This is the summary of my tasting notes from the Borders Distillery Tweet tasting arranged by @TheWhiskyWire, of the Borders Distillery New make spirit, William kerr’s Gin, Puffing Billy steam Vodka and Lower East Side blended malt whisky.
The Borders Distillery new Make Spirit 63.5% ABV
Cereals and grains, custard cream biscuits, damson jam, some faint cigar leaves, and strawberries too. I’m going with @thedramble’s hay bales here, it’s grassy, almost meadow flowers too, and a touch of pickling vinegar.
I agree with you 👍 #TheBordersDistillery— Dram it Mick! (@StillSurreal) August 11, 2021
More Jammy on the palate, strawberry jam, then ginger and cinnamon, it’s vegetal, almost seaweed like. Blackcurrants, pomelo/grapefruit citrus too, this new make different to others I’ve tasted.
The fruit really lingers too, then espresso, black liquorice, anise, while still keeping the Jamminess going, perhaps some white pepper too towards the end. I’m adding chocolate orange too, very nice NMS.
Having tried over a dozen new make spirits now i and in my opinion this is a good one. There’s plenty of fruit, and a lovely citrus edge, which becomes dark spicy towards the end.
William Kerr’s Gin 43% ABV
Lemonade, royal icing, juniper, it’s like walking through a forest eating lemon bonbons. There’s also a woody note, like balsa wood, and wood polish. There’s a coastal feel for me as it sits longer, do gin aromas and flavours “develop”?
Wow what a heady mix they bring, and it’s becoming more pastry like too, cinnamon crowns? #TheBordersDistillery— Dram it Mick! (@StillSurreal) August 11, 2021
5 spice all day long, really zesty oranges, lemonade again, leaf litter, juniper, lemon starburst sweets, tutti frutti sweets too. Dandelion and burdock now, faint menthol notes, spearmint, and toasted tea cakes.
So far in my life iv’e only tasted 3 Gin’s, yep only 3 Gin’s. All three have been craft gin’s, and i must admit to enjoying them. This Gin i found quite confectionery like, also my favourite whisk(e)y style to be honest, so this really appealed to me. I could see myself enjoying this again at some stage, very nice indeed.
Puffing Billy Steam Vodka 40% ABV
Icing sugar starts us off, Turkish delight and rose water, it’s slightly floral, mineral water, grassy, and some faint lime juice. There’s definitely a perfumed note coming from this now, and apricot pastries. Others suggested pine needles and Parma violets, which i have to agree with.
Apricot pastries again like the nose, milk chocolate, cocoa with cream, chocolate digestives, eclair cakes. This has really surprised me tbh. With time i’m getting flapjack and tropical muesli too.
This is one I could spend some time with teasing out flavours, it’s deeper than I expected on the palate, I do like this tbh. #TheBordersDistillery— Dram it Mick! (@StillSurreal) August 11, 2021
Well, i haven’t tasted a vodka in many years, and to be honest i thought this might have been “ok”, how wrong was i. I was utterly gobsmacked to find this has so much flavour, wow, perhaps i need to try other craft vodkas as this one is impressive, i shall be enjoying the rest of the sample put it that way.
Lower East Side Blended malt whisky 40% ABV
Mid gold in colour, a decent swirl line, quite thick legs and syrupy drops from the swirl line too.
Nutty, with linseed oil, raspberry ripple ice cream, sweet cherries, a touch of menthol, and confectionery sweetness, starburst medley, candy floss, liquorice torpedoes. Slightly vegetal, some dunnage, ginger, apricots, and nectarines.
With time it’s becoming more grassy, a sugar coated lemon jelly sweet, and perhaps some juniper here too.
I’m not finding much smoke here tbh, but it doesn’t matter too much, there’s plenty of other flavours. Ginger nut biscuits, malty, digestive biscuits too. Lemon cheesecake, icing sugar, cream soda, some vegetal notes, and then into latte coffee.
With time the palate feels thicker, more cream soda, royal icing now, white pepper, lightly toasted bread, nuts are slowly coming through, but I have to say for £33 it’s rather good.
Warming spiciness, quite long for me, a touch of juniper, dates, mocha, chocolate dusting, a little drying, cranberries, tobacco leaves and cinnamon.
I have to say that i enjoyed this blended malt whisky, it’s £33, with plenty of aromas and flavours. The versatility it offers at that price is also good, a sipper, a mixer, and deep enough for me to sit with as is, though not one that will blow your mind, it certainly has it’s place.
Overall tasting thoughts.
You guessed it, i really enjoyed the whole tasting. It was great to taste all 4, though the Gin and Vodka are generally outside of my “usual” spirits of choice, but they were both rather good in all honesty.
The new make is very good, and slightly different to other Laureate barley ones I’ve tasted, the whisky will be very very interesting. The Kerr’s Gin is full of flavour, and also rather enjoyable tbh.
Puffing Billy Vodka is great stuff in my opinion, lots of depth and I’ll revisit that for sure, and the Lower East side is a flavourful all rounder for me, definitely worth the money.
Thanks to – Steve/@TheWhiskyWire for the opportunity to take part in this tasting, and for the use of his images, and The Borders Distillery for sending out the sample set.Follow @TheWhiskyWire Follow @TweetTastings
And now for something completely different
Continuing my whisk(e)y and music thing, songs iv’e listened to either during my tasting or review. I hope you enjoy this one.