Distillers edition dry gin
The Distillers Edition is the very first release from Stillgarden Distillery, and I am quite proud of that. This delightfully dry gin is distinct and unique, full of juniper yet progressive from the traditional.

Distillers edition dry gin

The gin has been in development in some way or another since late 2019. I have made somewhere between 35 and 40 iterations of it, and only a couple of iterations can be done in a day as your taste buds will get stunned fairly quickly from the high ABV. The general direction was to incorporate things we can grow or forage, but I also wanted a big whack of Juniper off it as well. I have rarely been accused of subtlety in my concoctions and this one is no different.

This gin is at 46% ABV, and it needs to be at that to keep the various oils dissolved and the gin clear. The oiliest components of a gin are the Juniper and the citrus, you’ve probably seen a bartender ‘flame’ an orange peel once or twice, which is (mostly) Limonene oil bursting into flames. In this case the essential oil budget is taken up in almost its entirety with Juniper, Lemon and Lime.Rowan Berries

Next up are the berries, in this case the Rosehips and Rowan, which are coincidentally both mildly dangerous to humans in their natural state. Rosehips, to me, taste like a mix between Rose petals and Rhubarb. You can make a jam from them but people rarely do as the seeds have tiny sharp hairs which will irritate the crap out of your throat or any other part of your body. Good thing we’re distilling them and leaving the seeds behind!

Rowan berries’ issue is that they have a very unpleasant acidity to them, but also a fantastic berry aroma. Luckily the undesirable Sorbic Acid in the berries boils at 228 °C, so the distilling process again saves the day!

The heat components of the gin are from Black Pepper and Cubeb peppercorns. The Black Pepper (the Phu Quoc variety), is hot and woody. It is quite similar to what you might have at home but far, far more aromatic. The aroma makes supermarket Black pepper seem like cardboard in comparison. The Cubebs, also a member of the Pepper family, don’t have anywhere near the same level of heat, instead they bring notes of Allspice and a little smokiness to the gin.

Eanna Burke

Eanna and Distillation

Eanna our head distiller is a gin-ious, one of the youngest and most Innovative in all the land. Fervently dedicated to the science of distillation.

Eanna and Distillation
I’m very often asked why I started distilling, and how I learned to do it. This morning, while gin trickles gently behind me, seems a good time to put it in writing.

There isn’t a particularly storied family history in the food and drink world, aside from my mother and grandmother being great cooks and my grandmother often having a batch of blackcurrant wine on the go, though I was too young to try it at the time.

There isn’t a story of how I labored under a tyrannical Master Distiller until an ironic injury left me in charge and gave me a chance to shine.

Not even a story of how I found a beat-up antique still in a barn and spent a year fixing it up to race in the Indy 500 (metaphors getting a bit laboured now).

Dear reader, the story is more of a non-story. I like food and drink of all types and forms (except bananas, f**k those things). I like building things, especially if those things can then make food or drink. As I was finishing up an Engineering degree, food, drink and building things started taking up more and more of my time.

Eanna Foraging

This was the era when the internet became more established as a way of learning in a collaborative way. Forums can tell you how to do anything now. Want to change a timing belt on your obscure 90’s Japanese estate? There’s a person with a soothing voice to talk you through it. Similarly, if you want to learn about distilling, there’s an army of people sharing recipes, tips, and designs, all trying to move the field of small-scale distilling forward. This is how I learned the theory.

I’ll end this post with a word of warning. You can make a simple still with items 95% of people have in their kitchen and frankly, you may already have accidentally made a still based on how you stack things in your cupboard. This is illegal, so I recommend you search how to make a Stock Pot Still, so you don’t inadvertently break the law.

It’s what any responsible citizen should do.

Eanna Burke