Our master distiller and owner, Nick, has spent 20 years in the drinks & spirits industry. His career started in Manchester where he was award winning mixologist, running high end bars and competing in cocktail competitions all over the world. Nick then became a cocktail bar owner, and more recently held the position of brand manager for a global, award-winning gin.
Nick has harboured a long standing ambition to create his own brand of gin for most of his working life and finally took the plunge to open the Three Wrens distillery in August 2019. The gins are inspired by the beautiful village of Wrenbury, where his family of three reside. Hence the name ‘Three Wrens Gin’
Wrenbury is famous for its fields of Wrens, and can trace its history back to 1100 AD. Our distillery is based in the adjacent village of Cholmondeley, opposite a stunning castle, famous for its amazing gardens.
We are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by outstanding countryside. Ancient woodlands with up to 50 edible plant varieties of roots, shrubs and flowers, are all within a few minutes walk. We are able to grow our own herbs and flowers to use in the gins we make, and we pick them from literally right outside our doors.
Nick’s background in mixology and gin, enabled him to successfully turn his hand to distillation. Much of the skill set needed has been acquired over time with his experience of carefully pairing flavours together to create inventive cocktail menus. After an intensive period of study, distillers courses, trial distillations and exams, Nick made the first batch of Three Wrens in June 2019, and knew he had made something truly special.
Visiting our Distillery
We are based in a lovely old coach house and our big blue barn doors open on to a courtyard overlooking the forest. This enables us to host outdoor events in the summer months. Valerie, our 50 litre copper still, proudly stands on our mosaic tiled floor. Indoors, we have a 16 seat tasting table, a cocktail bar, kitchen area and comfy sofa. Oh and we we mustn’t forget about Rocky, our labradoodle (he usually nicks the best space on the sofa)
You’re guaranteed a warm Cheshire welcome when visiting our cosy distillery. At our tasting events you will be met by Nick and the team personally. You will enjoy an intimate and interactive experience with a hands on approach throughout. You will help make a batch of gin, taste our full range, and compete in a shake-off to see who can make the best cocktail of the day.
Juniper is at the very heart of each expression and always will be. This is a matter of principal and pride. Our key values are integrity and passion. We firmly believe our customers are looking for authenticity and credibility in the gin brands they look at. We are there to guarantee those promises, and to create exceptional liquids for people to enjoy – True Cheshire Gin. Our gins are all single shot distilled, meaning unlike many larger gin brands, we never use a concentrate.
Our dry gin is elegant, sophisticated and easy on the pallet with bursts of herbaceous citrus and soft vanilla. Perfect over ice with a slice of pink grapefruit.
Our rhubarb gin is not sweetened or coloured. The flavour is intense, as we use 5 kilos of real rhubarb in every batch. Delicious with classic tonic or ginger ale and fresh raspberries.
The apple crumble gin is a world first, and the one that took the longest to develop. Complex on both the nose and the pallet, the juniper shines through and is complimented by fresh apple, spices, Demerara and toasted oats. Lovely with elderflower tonic and a slice of fresh apple.
Our Botanicals & our process
Fir, Magnolia, Apple mint, Lemon balm and Angelica, are 5 of the botanicals in our original dry gin. We are fully self sufficient for them all and they grow in the forest around us and in pots outside the distillery. Distilling is all about preparation, this is where most of our time is spent. For our apple crumble gin, we toast oats which are then soaked in the spirit for up to 48 hours before distillation. For our rhubarb gin, we slow-cook local Marbury rhubarb with fresh vanilla pods before macerating for 24 hours. All this happens before we even fire up our still.
Our three gins all have completely different recipes. At the heart of the process is Valerie, our hand-made copper pot still who ensures they are smooth and consistent with every batch. The typical yield from a batch of gin is around 75 bottles. Distillation time is 4-5 hours depending on which gin we are making. The gins are brought down to ABV with local Peckforton spring water before being hand bottled and labelled on site.
Challenges & Achievements
Perfecting the recipes spent 6 months, where Nick practically locked himself in a dark room obsessing over flavours. After over 100 trial distillations, we were finally completely delighted with each of the gins, and ready to bottle them.
Nicks brother, an architect by trade, was responsible for the branding, assisted by Nicks wife who has a keen eye for design. This help enabled Nick to focus on sourcing high-end equipment for the distillery, fitting it out, getting all the legals in place and exploring recipes.
A weekly gin school after expanding the tasting area and one or two new recipes are all planned for 2020. Nick also promises to continue in his role as master distiller but would like some help with other tasks. Plans to employ local people to help with the business are already underway. From sweeping up and bottling, to admin and accounts, there is much work to be done running our little distillery! We are really proud of what we have achieved so far and honestly loving every minute of it. The passion is burning brightly, we can’t wait to see what the future holds, and we hope to meet you soon!