When struggling to find a unique Scottish Gin for their bar at Loch Leven Hotel in the West Highlands, husband and wife team Noru and Craig Innes decided to do it themselves and with the help of some friends, family and hotel staff they converted 2 former farm byres into a craft distillery.
The gin is named after a local landmark, forming part of the West Highland Way. The name originates when they were building the roads and reservoir and small town of Kinlochleven, they had not as yet built the local pubs and so many of the workers would have to climb over the Devil’s Staircase to the local pub if they wanted a refreshment after a hard day’s work. It claimed many lives especially on the return leg through the winter snow and ice!
The recipe was chosen by the local people in the village. Originally Craig created 25 different recipes, then narrowed them down to his 3 favourites. Then the village locals came to taste all 3 and vote for their favourite and they chose the Devil’s Staircase that’s distilled today.
Devil’s Staircase is wonderfully smooth, delivering the warmth of the wintery spices such as cardamom, nutmeg and cassia without the taste hitting you too sharply and it has worked, turning many non-spiced gin lovers into converts.
You can visit the Pixel Spirits distillery and their gin school to meet the team and create your own version of a classic Scottish Gin.
Grains of paradise
When sipping Devil’s Staircase, the warmth of the cardamom, cassia and nutmeg brings the smoothness, orange adding a bit of freshness and grains of paradise giving it a little gingery peppery finish at the end.
Try it either with premium tonic, a ribbon of orange peel and a couple of cardamom pods or with ginger ale, a ribbon or orange peel and fresh mint leaves.
Craig & Noru Innes, owners, distillers, bottlers, marketers and everything else ☺
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