The spirit of Black Shuck, the demonic dog, has been a legend in the East of England for hundreds of years. But now a different spirit has come to Norfolk, Black Shuck Gin.
Black Shuck stories take many forms; said to be a large ghostly black dog with enormous eyes (sometimes only one) of red or green that burn with spectral flames. Shuck is always a dog but his size ranges from a labrador to that of a horse. He is sometimes accompanied by a mysterious mist that springs from the ground itself in seconds and is known for his haunting howl, that paralyzes those who hear it with a terror deep in their bones.
Shuck, whose name comes from the Old English word scucca meaning demon, has haunted the countryside of Norfolk, East Anglia and Suffolk for centuries, taking a particular liking to lonely travellers wandering the footpaths and marshes that dot the coastline there.
Legends differ on your fate should you cross Black Shuck. Some believe that a sighting portends doom is at hand for the victim or their relations. Others believe that crossing Shuck’s path is nothing more than a terrifying experience to be recounted years later in the pub with a glass of a different kind of spirit in hand. Others think Black Shuck is actually a protector, a guardian of lone travellers, especially women, who looks after them on their journey home.
Our experience of Black Shuck has been nothing but marvellous…
Black Shuck Gin is as much a Norfolk spirit as the legend they’re named for. Made by The Norfolk Sloe Company, a business run by the Saunders family and based in North Norfolk, Black Shuck combines traditional botanicals such as juniper, coriander and bitter orange peel with distinctly Norfolk influenced ingredients such as lavender and sea buckthorn.
Black Shuck Gin was launched on December 1st 2015 and the initial batch of 1000 1st Edition bottles sold out within 4 weeks, which really tells you how delicious this gin is.
Black Shuck is a strong and smooth gin with bitter orange peel and bright coriander playing forward. Gentle floral tones of lavender are discernible amidst the juniper. A wonderful, traditional gin!
The sea buckthorn in particular stands out. Both Black Shucks are creatures of dark imposing cliffs, areas where sea buckthorn thrives, and the sea flavour is prominent in the gin and deeply evocative of its Norfolk heritage.
What we love about this company is that it is a real family affair and it’s all hands on deck – Patrick developed the recipes, Nicola worked on the business plan, Leanne created the logo and William set up the website… all overseen by Sarah!
Black Shuck is the official sponsor of Gin Explorer. It was one of the gins in our secret zero edition box and if you ever have the good fortune to meet the Gin Explorer Tour Guide in person (at one of the GinFestival.com events) then you’ll get the opportunity to try some there.
And if you fancy a bottle yourself then pick one up from GinFestival.com. Gin Explorers can get 10% Off using any of the codes included in each month’s Gin Explorer Box.
We recommend serving the gin in a wide rimmed glass with fever tree tonic water and a twist of fresh orange zest.
If you’re interested in learning more about the legendary demon hound, Hidden East Anglia has a great page collecting legends, depictions and stories about the ghostly canine.
Do you dare to allow Black Shuck into your lives to see what fate awaits you?!