South Lanarkshire covers an enormous area reaching out to the east and west, almost connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow. The home of Tarbraxus Distillers is positioned on the North Western edge of the Pentland Hills, in an area bounded by low hills and moorland which is interspersed with forests and fields.
Further information about this distillery and the products they sell will be available soon.
A while ago, I won some tickets to a lovely little gin festival. My attending a gin festival is not so unusual, but what was special about this one was that I was introduced to what has become, quite possibly, my favourite gin. It really was love at first sip! * * Pentland Hills Gin is unique – yes, it is a London Dry, and a really delicious one at that, but it is its ethical sustainability that really has this gin standing out from the crowd. Distillers and owners Phil and Tabatha have a strong ethos when it comes to protecting and celebrating the environment in which they live. Where they can, they grow their own botanicals; they use solar power to power the distillery and take water that rises up from the land. But it their bottle that truly encapsulates the idea of sustainability and environmental protection. Each bottle is etched with their logo and a picture of Panza, the gin’s mascot. Each bottle carries a unique number and comes packaged in a mail box with reusable packaging. When you finish your gin, you order a refill online, package your bottle back into its box and post it back to the distillery. Turnaround time is great and before you know it, you have a wonderful bottle of gin back and ready to drink! (and what’s great, is that the refills are cheaper so its like every fourth bottle is free!) * * I wasn’t joking when I said that this is possibly my favourite gin. When I drink Pentland it not only feels like an event, but it also feels like coming home. There is a comfort, that feeling of “oh yes, that’s the one!” This is an elegantly sophisticated gin, and most of all, it tastes really good! The gin is distilled in a 30 litre still called Douglas, so this really is a small-batch gin! Botanicals include juniper, pink peppercorns, angelica root, coriander, cardamom, orris root, and a blend of orange, mint and cocoa nibs. * * On the nose, this is a really refreshing gin. There is a minty creaminess that brings about that freshness, that reminds you of mountain meadows. Neat, the gin is smooth and quite creamy at first, and then the tongue tingle from the juniper. The main flavours come from the mint and the juniper, with almost an aniseed-like taste in the background. This can definitely be enjoyed as a sipping gin. In fact, my husband prefers his Pentland that way – he doesn’t want anything to alter the taste! * * Whilst I enjoy sipping neat over ice, I like my gin to last a bit longer! My favourite serve is 50ml gin, 100ml light tonic, lots of ice and a wedge of pink or red grapefruit. There is a roundness and an additional fruitiness that comes with the tonic, bringing out the sweetness in the gin. It is unique! I am yet to find a gin that is even similar to this one! * * Another note on the bottles – at the festival, the husband managed to find a bottle with his birthday as the number on the bottom (well, 199 – his birthday is 19th September). Disappointingly, mine wasn’t there. However, a few days later, the postman delivered a bottle that not only had my own number (213 for 21st March) but also had my name on the base. James had sneaked back to the Pentland stand and spoken to Tabatha and Phil about my own unique bottle! When it comes to customer service, Tabitha and Phil are amazing. It is not uncommon for me to order my refills online and then not get to the post office for ages afterwards – I always get email reminders from Tabitha just to check my bottles haven’t got lost in the post! I usually find, too, that turnaround from me posting to receiving my refill is usually about a week in total. * * I have to add a shout out to Panza – the dog who appears on the bottle. Panza is a young chocolate labrador who is a real character. I was really lucky to meet Panza last year and it seems only right and fitting that he is immortalised on the bottle! * * Whenever I listen to Phil or Tabatha talk about Pentland Hills Gin, I can feel the passion that has gone into making it. This gin is borne out of a labour of love and their enthusiasm for it is infectious. They are truly wonderful, genuine people and I hope their success continues for many many years to come! * * Cost: £37.99 (50cl) and £27.99 for the refill ABV: 40% NAVY STRENGTH: £42.99 (50cl) and £32.99 for the refill ABV: 58% (also my favourite Navy strength!)