Have you noticed B Corp popping up all over the place? Good, because March is B-Corp Month and we’re raising a toast to the drinks brands who are part of it!
For those who don’t know - B Corp is a certification which shows that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits, charitable giving, supply chain practices and input materials.
It’s holistic, not exclusively focused on a single social or environmental issue and for those who, like us, believe in Conscious Consumption - that buying something is an endorsement of what you believe in - B Corp is a great indicator that a company is trying to do the right thing.
Here are some great B Corp spirits for you to try…
One of the early adopters of the movement and amongst the first to become a certified B Corp brand was The Botanist. A progressive exploration of the botanical heritage of the isle of Islay, they use 22 foraged local botanicals in the mix. It’s sometimes overlooked here in the UK, but for the quality, the flavour spectrum on display and the way it can be used across all the classic gin cocktails – it’s an absolute gem.
Based in Devon, Hattiers was founded by Philip Everett-Lyons, whose strong desire to create something of his own led him to work with some of the world’s most respected Blenders to create a range of the finest premium rums.
Our pick of the bunch is the Eminence Rum. It is a blend of seven rums (5yr & 8yr Barbados, a 5yr Australian, 3yr & 8yr Year Old Trinidad and two Un-aged Jamaican). The instant pop of vanilla pod and crème anglaise pudding hits the nose. It’s light overall, fruity with creamy fudge and ripe pineapple – but not sweet and it has a distinct tropical pineapple note that makes for a tasty Daiquiri.
Sipsmith joined as a B-Corp distillery last year, meaning that drinkers enjoying any of their range are now sipping on gin from a brand that's on a mission to be a driver of change in the wider spirits industry.
As Spring looms, the Lemon Drizzle calls our name here. It's not a "sweet gin", but it has plenty of sherbert-like loveliness that adds a sense of naughtiness into the drink. The recipe takes their classic London Dry backbone and layers on sweet, sun-dried lemon peels and lemon verbena for aromatic zing on the nose, while the vapour infused fresh lemon adds a zesty start to taste. Delicious!
Bright, lively and verdant - Pentire Seaward is a brilliant non-alcoholic bottling for those looking for bold flavours without the booze. Pentire's distinct profile is derived from botanicals and ingredients that are inspired by the Cornish coast, where the brand is based.
We find that when served with tonic, Pentire is invigorating and replenishing. Namely, Seaward’s bright and zesty grapefruit citrus top notes really zing on the nose, while to taste, they meet natural tones from the plant blend and are prolonged by the tart nature of sea buckthorn.
Of course, early pioneer The Botanist is not the only spirit that the B-Corp pioneers, Bruichladdich Distillery, make. Arguably, they are better known for their delicious whisky and The Classic Laddie is one of our staple Scotch Whiskies here, which we love returning to over and again.
It’s fruity, floral and refreshing with hints of citrus on the nose and a sweet oaky finish. The unpeated nature makes it accessible and easy to sip on, while the big ABV, full mouthfeel and confident flavours allows for it to be a handy bottle to gravitate to when making the likes of a Rob Roy or other classic cocktails.
Smooth and elegant, Nc'Nean Organic Single Malt is easy-going with flavours of citrus, peach, apricot and spice. For that alone, it’s worth seeking out and the reason so many have been adding it to their baskets. That said, it’s also a brand that’s pushing the sustainability agenda within Scotch, as well as becoming a B-Corp Brand a few months ago.
The distillery is based on the Morvern Peninsula which offers long stretches of immaculate coastline. That connection to nature is clear throughout their projects (the whisky is even named after Neachneobhain, the Celtic queen of spirits and protector of nature). Nc'Nean is a name that you’ll hear over and over as others look to emulate them on a quest to make world class whisky that doesn't cost the planet as they do it...
Carbon Neutral Rum from Devon – Two Drifters Distillery are part of a new generation of British Rum producers who make their spirits from scratch onsite.
The Overproof Pineapple Rum is our favourite in their range, and it's a real tropical explosion packed with ripe pineapple, sweet caramel and spiced vanilla. It delivers exactly what it says it will - fresh tropical sweetness, brown sugar and a pinch of pepper and we find that when added to Ginger Beer it makes for one seriously refreshing drink.
Maker’s Mark is an easy to drink bourbon and a world-renowned name for a reason. It’s made with soft red winter wheat and has a slightly sweet profile with a touch of citrus permeating the mix. Great in cocktails like Old Fashioned’s or Manhattan’s.
Maker's Mark also one of the biggest drinks names to have joined the B-Corp fray so far, showing that for those looking to drink while also wanting to connect with a shared set of values - size is not the obstacle. It’s possible to operate on a big scale and to also make significant steps towards improving transparency on factors from employee benefits, charitable giving, supply chain practices and to make inroads into improving a product’s sustainability.
Last but certainly not least, is Avallen Calvados. Avallen are making a massive contribution to the conversation around how to implement radical improvements to the way sustainability and social corporate responsibility is conveyed to drinkers. It is produced under strict rules in Normandy, France but more importantly than anything else (after all all - all mindful drinkers are drinkers) it tastes great.
Avallen's profile is fresh, vibrant and apple forward. It’s not too oaky, and the fresh apple cider notes are backed by floral honeysuckle on the nose while to taste, the fruit takes on a more toffee apple character.
If you want to learn more about B-Corp, what's involved and some of the talking points about it, our sister site Spirits Beacon delved head first into the topic in a recent feature here - What does it mean to be B-Corp brand?