This gin from a tiny distillery in Cornwall has just been named the world’s best

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Anna Brech

Forget everything you thought you knew about gin, because an obscure brand from a tiny distillery in Cornwall has just been named the world’s finest.

Tarquin’s Cornish Navy Gin by Southwestern Distillery was named Best in Show at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017.

An expert panel at the so-called “Oscars of the spirits world” singled out the concoction from a blind taste test of 268 global entries.

Tarquin’s Cornish Navy Gin by Southwestern Distillery

Tarquin’s Cornish Navy Gin by Southwestern Distillery

The gin in question is hand-crafted in Padstow on the north coast of Cornwall.

It’s the brainchild (and namesake) of 29-year-old Tarquin Leadbetter, who is a self-taught distiller. 

According to Business Cornwall, Leadbetter started dabbling in craft gin from his kitchen cooker six years ago, working from a shoestring budget.

He began selling it commercially to local pubs in 2013 and now exports artisan gin to over 12 countries.

“We’re so proud that our tiny distillery, on the far-flung coast of north Cornwall, can compete on the international stage against multi-nationals and global giants and come out on top,” he said, in reaction to the win.

master distiller, Tarquin Leadbetter

Gin king Tarquin Leadbetter, at his distillery in Padstow

At the time of its creation, Tarquin’s Gin was the first new gin to be distilled in South West England for over 100 years. It’s made using traditional distilling and hand-finish methods.

The Cornish Navy version is described by Cornwall Live as “zesty and bold”, with increased botanicals to balance out its eye-watering 57% ABV (a special Navy strength of tipple).

It is hugely popular and features “notes of cracked black pepper, candied citrus and rich spice”.

Leadbetter describes it as “unapologetically bold and brilliant”.

Bottom’s up to that, we say.

Images: Southwestern Distillery/Instagram

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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