It’s time once again for the latest of our essential fortnightly Gin News updates! And there’s been plenty going on since last we wrote, so let’s get cracking with all the latest Gin stories…
- Pernod Buys Malfy
Fancy Italian gin Malfy has been snapped up by drinks behemoth Pernod Ricard for an undisclosed sum. The brand is made by Torino Distillati, whose distillery was established in 1906 and has previously been owned by Seagram’s – which was itself acquired by Pernod along with Diageo back in 2000. However, the distillery had already been sold in a management buyout in 1992, when Torino Distillati was created, before partnering up with spirits suppliers Biggar and Leith to create Malfy in 2016.
Malfy’s citrus heavy ‘Con Limone’ gin is the brand’s best-known iteration in the UK, but they also make a more juniper-led ‘Originale’ gin, plus Orange and Rose flavoured gins. This is the third major gin move for Pernod in recent years, following their purchase of a majority share in Monkey 47 in 2016 and the acquisition of the UK rights for faintly troublesome Canadian brand Ungava last year.
- HMRC Accused Of Losing Distillery Applications
In more worrying news, our dear friends at everyone’s favourite branch of the civil service – Her Majesty’s highly esteemed Revenue and Customs – have been forced to deny accusations from the British Distillers’ Alliance (BDA) that the large number of reported delays to recent distillery applications are due to incompetent buffoons within HMRC losing the related paperwork.
Alan Powell, founder of the BDA, said his members had raised concerns that their applications were being “unduly hindered by claims of lost paperwork and administrative errors” within HMRC, with the number of applications reported as lost increasing significantly in recent weeks.
The lovable chumps at HMRC have responded in rather careful language, specifically refuting that applications are ‘routinely lost’… so maybe this current SNAFU is just an unfortunate Brexit sub-routine…? Perish the thought.
- Unicorn Tears Castigated
In further trouble, some absolute specimens at retailer Firebox have had the temerity to declare themselves ‘disappointed’ after being taken to task by The Portman Group (TPG) over their ‘raspberry gin liqueur’, which rejoices in the name of ‘Unicorn’s Tears’.
TPG upheld a complaint from a member of the public on the grounds that the drink – which is pink, looks like it contains glitter, has a childlike drawing of a sad unicorn on the label and, we repeat, is named ‘Unicorn’s Tears’ – just might appeal to under-18s.
Firebox had previously escaped censure when an identical complaint regarding their other products ‘Pixie Tears’ – stocked by John Lewis, no less – and ‘Flamingo Tears’ was somehow not upheld… seriously, we’re not making this up, more’s the pity.
- Sipsmith Moves Into Premixes
Some good news to finish on, then. Sipsmith, fresh from their fancy animated ad we told you about last month, are moving into the premix market with the launch of some rather handsome Sipsmith G&T cans! They must have been reading our story about the Fleabag sales surge for the M&S versions.
Both regular and low-calorie tonic versions have been produced, weighing in at a toothsome 7.3% – Gordon’s cans are only 5% – and are available now, though it’s probably best if no-one tells Diane Abbott, eh?
That’s your lot for now, folks – come back soon for more of our fabulous Gin News Updates!