We all believe in love at first gin
Located at Balmenach Distillery in the Scottish Highlands and infused in a Copper Berry Chamber, Caorunn Raspberry Gin really is something rather special
Review by Andy Barnham
Who are Caorunn?
Pronounced ka- roon (the Gaelic word for Rowan Berry), Caorunn is a premium and small batch Scottish gin, situated in the Scottish Highlands. Located at Balmenach Distillery in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park crystal clear Scottish water is married with locally foraged botanicals to create a gin of supreme quality and heritage.
Balmenach is one of Speyside’s most traditional distilleries and also makes what could be classed as an ‘old-style’ whisky. It was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be licensed in the production of Scotch whisky in 1824.
What’s a Copper Berry Chamber and how does it work?
Caorunn is made via infusion, but unlike a still where the neutral alcohol is heated into a vapour and passed through the botanicals all in one encased housing, Caorunn uses a Copper Berry Chamber.
Built in the 1920s, originally for use in the perfume industry, the Chamber is a round horizontal housing with a copper frame (copper is used in the distillation of spirits because it removes sulphur and unwanted compounds) and it contains four large horizontally positioned trays for the botanicals which offer far greater surface area than traditional stills. Neutral grain alcohol is vaporised in a still before being directed into the Chamber and then out into a condenser where the vapour returns to liquid form. It is then vaporised and passed through the Chamber a second time.
It takes four hours to distil 1000 litres of spirit into approximately 945 litres of gin spirit which is reduced with Scottish water to a bottling strength of 41.8% alcohol by volume.
Where do the botanicals come from?
Caorunn gin contains 11 botanicals which include six traditional ingredients such as juniper, coriander seed, orange peel, Angelica root and cassia back as well as five wild hand foraged botanicals. These include Rowan Berry (a red berry), Heather (for a nuance of honey) and Coul Blush Apple (for a clean sweet taste).
As Simon Buley, the Gin Master likes to say, “With Caorunn we have distilled the Scottish Highlands into a glass. The foraging initiative celebrates the lengths that artisans will go to create balance and flavour.”
What’s special about the raspberry gin?
Caorunn’s raspberry gin is enhanced by a natural sweetness with an aroma of raspberry fruitiness with lingering vanilla with a clean fresh flavour. It is set apart by its clear colour, avoiding the use of any additives or colours to ensure an authentic and quality flavoured gin.
According to Caorunn, the perfect serve is:
Enquiries: Caorunn, Balmenach Distillery, Cromdale, PH26 3PF/ caorunngin.com