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Top United Kingdom packaging award for Copeland

Copeland Distillery has won a major UK award for one of its most distinctive bottles in the annual UK Packaging Awards in London.

Based at Donaghadee in County Down, Copeland Distillery won the Label of the Year title in the prestigious annual awards for its Smugglers’ Reserve Rum products (pictured).

The awards celebrate and showcase innovation and outstanding quality in the UK packaging industry.

Copeland Smugglers’ Reserve rums feature an unusually colourful label design and is described as a blend of dark rum from Barbados and rum distilled in the small batch distillery in Donaghadee.

The Barbados rum has been aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels and the Copeland rum aged in a mixture of French Pinot Noir wine and Quarter Bourbon casks.

Copeland Smugglers’ Reserve rums are inspired by the clandestine activities that took place along the Copeland Islands throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and gives honour to the contrabandists that brought tastes of new worlds to County Down’s shores.

The distillery marries Barbadian heavily flavoured pot-still rum with Copeland distilled rum, and allows it to mature in American bourbon first-fill barrels and Pinot Noir barrels. It is then blended at a ratio of 90:10 bourbon to Pinot Noir, creating “a superior, smooth rum bottled at 40 per cent ABV”.

Established in 2016 by Gareth Irvine (pictured) as a producer of natural fruit-infused gins, the distillery now produces a range of spirits, including whiskey and rum. It sells products throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and operates from a specially converted building in the coastal town and also has created a visitor centre with a coffee hub.

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