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Rafters Subtly Smoked Gin is the 1881 Distillery's Subtly Smoked Gin, distilled using a variety of gin botanicals including piney juniper and tart pink grapefruit. This gin has notable but subtle hints of smoke on the palate, making this a distinctive spirit. It stands up particularly well in cocktails, including in a smoked Negroni.
Peebles Hydro, home to 1881 Distillery and gin school was originally a retreat for therapeutic water treatments. Built around the Shieldgreen spring, a private spring on the hotel’s estate, the fresh and mineral rich water was said to be ‘legendary’ for its therapeutic properties. The rich mineral spring still flows and is used in the hotel's gins and tonics. Already featuring an extensive list of gins available to guests, and with growing demand for local produce including food and drink, the hotel decided to create its own distillery, gin school and gins, influenced by the history of the hotel and local area.
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.
Named after the year the Peebles Hydro was built, the 1881 Distillery and Gin School officially opened in October 2019, within the Peebles Hydro Hotel. The distillery was designed and built with the help of Jamie Baxter, who is a distillery designer and a renowned distiller in his own right. He worked with the distillery team to develop the four core gin recipes and four tonics that were created specifically to complement each gin.