Copper Rivet Distillery

Copper Rivet Distillery is a British single-estate distillery based in Chatham, Kent, South East England.[1][2][3][4]


Copper Rivet Distillery was founded by Bob Russell, Matthew Russell and Stephen Russell along with Head Distiller Abhi Banik, they produced their first spirits in October 2016.[5] It is one of just a few single estate, grain to glass distilleries in the United Kingdom.

The distillery is housed in a heritage building at Chatham Maritime on the site of the famous Royal Naval Dockyard where the first Union Flag was sewn in 1606 and HMS Victory, among countless other British warships, was launched in 1765 before going onto play her pivotal role as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the decisive Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.[6][7]

The Historic Dockyard is also known for being the place where the Resolute Desk which the President of the United States sits at in the Oval Office was made there in 1880. Before that, the first ever Union Flag of the Kingdom of Great Britain was sewn in the Dockyard in 1606.

Back to Will Adams who, in the 17th century, was among the first to establish trading links between Europe and Japan and was the first Westerner to be made a Samurai after becaming a key adviser to the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

The building had been derelict since the early 1980’s when it was decommissioned as a pumphouse meant to facilitate the drying and refilling of the basins in the dock.[8]


Copper Rivet Distillery is one of the very few distilleries in the UK to produce its spirits from specially farmed, local raw ingredients. The spirits either use a blend of wheat, rye, barley and a small amount of malted barley or, in the case of its single malt whisky, malted barley.[9]

Copper Rivet Distillery is one of just a few single estate distilleries making clear spirits from grains grown locally especially for the Dockyard Gin, Vela Vodka, Son of a Gun Cask Finished English grain spirits and Masthouse Whisky. Their alcohol is made from Group 3 soft wheat. The entire distilling process goes through a copper equipment.[10][11][12]

Dockyard Gin

Dockyard Gin (41.2% ABV) is a contemporary take on a classic naval gin. It is made in the Chatham Dry style, having no added sugar and taking its sweetness from the grain. The gin has 9 botanicals.[13]

Dockyard Gin Export Strength (47% ABV) is a contemporary take on a classic naval gin. It’s made in the Chatham Dry style, having no added sugar and taking its sweetness from the grain.[14]

Dockyard Oak Aged Damson Gin (28% ABV) is one of Copper Rivet Distillery’s first flavor variants using Dockyard Gin. Damsons’ local provenance inspired the product. They were first introduced to Britain in Roman times. Early records show they were grown around Medway and were traded by a merchant located in the settlement of Strood, 5 miles from the distillery. A special gin is casked and rests with damsons’ pips and skin in virgin American Oak barrels as it takes vanilla notes from oak and natural sweetness from the fruit.[15][16]

Dockyard Kent Strawberry Gin (40% ABV) is the distillery’s second flavour variants using Dockyard Gin. Strawberries being a typically Kentish fruit inspired its production. The distillery claims it is one of the most natural gins of its kind since it contains no added sugar and no additives.

Vela Vodka

Vela Vodka (40% ABV) is one of very few English grain vodkas and has complete Kentish field to glass provenance. A flavorsome and complex vodka with notes of cereal, fruit and pink peppercorns.[17]

Son of a Gun Cask Finished English Grain Spirit

Son of a Gun Cask Finished English Grain Spirit (47.4% ABV) is a derivative of Copper Rivet Distillery’s new make grain whisky which is distilled in a pot still from wheat, barley, rye and malted barley is re-distilled in a 10 meter column still to 94.8% ABV. It is then aged in used american oak bourbon barrels for two months and charcoal filtered. The finished spirit is noticeably a ‘cousin’ of whisky and carries strong tropical fruit and vanilla flavors. It is becoming popular with bartenders and mixologists owing to its subtlety and versatility.[18][19]

Masthouse whisky

Masthouse whisky (ABV tbc) is a single estate, single harvest whisky which is currently ageing in American oak bourbon casks and the first release is anticipated in mid-2020. It is thought that it will be one of the few single estate, single harvest whiskies in the world.[20][21]


  1. ^ "Gin festival is the perfect tonic".
  2. ^ "New Copper Rivet distillery to open this summer". Imbibe.
  3. ^ "Raising a glass to a limited edition gin". Kent Online. 30 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Leeds Castle celebrates 900 years with gin". thedrinkbusiness.
  5. ^ "Copper Rivet Distillery".
  6. ^ "Locate in KentCopper Rivet Distillery". Locate in Kent.
  7. ^ "Copper Rivet Distillery".
  8. ^ "The Copper Rivet Distillery".
  9. ^ "Raising a glass to a limited edition gin". Kent Online. 30 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Grain to glass: The intricacies of producing the perfect gin". Verdict. 16 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Douglas Blyde visits a spirit distillery based in a Kent dockyard". Evening Standard. 8 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Weather boosts Kent's gin". Kent Online. 29 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Dockyard Gin". The Gin Guild.
  14. ^ Two, Gin Lover (3 May 2019). "Dockyard Gin review - Gin Blog gi, review, Dockyard Gin". Gin Blog.
  15. ^ "FFD High Spirits 2018-19". Issuu.
  16. ^ "Copper Rivet Distillery". The Gin Guild.
  17. ^ "Vela Vodka". Kedik.
  18. ^ "Son Of A Gun".
  19. ^ "Son of a Gun Cask Finished English Grain Spirit - Ratings and reviews - Whiskybase".
  20. ^ "Chatham House Annual Dinner". International Affairs. 1 November 1933. doi:10.1093/ia/12.6.703. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  21. ^ "Copper Rivet Distillery's Stephen Russell on creating a charter for English whisky". The Buyer. 10 December 2018.

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