Distillery sells out of first batch of King Billy Gin

A distillery in Hull has sold out of its very first batch of newly launched King Billy Gin.

Published 12th Jul 2018
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Created using Juniper Berries, Rose Petals, Vanilla pods, and of course, oranges, the gin is made in small batches of just 50 bottles by Hotham's Gin School & Distillery, with the name being an ode to the city's close links to King William III in England and II in Scotland.

Inspired by the statue which takes pride of place in the city's Market Place - erected in 1734 in honour of William of Orange - the gin is priced at £40 and described as having a "fresh citrus taste" with "delicate floral notes and a hint of vanilla".

King Billy Gin

Picture: King Billy Gin

Founder Sharron Davies explained that the new product was inspired by the fact that King William, or 'King Billy' as he is known in Hull, played a big part in bringing the juniper spirit to Britain from his native Netherlands.

She said: "It's very bizarre how our gin came about , I have always been interested in Art but never had time . So I decided to get back into it, by creating illustrations of Hull with words. One of my illustrations was of our very popular statue of King William, known locally as King Billy.

"I needed to research King Billy for words to be used in my illustration. It came to light that King Billy (King William) had actually introduced Gin to England. Being a keen Gin drinker myself, I went on a mission to find a King Billy Gin. To my amazement I couldn't find one.

"I decided to get the people of Hull involved, so I mocked up a bottle image and posted it on the local Facebook Group Page 'One Hull of a City', asking if Hull needed this Gin and the response was crazy.

"So through the post a gentleman called Simon Pownall got in touch, and said he wanted to make this happen. Simon and his partner Emma Kinton were actually in the stages of opening a gin school in Hull, so we had a couple of meetings over the coming month's discussing recipes and enjoying plenty of tasting sessions and the gin eventually launched on the 29th of June 2018 and we've just sold out our first batch."

The second batch is currently in production and will go on sale in the first week of August.

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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