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Of all of the botanicals used in Gin distillation few come with the infamy and in fact necessity of Coriander Seed. It has a contentious history from a mention in the Old Testament (great read if you haven’t got around to it) right the way through to being splayed across Billboards over the world as soapy, evil bullshit as a result of a bizarre genetic trait that some of us possess to pick up on aldehydes. Put simply, it is about as confusing a plant as the decision for Kanye West to run for American president.

What is Coriander?

For starters, the name itself is derived from its smell (apparently) rather than its medicinal value or flavour. Coming from the word Koros (insect) or Koriannon (bug) in Greek. At times we struggle to come up with names for products here in the distillery but this is really a stretch. What insect delights the nostrils with that citrus and spice heavy blend that is released when you crush a coriander seed because we want to try it.

Rare it is that you try a gin from anywhere in the world and it does not possess this humble seed, the staple of many of the world’s most famous London Dry styles alongside Juniper, the complexity and depth of its oils and esters are incredibly useful tool for highlighting citrus or rounding out savoury recipes.

To get a wee bit geeky about it the second major component of the seed is a thing called alpha-pinene which we spoke about before being heavily prominent in Juniper; making them excellent bedfellows. The vast majority of the rest of its structure is linalool (sometimes up to 70% it is a floral and spicy terpene alcohol. It is found in over 200 plants such as citrus fruits and lavender. Concentrations of linalool above 20 ppb have been shown to give a fruity hoppy aroma to beer) and also gamma-terpinene (about 10%) which gives that prominent and pleasing lemon-y flavour.

Coriander and Our Gin

Coriander

All of our gin at Stillgarden Distillery possess this plucky little botanical that could in some shape or fashion but none more so than our Distiller’s Edition which champions it alongside Juniper and Citrus peel for that slightly more traditional Gin feel and flavour and don’t worry, it’s not going to be like rinsing your mouth out with soap as often that really only comes from the leaf of the plant.

To set you at ease we found one of our Social Botanists Kate who has the aforementioned gene and asked for a quote. Don’t worry she didn’t even sign up to the newsletter so she won’t read this. We’ve even had her drink some of our products that contain Coriander and she didn’t notice but when brought face to face with a salad containing fresh leaves she said “this just tastes like soap.”

So fret not and don’t let a fear of aldehyde-laden gin prevent you from going softly into that good night.

All the best,

Al x

Distillers Edition
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 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