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A first for Scottish Gin, Illicit Blacklist Smoked Gin uses peat, which is traditionally used in some whisky production. The smoke from the peat was captured in the still before distilling the macerated botanicals through the smoke. To give a full flavour, peat smoke was then bubbled through the final distillate before activated charcoal was added to bond the flavours together. The gin’s base botanicals including juniper, coriander and angelica, were also smoked over the peat for eight hours. Other botanicals used in the distillation include black cardamom, black pepper, allspice, bitter orange and Lapsang Souchong tea to create a unique blend of citrus, juniper, spice and smoke.
The Illicit Spirits Distillery, established in 2017 by distiller Darran Edmond, is a true urban craft distillery that uses traditional distillation methods to create modern spirits. The name Illicit Spirits is a nod to both the era of illicit distilleries and also the Illicit Spirits location – hidden in plain sight just like the speakeasies of old, tucked away in a repurposed railway arch. Using a traditional direct-fired copper pot still, and Darran’s background in distilling, meant he had a good idea of what botanicals his ideal gin recipe would include. The Illicit Spirits Distillery will be a testbed for a number of exciting craft spirit projects and collaborations.
Distilled Gins are similar to London Dry Gins, except natural or artificial flavourings can be added after the distillation process. The flavours can vary greatly and some gins can often cross over to other gin styles, for example where sugars have been added to created an Old Tom style gin or maceration with fruit to create a Flavoured Gin. Some Distilled Gins also follow the London Dry style to the letter but go on to include additional botanical/s to their gin post-distillation and therefore can’t be classed as a London Dry Gin. Distilled Gin is sometimes referred to as Contemporary, New American, New Western or International style gin.
Illicit Spirits Distillery is hidden away off a courtyard surrounded by railway arches and businesses of various guises. Once used for illegal raves in the Gorbals area of Glasgow, the site is now home to a legal distillery. Founded by Darran Edmond, the distillery is a true urban distillery producing gins and spirits inspired by both Glasgow and the history of distilling.