The Barracks Gin - Meet the Makers
What did you do before creating your distillery and The Barracks Gin?
I served as a commissioned officer in the British Army Royal Logistics Corps for seven years. A popular drink in the Army, I took a keen interest in expanding my gin horizons, constantly trying new gins during my travels. Since leaving the Army in 2019, I have worked in corporate strategic logistics and supply chain management roles for McLaren and BP.
What made you decide to create your gin and distillery, and what's the inspiration behind your gin?
I’ve been interested in how spirits are made since I was a teenager. I think this started when I was about 14 years old, during a chemistry lesson we made spirits using a Liebig condenser. It fascinated me! The idea of building a small home still really stuck with me.
Around the time I left the Army I set to the task of making a small pot still and producing some form of gin. Over the next two years, almost all my free time was dedicated to my still. I ended up building three different stills. All increasing in size. And every still run I would tweak the recipe a little, or change it completely. My family and friends, who I shared all my gins with, convinced me to establish a distillery. My inspiration is the joy I get from making gin!
Can you tell us more about the distillery and still?
We are proud to be Upper Froyle’s first distillery. Currently being run from an idyllic 17th century cottage at 1 The Barracks (this is a weird coincidence having been in the Army, it was not intentional). The distillery room is a converted garage. It’s basic, but has everything that’s needed... and lots of character.
Our still, Alfred, is only 50 litres and is custom made and hand built. Many hours of research and time went into the build of Alfred, continuously tweaking various parts to increase efficiency and improve the quality of our gin. And staying small batch is the cornerstone of how The Barracks Gin is made. As every batch is small, we can apply the highest degree of dedication to every still run. Nothing is rushed.
Can you tell us more about the distillation process and botanicals?
I believe there are two key things that makes The Barracks Gin truly special. The first is the flavour profile that blood orange brings to our gin. It’s not bold, it’s not a punch of citrus to the taste buds. It’s very mellow. Same with the blend of juniper and spices - It’s light, refreshing and calm.
The second is the process. The Barracks Gin is made using the vapour infusion method. The still is designed around this process, ensuring maximum exposure to all the botanicals. This all has a significant factor in the delicate flavour profile of the gin itself. All our botanicals are certified organic:
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
Our greatest and proudest achievement to date is simply being Upper Froyle’s first distillery. The support we have received from the local community and friends has enabled us to establish a micro-distillery during the Covid pandemic. No mean feat! It would not have been possible without each and every person who has helped us along the way.
How would you describe The Barracks Gin in 3 words?
Delicate, balanced, calm.
What's your favourite way to drink your gins?
Start off with a very large glass! Add a load of ice and a good quality tonic, like Fever-Tree. Garnish with a small orange peel twist and sprig of rosemary.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Hendrick's Gin – the first gin I really got into. It changed my perception of gins when I first started drinking them and has remained a staple on my shelf ever since. Opihr Gin – of all the gins I try, I always come back to Opihr. A fantastic balance of spice and herbal botanicals. And Gin Aux Agrumes from La Distillerie de Monaco – a great gin still on my shelf from last summer. It’s sunshine in bottle.
What's next for you and The Barracks Gin - any exciting plans?
We’re working on our next gins. A new flavour and a Navy Strength.... watch this space.
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