One of the best bits of the job here at The Scottish Gin Society is getting out to meet the distillers and see the production of the wonderful Scottish Gins. Last week, we spoke to the people at Lilliard Gin, who invited us along for a visit.
So, off we went en famille to Born in the Borders, near Jedburgh at the weekend. What an amazing place – it has the Lilliard Ginnery (the reason for our visit), Born in the Borders Brewery, a shop and restaurant, and possibly the most exciting thing ever (for a 6 year old) – grass sledging.
Lilliard Gin is named after Lilliard – the heroine of the Battle of Ancrum Moor, fought between the Scots and English in 1545, just North of the tiny micro-brewery where the gin is distilled. Local spring water is used in the distilling process and the locally-foraged botanicals reflect the four seasons of the beautiful Borders landscape.
We met with Kate Macinnes, who is the founder and distiller of Lilliard Gin. Kate is passionate about the Borders and that is reflected in the taste of the gin. Like most of her peers, there is an interesting story behind how Kate started making gin, which is made in small batches in the tiny copper still on site. Unlike most stills that are named after females, usually the daughter of the distiller, this one is called Donald, and it is quite the handsome fellow (and we’re reliably informed, he’s not named after THAT Donald).
And, we discovered – in celebration of the local gin, an osprey chick that was born a stone’s throw away was named Lillard.
This lovely little Ginnery welcomes visitors Saturday and Sunday 11-3pm and it’s worth a visit for the stunning countryside that surrounds It alone. They will also be offering gin classes from the Autumn.
Find out more about visiting Lilliard Ginnery here.