Based in Hawick, Borders Distillery, which was commissioned in March 2018, is the first Scotch whisky distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837. Tours are available where you can see their carefully renovated buildings and learn about their distilling process!
On the night the styles sampled were:-
- Borders Distillery New Make Spirit
- Borders Distillery William Kerr’s Gin
- Borders Distillery Small Batch Vodka
- Borders Distillery Lower East Side Whisky
If you want to catch up on what all the tweet tasters had to say you can view the tweets by searching for the hash tag #BordersDistillery on Twitter.
So, what did I think?
Here are my tasting notes … and the one which was my favourite on the night!
Tasting Notes – Borders Distillery New Make Spirit (63.5%)
Available exclusively from the Borders Distillery shop for £39.95. Made entirely from Borders barley (concerto). The production uses two spirit and two wash pot stills for its spirit/whisky production which were made by Forsyths in Scotland.
Nose: Creamy vanilla and popcorn, moist cereal, apples and a hint of rum.
Palate: very sweet – almost icing sugarary with that familiar new make popcorn taste to accompany it! H2O opens up to some apples and fiery pepper – dry finish.
Overall: A pleasant new make really – compared to some new makes I’ve tried – I enjoyed it!
Tasting Notes – Borders Distillery William Kerr’s Gin (43%)
William Kerr’s Borders Gin – available from Borders Distillery is a “barley to bottle gin” They use their own malted barley spirit for re-distillation through its unique recipe of botanicals in its specially commissioned one-shot vapour Carter-Head still.
The botanicals used are: Macedonian Juniper, English Coriander, Scottish Heracleum, Bitter Orange, Sweet Orange, Lemon, Cassia, Angelica, Myrtle, Angelica, Orris, Almond and Liquorice.
Nose: Sweet grapefruit and lemons – very citrusy! Getting hints of licquorice.
Palate: Lovely and sweet with orange, grapefruit, lemon and tasty licquorice following on after – very smooth!
Overall: A great gin, one that is sweeter than some of the others out there. It would make a great cocktail base!
Tasting Notes – Borders Distillery Small Batch Vodka (40%)
Available exclusively from the Borders Distillery shop for £29.95. Made entirely from Borders Barley (concerto) in single batches, with active charcoal in the botanical baskets, using a one shot vapour system in their specially build Carter Head Still.
Nose: Very similar to the new make spirit …. strong creamy cereal nose with some rum hints.
Palate: Sweet, light, smooth with citrus elements and zesty pepper – very nice sweetness lingers like icing sugar dissolved in water for a glaze. Dry grapefruit at the end
Overall: Not your usual vodka this one – it actually has flavour and isn’t all fire – a tasty vodka indeed!
Tasting Notes – Borders Distillery Lower East Side Whisky (40%)
A Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – Available from Borders Distillery for a RRP of £32.99. The first blended whisky from Borders which is a lightly peated marriage of Highland and Lowland single malt whiskies. Designed to be an all-rounder; to be sipped straight-up, on the rocks or as a cocktail base.
Nose: Sugar rich, green apples with vanilla and honey cereal and a little light peat.
Palate: Sweet and sugary and smokey and peaty – a little of each – all rolled into one! Green apples but no real spice to discern.
Overall: A pleasant whisky, either as a sipper or used in a cocktail.
My Favourite On The Night
Although it’s not really fair to choose a favourite as each style is a different thing but out of the 4, I think it’s got to be the Borders Distillery Lower East Side Whisky – very easy going and sippable – a higher abv may have made it even better!