The Borders Distillery

16-20 Commercial Road


History: After starting work on the site in 2016 and running 6 months behind schedule, The Borders Distillery finally opened its doors this month after a £10 million investment by The Three Stills company to bring distilling back to the area in more than 180 years. The distillery occupies a disused 19th-century engineering plant, which was originally the headquarters for Hawick Electricity Company, and will draw its water from the nearby River Teviot. Three Stills company is headed up by four ex-William Grant & Sons senior employees in George Tait, Tony Roberts, John Fordyce and CEO Tim Carton, who plan to ‘reinvent’ distillation in the Borders.

The Spirit: The distillery will produce single malt Scotch whisky and a premium gin once they are ready but while their whisky is maturing the owners have created a blended malt called Lower East Side. The blended malt category is one that is in growth with several brands popping up over the last couple of years. The whisky is essentially the same as a blended Scotch like The Famous Grouse or Dewars but has no grain whisky in its recipe, only single malts. Lower East Side is a blend of single malts from across Scotland, brought together to create an easy drinking whisky with rich flavours of vanilla, almonds and honey and is also perfect for mixing.I would suggest a Penicillin cocktail, with Lower East Side, fresh lemon juice, honey and ginger syrup shaken and then crowned with a small splash of smoky whisky. I believe their gin should be launched soon, they have purchased a carterhead still to create the gin and will featuring local botanicals in its recipe.

Why Visit?: We are currently seeing more and more distilleries opening in Scotland to meet the global demand for whisky and gin. This influx of new distilleries is not only existing because of all the great new Scottish brands that will be travelling all over the world but also for our tourism. The Borders Distillery is a great addition the the 10 that are planned for opening this year. The substantial investment of over £10 million into the business shows that they want to build a prominent business by growing great Scottish spirit brands. The tour lasts around 40 mins and will set you back £12. The tour will take you through the full production of the distillery and an indepth look at the design of how it was set-up, after you will receive a dram in the distillery gallery. You can also book private tours by calling their head office.

Interesting fact: The last legal distillery to operate in the Scottish Borders closed its doors in 1837, which left the area with a severe shortage of distilleries for the past 180 years. With the current demand for single malt their are several planned for the region. Hawick where The Borders Distillery is located sits within the Lowland region on the Scotch whisky map. Compared to the other regions The Lowlands has always had a low number of distilleries and is known for its more gentle and floral style of whiskies. Although with several new build on the horizon you will see the numbers increase and this style possibly turned on its head.

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