What's the inspiration behind William Kerr's Gin?
We wanted to create a truly unique gin. We use our own spirit, not bought in GNS (Grain Neutral Spirit). We control every aspect of this spirit from where the barley is grown through to the mashing, fermentation and all the distillation steps. It's too good an opportunity not to utilise this spirit.
What is the distillery like?
The distillery buildings are over 180 years old and have had various uses over the years. Our distillery is very new and modern. It's the contrast between the two that people love. We have a purpose designed and built carter head still for gin and vodka production. It's a one off.
Can you tell us more about the distillation process?
The botanicals sit in the basket and the spirit extracts the flavours in vapour phase rather than liquid. It's the difference between boiling something and steaming, it's a lot more subtle. Using our own spirit rather than buying in English or European grain neutral spirit gives us complete control but it does enforce that we have no room for errors or inconsistency. I really like the mouth feel of our gin and the way the flavours of the botanicals arrive in a wave on the pallet. Juniper first, followed by the citrus notes and the finally the subtle botanicals.
What can visitors expect and experience if they visit the distillery for a tour/tasting?
We don’t employ tour guides, its our distillers who take the tours. They have a real passion for what they produce and it certainly comes across. They have each developed their own version, so depending on which distiller takes the tour, guests will experience a slightly different tour every visit. At the end we have a tasting in the bar. Guests can taste our range of spirits, but if they have a specific interest or questions we can take the time to answer them.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Refreshing, complex and unique.
What's your favourite way to drink William Kerr's Gin?
Usually, Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic, ice and sliced orange. My local bar makes a frozen cocktail with William Kerr's using elderflower, mint and soda water. On a hot summers day, it cannot be beat.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
On the tragic times when I do run out of Kerr`s, friends of mine produce a great gin called El gin from Speyside, which I am quite fond of.
What's next for Borders Distillery - any exciting plans?
We recently launched our Vodka, Puffing Billiy Steam Vodka. We are also experimenting with maturing gin in our casks.
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