Back in March 2020, at the start of the first lockdown, I got in touch with Nick Baker, a local TV wildlife presenter, to see if he would be interested in a collaboration with us. When asked to pick a significant Dartmoor species to focus the new gin on, Nick suggested the Blue Ground Beetle (Carabus Intricatus).
This is a nocturnal beetle found in the ancient woodlands on Dartmoor. Adults can grow to 3cm long and have long wiry limbs to help them climb up trees to find their prey. They have large protruding jaws to capture slugs and suck out their insides! First discovered in 1811, it was soon presumed extinct until 1985 when it was rediscovered on Dartmoor. It is estimated that Dartmoor represents over 80% of the Blue Ground Beetle population in the UK.
Not content with just reading about the beetle, we joined Nick one night to explore a local woodland with John Walters, the Blue Ground Beetle expert, to seek out this elusive bug. We were lucky enough to spot a few.
Completely bowled over by this incredible beetle, Carabus, our Limited Edition Gin, was born.
In honour of this rare Dartmoor beetle, we have chosen woodland botanicals for Carabus. Instead of the traditional citrus we have used rowan and hawthorn berries which give a fruity roundness to the flavour. Nettles and wood sorrel provide fresh notes. Roasted hazelnuts and a hint of vanilla leave a lovely pearly lasting finish.
We have teamed up with Buglife, the UK charity that supports invertebrates, and £2 from every bottle of Carabus sold is donated towards a project helping the Blue Ground Beetle on Dartmoor.
Nick Baker has been very enthusiastic to be involved in our new gin and was absolutely delighted when we chose the Blue Ground Beetle to focus our gin around. ’Every delicious sip is putting money into a local conservation project to help secure the woodland habitats of this local hidden Dartmoor jewel. It’s perfect.’