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Barry Island Gin is among the Great Taste winners of 2021

Barry Island Gin from Barry Island Spirits Co based in the Vale of Glamorgan has been awarded a 1-star by Great Taste, the largest and most trusted food and drink awards on the planet.

Out of 5,383 products worldwide to receive a Great Taste 1-, 2- or 3-star accolade on Tuesday 21 September, Barry Island Gin will now be able to display the unmistakable black and gold logo, a stamp of excellence that is recognised by retailers and consumers alike.

The Great Taste Judges’ feedback on our Welsh Dry Gin was that “It's a beautifully balanced gin, fine for sipping over ice, but equally at home with a dash of tonic and slice of orange. There's a delightfully soft aromatic lead on the nose. Orange is dominant, but backed up by bright, yet rounded spice notes. Love has gone into the making of this. Really well made. Great as a G&T or Martini base.”

Barry Island Gin has "a quartet of blood orange, lime, juniper and thyme, with subtle spice notes to elevate the citrus and deliver a rounded taste that is clean, fresh and bright". It’s thoughtfully hand-crafted to deliver the perfect balance of juniper, citrus and spice and distilled with pure Welsh water in the Vale of Glamorgan to make a truly local gin.

Barry Island Spirits co was founded by Barry Island-based couple Claire and Tim Whalley in early 2021. It is a labour of love for the pair, who both left high profile corporate jobs to follow their dream of opening a bar and turning their passion for craft beer, wine and spirits into a successful, local business in their hometown of Barry.

The husband-and-wife team are behind Craft Republic, an independent bar and bottle shop located in the GoodSheds development in Barry which opened in August 2020.

Referred to by the couple as ‘the accidental business’, Tim and Claire wanted to develop a house gin for Craft Republic and, having developed the recipe, worked with a Welsh distiller to produce their gin.

Since then, the popularity of Barry Island Gin has soared. It has received high praise from industry experts including the former Head Sommelier at The Hinds Head in Bray - the Michelin starred pub run by world renowned experimental chef, Heston Blumenthal and part of The Fat Duck Group – which has stocked Barry Island Gin since December 2020.

The pair now send out bottles of Barry Island Spirits to customers all over the UK and supply their products to several independent bars, restaurants and retailers. An eagle-eyed Craft Republic customer even spotted a bottle of Barry Island Gin in the home of celebrity fitness coach Joe Wicks during one of his Instagram stories.

Claire Whalley, Director and Co-Founder of Barry Island Spirits Co explains: “We’re delighted that our Welsh Dry Gin has received a Great Taste star. Barry Island Gin has just had its first birthday and we couldn’t think of a better birthday present!”

“We’ve never put any of our products forward for any awards before, but we’ve always seen the Great Taste awards as a sign of quality. We’re incredibly proud to be putting one of their gold stars on to bottles of Barry Island Gin”

Tim Whalley added “We love where we live, and we always wanted our products to be something that positively represented Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan. We opened our business in the middle of a global pandemic and after a tough year this recognition from Great Taste really means a lot to us”

Since launching Barry Island Gin, the husband-and-wife team have added Barry Island Botanical Spiced Rum to the Barry Island Spirits Co portfolio. October will see the launch of their two newest products, a Welsh Organic triple-distilled vodka and a Welsh Dry Pink Gin - all in brand new, custom manufactured bottles.

The Great Taste 1 star award-winning Barry Island Gin is available to drink and buy from Craft Republic in the Goodsheds, Barry, Pugh’s Food Hall, Radyr and Pugh’s Garden Kitchen, Rogerstone. 70cl bottles are also available to buy online at and for £34.95 + P&P

Facts and figures about Great Taste 2021:

  • Established in 1994, Great Taste is organised by the Guild of Fine Food and is the world’s largest, longest standing and most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers

  • 14,113 different products were entered in 2021 from 108 countries

  • 355 judges blind-tasted this year’s entries, including; Joanna Blythman, investigative journalist and food writer, cook, writer, stylist and voice of modern vegetarian cooking, Anna Jones, author, Olia Hercules, Kenny Tutt, MasterChef 2018 champion and restaurateur, food writer and cook, Xanthe Clay, presenter, author and tutor, Steven Lamb, baker and author, Martha Collison, and Kavi Thakrar from Dishoom, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Partridges

  • Socially distanced judging took place over 86 days at four venues including Guild HQ in Gillingham, Dorset and the Guild of Fine Food’s London home, No. 42 Southwark Street, SE1

  • 4,027 awarded a Great Taste 1-star - A food that delivers fantastic flavour. Approximately 30% of entries will achieve this rating each year

  • 1,138 awarded a Great Taste 2-star - Above and beyond delicious – less than 10% of entries will achieve this rating

  • 218 awarded a Great Taste 3-star - Extraordinarily tasty foods – less than 2% of products are awarded a 3-star each year – don’t leave the shop without buying it!

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