Southwold-based Adnams takes ‘grain to glass’ approach to launch Rising Sun gin and Rye Hill vodka

Adnams chairman Jonathan Adnams, left, and head distiller John McCarthy in a field of rye.

Adnams chairman Jonathan Adnams, left, and head distiller John McCarthy in a field of rye. - Credit: Archant

Southwold-based brewer and distiller Adnams is adding two new spirits to its range.

Rising Sun gin and Rye Hill vodka have both been produced using rye grown by company chairman Jonathan Adnams on his farm at Reydon, just outside Southwold.

Adnams has applied its 140 years of experience and expertise if brewing to the development of the new spirits, with rye being a complex grain with which to work.

The first stage of producing a spirit involves fermentation, much like brewing a beer. Rye creates a syrup-like mash, due to its protein structure and water retention, but adds depth to both beers and spirits, with a drier and spicier finish than barley-based equivalents.

Rising Sun Gin has been made from malted rye using the “London Dry” method and a specially selected blend of botanicals including Japanese Matcha Tea and lemongrass.


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The finished gin is described as “refreshing and full of natural aromatic flavours, best served with a good tonic and garnished with ginger and lime zest”.

Rye Hill Vodka uses 80% rye and 20% barley, resulting in “a smooth and rich spirit with a hint of pepper”.

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The rye creates a drier vodka, which is spicier than Adnams East Coast Vodka, an all-barley recipe. It is described as having “subtle aromas of rye bread and spice on the nose, with long, dry and spicy finish”.

John McCarthy, head distiller at Adnams, said: “We always like to play with flavours, techniques and unusual ingredients so were keen to experiment with rye.

“The two rye spirits are the ultimate examples of our in-house grain-to-glass production process as our own chairman has grown the rye in his back garden, only a stone’s throw away from the distillery.”

He added: “Rye has been grown in Reydon for centuries and the village’s name is derived from the Old English words, Rey meaning Rye, and Don meaning Hill.

“Due to the village’s position on the Suffolk Coast, our crop is amongst the first rye to catch the early morning rays as the sun rises above the North Sea.

“The spirits’ names were therefore natural choices: Rising Sun and Rye Hill.”

Rising Sun (which will retail at £28.99 for a 70cl bottle) and Rye Hill (£26.99 a bottle) will be launched in Adnams stores and online from 4pm today and will be available on general release from tomorrow.

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