If a town ever needed 'putting on a map,' then surely this is a great way to do it!
Kelso is a pretty little market town in the Scottish Borders. Sir Walter Scott once famously said, 'it is the most beautiful if not the most romantic village in Scotland!' But a new attraction is helping to raise the profile of Kelso.
'Wildness' and 'variety' is how they describe the qualities needed to design, imagine and concoct what has become Kelso Gin. It is the first distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837 and the first ever gin distillery.
It would only be right to introduce the most important member of the team first.
Harry the Gin Dog, has become very good at foraging for the most unusual botanicals that we have never heard of! Crow, Rutherford and Armstrong make up the threesome that are Kelso Gin and they all bring varying skills to the brand. Armstrong even boasts a connection with Sir Walter Scott, as he is a descendent of Johnnie Armstrong who was a folk hero of Scott's. The first batch of the Borders Gin was only produced in December 2016 and was followed by a public gin tasting session in Rutherfords Micropub.
The Kelso Gin Company logo depicts the Crow Man, who was a travelling medicine man who toured the Borders carrying a bag filled with herbs, spices and special ingredients to soothe and restore well-being.
The Crow Man is pleased to bring you the Founders' Club. Receive one numbered bottle of first batch gin for the next 10 years alongside invitations to tastings, a certificate and leather bound book. Get ready to be part of the future as your feedback will be valued in future tastings too!
And so to the gins. There are three of them and I haven't as yet had the pleasure of tasting, but it's on my list!
Crow Man's Gin plays lead fiddle, with subtle tones of cinnamon, angelica and secrets! The Lovage Gin will embrace you with orange and olive notes and their Kelso Elephant Gin will whisk you away on a magical trip to the Orient with complex tastes of spices and local ingredients. They have been receiving rave reviews including one person who doesn't like gin, but loves Kelso Gin. Quite a compliment indeed! And for all you vodka lovers, yes they have a vodka too and it is the first Borders vodka.
So what makes it big hearted?
The distillation process involves parts of the gin produced known as the heads, hearts and tails. The heads is the first spirit produced, the hearts the middle section and the tails comes at the end. The heads is always discarded, the hearts is the good bit and the tails is often used as part of the next batch. However, Kelso gin use no tails, only pure hearts. This ensures a very smooth, creamy flavour, which can be enjoyed with or without mixers.
So give the hearts a try. Who could resist the gin or their big hearted little dog!