A woman Master Distiller: the Vision of Anne Brock

A woman Master Distiller: the Vision of Anne Brock

The World of Gins is a representation of the human being himself.

Different types, different directions in which to move, some interesting, some less, moments of despair and others who let us hope.


A pleasing aspect is that more and more women are able to become prominent members of this “movement”, accompanied by the hard work and commitment, gaining positions: today we want to talk about a professional in particular, that of the Master Distiller.

Yet few women hold this position, but when they do it’s in a noticeable way (just think of Mrs. Lesley Gracie Hendrick’s Gin). To deepen this aspect, I interviewed Dr. Anne Brock, Jensen’s London Gin Master Distiller, a consistent and interesting product, “historically accurate,” without frills but with much substance.


– I would like to talk about your chemistry formation and how it helped to create a career in this industry, I would like to show the hard work behind that.
I studied Chemistry at Oxford University for 8 years, firstly as an undergraduate and then as a postgraduate. Studying for a DPhil involved long hours in the laboratory putting on reactions, purifying compounds and analysing spectra. A lot of what you attempt in Chemistry doesn’t give you the result you wanted or expected which means that you have to be very persistent and self-motivated in order to get through to results you can use. The majority of my time was spent doing practical work, and this practical experience has been invaluable when setting up a distillery, building a still and making gin. My lab in the distillery is not very high-tech at the moment but I hope to change that over this coming year so I can really get stuck into R&D and show the playful side of Jensen’s.

– It’s quite peculiar for a woman to be a distiller, for Gin at least (I know you and Mrs. Lesley Gracie of Hendrick’s, do you know any other?), what do you think a femminine view may bring to this spirit?
It is becoming much more common for a woman to be a gin distiller, in the UK there are several: Joanna Moore (Greenall’s), Lesley Gracie (Hendrick’s) and Lizzie Bailey (Hayman’s) for example. Interestingly, jobs like brewing and distilling were traditionally done by women before they became commercial industries. I like to think that each individual distiller brings something unique to their spirits and as more and more people are able to pursue gin distilling as a career the category will become even more varied and interesting.

 What’s your opinion of the actual “Gin Craze”? Do you like tasting the new Gin coming to life almost daily? Even the strangest ones?
One of the great things that has happened as a result of this ‘Gin Craze’ is a huge increase in the appreciation and understanding of gin amongst consumers. This has allowed small gin producers to experiment with flavour and gin style, which in turn provides more creative opportunities for bartenders. Trying lots of new gins is a huge perk of my job. There are some that aren’t to my taste, but the more I try the more I understand the spirit’s huge potential.

– Do you think we will be drinking aged Gins in the future? I think we will, I bet lot of brands are working in this direction. Do you think it will change our perception of this spirit?
I definitely think the interest in aged gin is only just beginning. There’s so much more exploration to be done and I am sure that there are many brands with an aged gin in their pipeline. I don’t think aged gin will ever overtake gin as we know it now though. It will always remain a separate drink that some enjoy and others don’t.

– Your favorite Gin cocktail? Would you also please suggest for the Italian Gin Lovers, how to drink the Jensen’s Gin? Your perfect serves?
It’s very hard to choose! I always love a Dry Martini, but an Aviation, Last Word or a 20th Century are also firm favourites. I also love the cocktail Green Park which was created by Erik Lorincz at the Savoy, it is fantastic when made with our Old Tom gin. Jensen’s gins are very versatile, both the Old Tom and the Bermondsey Dry gin work really well in all the classic gin cocktails. The Old Tom is my preferred G&T when using Fevertree tonic served with loads of ice and a sprig of rosemary. The Bermondsey Dry is great with Fentimen’s Rose Lemonade and lemon wheels, especially when you can enjoy it in a garden in the sunshine.

I would like to thank Dr. Anne brock for this interview that helped to know better a particular aspect of Gin’s world.

You’ll find more information about Jensen’s Gin at: www.jensengin.com

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