Top award for Nelson’s rhubarb and custard gin

By Simon Penfold | Dining out | Published:

A Staffordshire distillery is celebrating after winning a top award for its Rhubarb & Custard gin at the world’s premier wine & spirit competition.

Nelson's Gin

​Nelson’s Gin Distillery and Gin School has brought home a Silver Outstanding certificate from the International Wine & Spirit Competition, (IWSC) held in London recently.

The distillery, based at Grindley Business Village, picked up the prestigious prize in the flavoured gin category, one of 36 categories.

​Experts estimate that there are a staggering 3,500 gin brands and varieties in existence worldwide following an explosion in demand in recent years, and some 25 per cent of these entered in this year’s IWSC. This year’s competition received well over 600 gin entries – a significant uplift from last year’s 400. For the first year ever, gin entries overtook Scotch.

It is the first award win for the cottage industry gin producer since the company was founded just four years ago.

Rhubarb & Custard Gin

The judging process took approximately seven months. Judges tasting notes said the Nelson’s Gin Rhubarb & Custard was “bold, zesty rhubarb with a touch of brown sugar. A soft, smooth texture with plenty of jammy rhubarb notes, accompanied by a dash of a more tart rhubarb flavour.”

The distillery was founded in 2014 by Neil Harrison, who developed the award-winning rhubarb (and custard) recipe in 2016. Speaking about his award-winning gin, master distiller Neil said: “I’m really proud of this blend. Ingredients include natural rhubarb extract and vanilla pods from Madagascar which, when combined and blended with our London Gin, produce a smooth but invigorating flavour."

Of the actual award Greg Kimber, sales and marketing director, went on to say: "We’re absolutely delighted to have won this award. It’s an indication that our gin is world-class.”


The distillery produces four varieties of gin which are distributed globally as well as through UK stockists including Waitrose, Harrods, Majestic Wine plus many independents.

The IWSC Awards Banquet, bringing together the elite of the wine and spirits industry, will be held in November at the Guildhall in London.

Neil Harrison turned to distilling gin after working extensively as a chef and named his gin after both England’s greatest naval hero and in homage to the grandfather of its inventor, by the name of Nelson James Harrison.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.


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