Distillery dream: fine spirits and wine from British farm fields

ADVERTORIAL • November 2015

That’s the spirit

Discover a new type of vodka, and find out why Chase is proud to be Britain’s first and only truly single-estate distillery

You’d be amazed at how versatile a vegetable can be. Having launched Tyrrells crisps in 2002, farmer William Chase turned his attention back to his potato crop in Herefordshire, and had another idea.

“On a Tyrrells export trip, I discovered a distillery making vodka entirely from potatoes,” says William. “I couldn’t believe how good it tasted.”

This idea – that British potatoes could be turned into a premium spirit – took root and grew. The result was Chase English Potato Vodka, created by the newly-formed Chase Distillery in 2008.

Voted ‘world’s best vodka’ at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Chase Vodka is the only English vodka to be made entirely from potatoes. “Because it’s made wholly on one estate, we can offer a super-premium vodka with guaranteed provenance,” says William.


Chase Distillery: a spirited enterprise that’s keeping it in the family

Chase is proud of its British heritage. “Our spirits are made by hand from start to finish. Everything is grown, mashed, fermented, distilled and bottled on the farm,” says William. Chase is also proud to be a family business. William’s son Harry is the farm manager, while other son James is head of marketing for the distillery.

And because the family are farmers as well as distillers, they still oversee crop planting in the spring and harvesting in the autumn. Then, once the potatoes have been mashed and fermented, it’s time for distillation. The vodka is distilled 119 times in a 70-foot copper rectification column. “The copper reacts with the sulphates in the alcohol to create a beautifully smooth spirit,” says William.

The result is vodka so pure that it can be served neat and chilled over ice, or combined with a good-quality tonic. Alternatively, William recommends trying it as part of a ‘Kiss Chase’ cocktail – combining it with elderflower liqueur, freshly squeezed lemon and apple juice.


But for Chase Distillery, it doesn’t stop there. In addition to their award-winning vodka, they also produce Britain’s only single-estate gin – Williams Elegant Gin. Organic apples from the farm are pressed and fermented into cider, before being distilling into Naked Chase Vodka. This is then re-distilled with botanicals to create a full-bodied, fruity gin.

And that’s not all. The Chase family have also turned their attention to the world of wine. “As a farmer, I love that I’m able to grow the vines and watch over the entire process from seed to bottle,” says William.

Chase Distillery has plenty more planned for the future. “At the moment, we’re trying to ferment beetroot into vodka,” says William. “Our aim is to keep experimenting and innovating.”

Who knew potatoes could inspire so much? Drinks lovers, watch this space.

Visit Chase Distillery for a tour with the master distiller and a sampling session of the full range. See chasedistillery.co.uk for details

This article has been tagged Food + Drink, Destination