In our fast paced, ever-changing world, full of surprises; one which is stacked to the rafters with more brands of gin you can shake a bottle of tonic at (just don’t open immediately afterwards...) we could probably be forgiven for having a go at jazzing things up a little (after the past 14 months, we all could!) to reintroduce ourselves to you in a new time and place and try to make you love us even more.
But, if you take a good look at us and savour a sip, you’ll find that your tastebuds come alive in all the same ways they ever did, reassuringly so because if there’s one thing we’re never doing, it’s changing.
It just wouldn’t be our flavour or style. We’ve been here for a good while, we’ve never tried to overwhelm you with big tales, we’ve always wanted you to get to know us in a simple, quiet and meaningful way; to be honest, we’ve always felt it’s more about you than us.
You are the sparkling tonic to our clean, crisp gin so we’ve never wanted to be all ‘me me me’. Long lasting relationships mean more to us than bursts of effervescence (well, unless it’s in a gin glass…), so we’ve always chosen to remain quite understated, to take you on a gently sophisticated flavour journey with very different chapters and be a reassuringly good staple on your drinks trolley.
Why don’t we shout more about how great we are? Well, noise for starters - we think our heads are pretty consumed with noise and information 24/7 so we’re never going to be ones for fast moves and gimmicks.
We also feel it’s a bit like that feeling you get in what we would call the ‘sweet spot’ of your career; you’ve worked hard for many years, discovered and built your talent and confidence and deliver whatever it is you do with your very own USP, your way of doing things, which makes you completely different from every other person on the planet that does what you do. You no longer have to point both hands towards your head mouthing ‘Look here – I’m great!’, because you’re at a point where people already know. You’ve proved it.
So have we.
Isn’t it so great being comfortable with who you are? Isn’t it great to be different? Isn’t it great to be, well…great! Isn’t it even better to know what makes us different and great and feel a true sense of who we are, whether we’re a bottle of Caorunn or a person called ‘You’?
It’s funny, we don’t often pause to talk about what why Caorunn is different, our unique process and techniques, who the people are behind Caorunn and why things are done the way they are (normally we’re too busy pouring our hearts and minds into crafting a gin like no other…) but we’d like to take the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with you and bring you a few steps closer into our world.
Where are we in the world?
Close your eyes, take a deep breath and transport yourself to a rugged, tranquil, lush green landscape with calm, still lochs and clear water springs running down mountains, a crisp, fresh breeze blowing wispy clouds away to reveal big blue skies bursting with golden sunshine. That’s where we are, on a good day (we’ll leave the November landscape for another time – bring your brolley…). Cast your eyes along the winding banks of the River Spey and there we are – Balmenach distillery, one of Scotland’s original whisky distilleries (did you know Caorunn is the first gin to be crafted in a malt whisky distillery?).
What does Caorunn mean?
Forgive us if we missed a step (Caorunn is pronounced Ka-roon or if you just say ‘the one with the apple’, everyone will know what you mean…) Caorunn takes its name from the Scottish Gaelic word for rowan berry, one of the locally foraged botanicals that forms the very essence of our gin. We felt ‘Rowan Berry’ wasn’t quite the brand name we were after… Caorunn… Caorunn… Yes, we like the sound, we love the taste.
What are the ingredients?
Our Gin Master and ‘gin genius’, Simon Buley was inspired by the traditional craft and recipes of spirit making which draws very much on the concept of taking nature’s bounty from the surrounding area and creating something which can only be associated with our precious place in the world. What you won’t find around here is a lot of people. What you will find here is a lot of water springs and a man (Simon) foraging five important botanicals, rowan berries, Coul Blush apple, heather, bog myrtle and dandelion.
Breaking the botanicals down…
Rowan berries have a bitter, piquant tart taste which is in contrast to the sweetness of the Coul Blush apple; the heather provides undertones of honey, bog myrtle gives Caorunn those aromatic, slightly spicy notes and dandelion adds just a hint of sharpness.
I’m getting something else on my tastebuds that I can’t quite place…
Juniper? Coriander? Lemon peel? Orange peel? Angelica root? Cassia bark? (Ah, it’s the angelica root you say..!)
That’s a real show of flavours for your tastebuds and we reckon you’ll probably get something different going on there every time…
How can it be possible that all those flavours really do come to life?
This is where our secret ingredient comes in to play… Our Copper Berry Chamber. Caorunn is the only gin in the world that uses a working copper berry chamber for vapour infusion, so if you haven’t been quite able to put your finger on why it’s different to other gins, this is one of the main reasons why. Copper Berry chambers were used not only to make gin in the 1920s, but to distil oils when making perfume – can you get a sense of the Caorunn craftmanship yet?
The 11 botanicals are spread across the copper berry chamber’s four perforated trays and the vapourised spirit slowly rises through the chamber, allowing the vapours to be saturated fully with the aromas and flavours, creating the very essence of our refreshing, crisp, fragrant spirit. The vapours are condensed back into liquid and passed through the copper berry chamber for a second and third time (triple distilled) to pick up even more of the flavours from the botanicals.
Big or small production?
Small…very small; we pride ourselves on our craft, in taking our time, doing things slowly and carefully with attention to detail so we take around four hours to distil 1000 litres of spirit into gin using around 20kg of botanicals.
What’s different about Caorunn?
We’re never in a hurry. We take our time to make sure that Caorunn is perfectly distilled and balanced, so expect a crisp, refreshing, floral, fruity taste adventure with a subtle, lingering spicy, pepperiness and the faintest hint of apple.
Why the apple serve?
You didn’t think it was a gimmick, did you? We’re far too true to our hearts and craft for that!
The apple serve enhances the Coul Blush apple botanical and really brings out that crisp, clean and dry taste which makes Caorunn so refreshing and invigorating.
A little bit of mystery and hidden meanings…
Have you ever had a look at our bottle and logo and wondered ‘why that’?
We hope so; there’s a lot more to our design than what meets the eye…
The base of the bottle - five sides. The Caorunn red asterisk - five sides… Have you made the link yet? Both are symbolic of the five Celtic botanicals and our bottle was inspired by the Scottish Art Nouveau movement.
When we say we pay attention to detail, we probably go one step beyond; having a unique point of difference that reflects our heritage, taste, provenance and character is what makes us ‘us’!
Want to get to know us better?
Whether you’re a seasoned Caorunn afficionado or coming into our world for the first time, here are some of our signature serves and easiest cocktail hacks which we think bring out the best in us and give you the ultimate Caorunn flavour experience:
Still liking us after getting to know us a bit better?
We very much hope we’ve brought you a bit closer into our world and that you’ll stay on your gin journey with us.
Trust us, we’re gin geniuses, so cin cin to always being true to your roots and who you are – it’s the very essence of what makes us unique, a bit different to the rest and truly great!