Mike Longmore, a former musician, founded Clun Forest Spirits in mid 2017. He had been back to his “hometown” in Annan Dumfriesshire, when he dropped in on a friend, who owned a brewery. His friend promised to show him something that was new to him — a still! Until that day Mike had never seen one in operation and he was, he said ‘fascinated”.
When he returned to Shropshire, Mike is still not quite sure how but by the end of the year, he not only designed and built his first still, but also acquired a licence to operate and sell.
At the start, he created two gins for Clun’s Green Man 2018 festival called Green Man and Ice Queen, celebrating the principal characters of that event. Both are now his standards, Yard Arm and Three Knocks.
Mike’s career as a musician left him a little unsure how to market his gins. So shortly after The Green Man Festival, he began trading at the Ludlow Market and at summer and autumn food festivals such as: Bishops Castle Michaelmas Fair and Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre.
There is now a range of gins from Clun Forest Spirits available at Ludlow Market and online. Before the pandemic, Mike supplied pubs, restaurants and did wholesale, all of which he hopes will resume once things return to ‘normal’.
Mike is very proud of the business’ local identity. His gins are distilled in the “Heart of the Clun Valley” with botanicals grown and sourced locally and spring water from the rolling hills. Local artist, Ellie Terratt, creates the labels and is principal in establishing the brand’s unique visual identity.
As their taste notes reveal the standard dry gins, Yard Arm and Three Knock are distinctly different. There is also a limited edition, Lockdown Gin, which is au courant. The gins are made to be sipped on their own at room temperature, over ice or with your favourite Indian tonic water. In answer to the question, “why gold in our gin”, Mike says “well, one Christmas we did a limited edition and those gold leaves dancing around the gin and tonic bubbles looked great and it sure tasted great too!”
Clun Forest Gin of the month is Three Knocks and Mike is just about to distill a new batch which will also be available as a reserve 47% export strength. He also has trio of gins: a selection of 20cl Yard arm, Three knocks and Pink Gin, all available on the Clun Forest Spirit website.
SPECIAL OFFER exclusive to LGL readers: buy Three Knocks for the special price of £29.99 including post (normally retails at £33.99 with postage). This offer is not available on the Clun Forest Spirits website but anyone wishing to purchase can email to pay via paypal or call 07974 264665 for telephone payment. Just use code: LETSGOCFS40. Valid until Tuesday, 23rd June 2020.