Tag Archives: Steven Kersley

Brewdog Lone Wolf Original Gin

The last time I got uproariously drunk was on Brewdog’s Punk IPA, appropriately enough at the 100 Club. Ever since I have had a healthy respect for them as a business and also for their products and there is a lot to be admired. They began life with an interesting business model, inviting subscribers in a form of crowdsourcing initiative entitled Equity for Punks.

Their growth has been inexorable, allowing them to establish their own state-of-the-art distillery on a green field site north of Aberdeen in Ellon. In an industry that emits carbon, it is Scotland’s first carbon negative distillery, their boast being that for every tonne of carbon they produce, they take two tonnes out of the atmosphere. In 2020 they purchased a 9,308-acre plot of land in the Scottish Highlands and have plans to embark upon one of the largest reforestation projects in the UK to date.   

Brewdog’s company profile is one of fierce independence and defiance, disrupters aiming to reshape the world of brewing. Their ales helped to fashion the craft ale explosion and, taking the opportunity to exploit the opportunities created by the ginaissance, are aiming to make their own splash in the spirit’s market. Everything is done from scratch, allowing Brewdog’s Distillery, under Steven Kersley, to take complete control of their destiny and product.         

The distillery is the home to what may be the tallest column still in the UK, standing at just under sixty feet tall. It is in this three-headed bubble still and columns that the base spirit is created using a mix of wheat and barley (a 50/50 mix) and the distillery’s own special yeast, before the botanicals are added to the spirit and distilled in a smaller 400-litre Arnold Holstein still.

As is to be expected, they are picky as to the botanicals they use. They rejected thirty-nine types of juniper before settling on a berry from Tuscany which, together with Scots pine, provides the baseline for the botanicals. The other botanicals deployed are grapefruit peel, lemon peel, pink peppercorn, orris root, angelica, mace, cardamom, lemongrass, Kaffir lime, almonds, coriander, and lavender.    

The bottle is made from clear glass, rounded with a conical shoulder and a shortish neck leading t a cork stopper. The design of the label is crisp and clean, the front label is shaped like a shield with a white background with copper coloured lettering and a silver square tipped at a jaunty angle. The labelling on the rear of the bottle follows the same crisp, clean style and, unusually for gins, is particularly informative.  

On removing the stopper, the aroma is a heady mix of juniper with piney and citric overtones. In the glass the spirit is clear but louches when a mixer is added. In the mouth it is creamy and oily, the immediate hit is one of juniper and hot spices. The juniper is no wallflower and is constantly discernible as the other flavours, first the citrus, lemongrass, and lime, and then the more delicate flavours from the coriander, peppercorns, and mace move in and out of the flavour spectrum.

It is a well-balanced, very drinkable gin which, with an ABV of 40%, is strong enough to bite but not savage you. It is highly recommended.

Until the next time, cheers!