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Porter's Gin plans expansion after successful December launch

Published:  13 January, 2016

Porter's Gin, the first to distilled in Aberdeen for 100 years, has already sold out its first batch.

The gin was launched on December 5, but had sold its first run of 3,000 bottles by Christmas Day.

"Things have gone really well so far," said co-founder Josh Rennie. "That is around 3,000 bottles without any advertising or distribution - and all our stockists approached us themselves."

Porter's Gin is the brainchild of Rennie and Ben Iravani of Monkey Bars, which owns the Orchid and Ninety Nine Bar and Kitchen in Aberdeen, and bartender Alex Lawrence.

It is a blend of cold- or vacuum-distillation and traditional copper-pot distillation, with the former currently taking place on site at the Orchid in Aberdeen.

The team uses a rotary evaporator to cold distill two rare botanicals - a little-known citrus from China known as Buddha's hand and Brazilian pink peppercorns - which would otherwise lose their distinctive flavour profile when traditionally distilled at high temperature.

The evaporator was sourced for the team by Andrew Porter, a professor of molecular and cell biology of the University of Aberdeen, and the gin was subsequently named in his honour.

The remaining botanicals - juniper, orris root, coriander, almond, angelica, cassia cinnamon, liquorice and lemon and orange peel - are distilled by G&J in Warrington.

The business has now moved in to a small distillery next door to the Orchid, which will both allow visitors to see the cold distillation process at work and also to increase production.

The second batch is likely to be double the size of the first, Rennie told Harpers.

Porter's Gin

Porter's Gin is now looking to expand both nationally and internationally.

Rennie said: "The recipe was created for high-end bars with high-quality cocktails in mind.

"Our focus now is to go through top distributors to the on-trade and get into the best bars in major cities around the world.

"In this way we're bucking the trend amongst 'craft' distillers who focus on the local market heavily."

Porter's Gin is already listed at the Dandelyan bar in London's Mondrian Hotel.

It is available to the on-trade through Specialty Drinks in London and Hot Sauce in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Porter's Gin is also available online through Master of Malt.

The last distillery in Aberdeen is believed to be the Devanha Distillery, which closed in 1915.