetic License Blackcurrant & Ginger Gin Liqueur

50cl, 21%

A lip-smacking liqueur from Poetic Licence chaps in Sunderland, made by combining an Old Tom gin with both ginger and blackcurrant. A summer tipple if we've ever seen one.  More info

Poetic License Blackcurrant & Ginger Gin Liqueur
$22.06

Poetic Licence Graceful Vodka

70cl, 40.4%

Want your vodka to be filled with grace? You'll want to try the Poetic Licence Graceful Vodka then. Made in Sunderland, this elegant treat is produced using 100% British wheat and is distilled 7…  More info

Poetic Licence Graceful Vodka
$36.96

Poetic License Fireside Gin

70cl, 40.1%

A wonderful winter treat from the Poetic License distillery, featuring a combination of mulled spices and festive fruit notes! Enjoy beside a roaring fireplace...  More info

Poetic License Fireside Gin
$38.66

Poetic License Blackberry and Bay Leaf

70cl, 40%

Another release from Poetic License's experimental and rather wonderful Rarities range - this time combining the flavours of blackberries and bay leaf with their marvellous gin. We reckon this'll be…  More info

Poetic License Blackberry and Bay Leaf
$38.31
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Poetic License St. Clements Gin Liqueur

50cl, 21%

A delectable gin liqueur from the Sunderland-based spirits producer, Poetic License. St. Clements is a celebration of all things citrus! Made in the team’s 500-litre hybrid still affectionately named…  More info

Poetic License St. Clements Gin Liqueur
$22.06
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Poetic License Sweet Bell Pepper & Naga Chilli Gin

70cl, 41.4%

The Sweet Bell Pepper and Smoked Naga Chilli Gin is the sixth edition to ‘The Rarities’ range from Poetic License, a collection of spirits exclusively produced in small batches. In this case, there…  More info

Poetic License Sweet Bell Pepper & Naga Chilli Gin
$35.95
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Poetic Licence Espresso Gin

70cl, 44.5%

The Rarities range from Poetic Licence grows once again with the introduction of their Espresso Gin! As you might expect, this is bursting at the seams with mouthwatering notes of roasted coffee…  More info

Poetic Licence Espresso Gin
$38.66
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Poetic License Gooseberry & Elderflower

70cl, 38%

A limited edition release from Poetic License's Rarities range, combining the flavours of Gooseberry and Elderflower. Sure to make for some smashing summer-y tipples...  More info

Poetic License Gooseberry & Elderflower

Poetic Licence Orange Blossom

70cl, 40.5%

A limited edition release from the Poetic License range, produced in Sunderland - the first in their Rarities series. It's a bright, light, fruity gin based around the flavours of orange blossom.…  More info

Poetic Licence Orange Blossom

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