Barney Wilczak founded Capreolus Distillery in 2014. A nature and conservation photographer by trade, capturing stories and natural wonder as photos.
Now you’re probably thinking, what has Barney’s career as a nature and conservation photographer got to do with his distillery and their spirits? Everything. It’s exactly what makes Capreolus Distillery great.
The desire to capture nature in its purest form is not just evident in Barney’s photography, it is the mantra for Capreolus’ Eau de Vie spirits, and bound with creativity in their Garden Swift (formerly Garden Tiger Gin).
Disclaimer: All of the brilliant photos in this article are courtesy of Barney Wilczak and Capreolus Distillery, all rights remain with them.
The pure and aromatic Eau de Vie products are hand crafted spirits that follow a long and intricate process to get the best results possible.
Fresh fruit is picked at the height of ripeness, inspected by hand and fermented at temperatures cool enough to properly preserve the fruit’s aromas, before being gradually distilled in a custom copper still.
Capreolus Distillery spirits are always the highest possible standard, but are limited to small production. In fact, some of these batches are so limited, all of the fruit is from a single tree!
The range of Eau de Vie available varies with each year and season, as it is only from the best fruit available. Apple, Plum and Doyenné du Comice Pear are the usual suspects, but are accompanied by Quince, Elderberry, Blood Orange as well as a selection of Barrel Aged varieties.
Their Garden Swift Gin follows a very similar and methodical process as the Eau de Vie, but distilling neutral British wheat spirit with a closely guarded collection of 34 botanicals. There are a range of spices, berries and herbs that are kept under wraps, as well the stars of the show; fresh Sicilian Blood Oranges and flowers from the native British Tillia cordata, aka small leaved lime.
As their gin is limited to small batches, they ensure attention to detail and no compromise on quality. This is evident in the fact it won The Whisky Exchange Spirit of the Year for 2017.
The flavours in Garden Swift are incredibly complex and have enough depth to be enjoyed neat over ice, but best served with a slice of blood orange and a splash of tonic in their aptly titled GS&T (Garden Swift & Tonic).
Capreolus don’t chill filter their Garden Swift (or their Eau de Vie), as they believe the flavour is more important a transparent appearance.
Their bottles are combined with a family designed label printed on a hand fed letterpress. If you needed a visual example of the amount of care and attention that has gone into the spirits themselves, the packaging should help.
In a climate where distilleries are popping up on every corner, Capreolus set themselves apart by being truly creative and remarkably true to nature with their spirits. We think Garden Swift is a must try, and their Eau de Vie are second to none.