Dunnet Bay Distillery was established in 2014 by husband and wife team, Martin and Claire Murray, along with their trusty four legged companion George. The couple had been tempted to open their own distillery for a while, having enjoyed brewing and distilling since their university days in Edinburgh. Setting up in their hometown of Caithness – Dunnet Bay is one of Britain’s most northerly mainland distilleries. While situated in a beautiful region, the distillery’s location also meant the added complication to their build, with the delivery of their still arriving some months overdue! As always however – good things come to those who wait… To create Rock Rose Gin, the couple use 18 botanicals, of which 5 are grown locally. The name itself comes from one of the local botanicals they forage – the “Rhodiola rosea” which grows on the cliffs of Pentland Firth. Much like juniper, rowan berries and other botanicals that have grown in Scotland over the centuries – Rose root also has its own Celtic folklore attached to it. They then added blaeberries, rowan berries, cardamom, coriander seed and verbena to the ensemble, alongside sea buckthorn. For those unfamiliar with Sea Buckthorn – it is a silvery leafed shrub that grows along the coastline and produces clusters of vibrant orange berry-like fruit, soft, juicy and rich in oils. It might seem like an unusual botanical to pick for gin as the bright little orange berries are not on many food menus for good reason – their caustic, tart nature are particularly harsh to taste on their own. However, once distilled, they transform to compliment citrus beautifully. Dunnet Bay Distillery is one of the few craft distillers to also have a British made still, they vapour infuse all the botanicals in a steam basket at the neck of their custom made John Dore & Co beauty nicknamed Elizabeth.
Crystal clear in colour. The bouquet shows faint creamy vanilla, grass, jasmine tea and gentle black pepper spice. The palate opens with faint sweetness. Creamy mouthfeel with a light spice and delicate notes of grass, vanilla, red apple and jasmine tea. Faint cream-of-soda vanilla, green apple, grass and black pepper. The result is a delicate and fresh vodka with a creamy smooth finish.
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