When we heard our friends at Pentland Hills Gin had won some awards for their marvellous Scottish Gin range, and knowing they’ve always got plans afoot for some new sustainable ventures, we dropped them a note to see if our furry friend Panza (the adorable distillery Labrador and brand mascot) had an update for us to share with you. While not from Panza, here’s the update of the goings-on at Tarbraxus Distillery and a pic of Panza and Phil to boot!
Panza was asked whether he would like to write (or more rather ‘paw’) an update on the goings-on at Pentland Hills Gin for our friends at the Scottish Gin Society. However, his high demand for dog biscuits and other treats has meant that Head Distiller Phil has written the article instead, you see Panza is still smarting from being told by the vet that he was a ‘tad’ heavy and needed to lose some weight – it’s tough being a Labrador!
Well, it certainly has been an interesting year, we know that for many it has been a time of grief and sorrow. Maybe we are beginning to see the return to some kind of normal but if last year, and the beginning of this teach us anything it is to tread carefully and look after one another. Panza is really good at this, he loves walking over anybody and anything and despite a list of misdemeanours a mile long, he is the first to be on hand with a huge tail wag and a woof.
For the distillery, it has been a time of flexible thinking and adaptation. We were very fortunate to have a strong online presence, and this meant that gin sales could continue. Also, a really big bonus was our growing refill service uptake. People really like having their bottle heading back to the distillery to be refilled. This also created a mini delivery service, and we began taking some of the bottles back to our customers. It was all legitimate business, and it provided some great opportunities to say hello on doorsteps and have a chat. We think it was as good for us as it was our customers! Panza also wants a special shout-out/woof to our Postie. Mark has been just brilliant, whether it was lugging all the returns up the drive or taking away the boxes he made a real difference and allowed us to get on with getting the gin to our customers.
The time at home also allowed the development of our Navy Strength Gin. Distilled in honour of Phil’s Grandfather who was lost aboard his warship HMS Electra in 1942. Every bottle sold creates a donation the Royal Navy Benevolent Fund and the gin has certainly been making its way out the door. Success also came in the award of a Silver Medal from the London Spirits Competition, a Bronze Medal from the World Gin Awards and an Excellent rating from the Gin Guide. The gin makes a fantastic cocktail base but also works very nicely as a G&T, at 58% abv it offers a great palette and smoothness.
Our time at the Distillery has also allowed us to press on with our sustainability activities, we were delighted to receive the Environmental & Sustainability Winner Award from the Gin Guide. Panza has been a great help – he was on paw to help us plant more juniper plants (we think the use of bonemeal may have had something to do with his enthusiasm!)
We are now beginning to return to selling at Farmers Markets and it is great to be out and about again. Our long-term planning is focused on upgrading our very small distillery and the development of a gin that will keep us warm when winter arrives this year.
From all of us at Tarbraxus Distillers a big Panza woof!!