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We are now in a position to produce two special editions, each made from only one variety of vintage perry pear; Dymock Red Pear and Speart Pear – see details below. There is a very restricted number of trees of these pears. We can guarantee that these are the only bottles of these varieties of spirit in the world! There are less than 19 bottles of the Dymock Red and 14 bottles of the Speart distilled. They must be some of the rarest spirits in the world! Please check with us for current availability.
Also known as Thurston’s Red or Billy Thurston, this variety is critically rare. Hogg & Bull (1886) describe this as an ancient variety. Mr W.Thurston at the Whitehouse, Dymock is credited with starting this variety. It was documented in the 1880s and 1950s but was later deemed ‘lost’. In his quest to set up the National Perry Pear Collection, Charles tracked down many missing perry pear varieties. One of the very last to be re-discovered was the Dymock Red. It has been propagated into the National Collections of Perry Pears at Malvern and Hartpury. Since Hunts Court is situated in the parish of Dymock a number of this variety were propagated and planted there. This standing of 9 trees is probably the biggest anywhere in the world and may currently represent more than half of the world population! Further information may be found in Pears of Gloucestershire by Charles Martell 2011. Available for sale on line. See here under – ‘Publications
Also known as Spurt pear or Spirit pear, this variety is also critically rare, numbering a total world population of maybe just 6 trees! Recorded by Luckwill & Pollard (1963) as once being more widely grown in days gone by in Arlingham where there are a number of old orchard enclosures named ‘The Spearts’. The variety was propagated in 1993 from the one known remaining tree (now dead) at Milton End Farm, Arlingham, to the NCCPG National Perry Pear Collection, Malvern. Whilst used latterly as a perry pear, its name indicates it may have once been used specifically for distilling.
The word ‘spirit’ in the rich clipped vernacular dialect of the Vale of Gloucester becomes ‘sprt’ and hence on transcription ‘spurt’ or ‘speart’. If this was indeed the ‘spirit pear’ this could indicate that this variety was particularly suited to distilling. This could also explain its catastrophic decline and virtual disappearance with the enforced licensing of many distilleries at the turn of the 18th century which led to the demise of all legal artisan distilleries in the British Isles. Smuggling was rife on the Gloucestershire reaches of the river Severn. Some farmers on the Severn Estuary, and around Arlingham in particular, were also sea captains with their own vessels. They were described as having ‘one foot on the land and one in the water’. These aforementioned would undoubtedly have become involved in the smuggling trade in some way in order to continue supplying their previous outlets for distilled liquor. Termed ‘owlers’ or ‘howlers’, they would export fleeces to the continent and maybe perry spirit to Bristol, the centre of the ‘cutting’ trade (the dilution of spirit drinks).
We find it noteworthy that these 2 varieties mentioned produce a quite distinct flavoured spirit from each other. We are just at the beginning of carrying out trials to discover the different flavours to be encountered in distilled single variety perry pear spirits. 40% ABV
Pricing for Single Variety:
Dymock Red Pear 70cl Bottle: £56.50
Speart Pear 70cl Bottle: £56.50
Price includes postage and packing sent via Royal Mail parcels or courier service.
We are not able to supply this product outside the UK.