The Borders Distillery are pushing the boundaries when it comes to the world of whisky. As the first Scotch distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837, TBD produce gin, vodka, and whisky from locally grown barley, all to be exhibited at In-Drinks 2024.
The distillery’s founders have a keen sense of environmental and social responsibility and wanted to support regeneration efforts in their corner of rural Scotland. Rather than erect a new-build on the town’s outskirts, they chose to invest in refurbishing an existing building in the heart of the town, creating employment opportunities and a tourist attraction. The distillery opened in March 2018.
The distillery is an award-winning conversion of Hawick’s former electrical works, a prominent landmark in the town since 1903. Thousands of visitors visit every year, enjoying the sunny and airy feel beneath the glass roofs of the Mash and Still Houses.
The distillery is committed to responsible manufacturing, with all the barley used to produce their spirits coming from farms within 35 miles of the distillery. The Borders Growers and Distillers programme is a partnership between the distillery, 12 local farmers and Simpsons Malt, which ensures a supply of high-quality and eco-conscious malt.
The Workshop Series
In 2022, TBD released an experimental line with the launch of their Workshop Series. Co-Founder and Managing Director, John Fordyce, said “The Workshop Series is about respecting the rules but challenging the status quo.” All the whiskies in the series are one-off, never to be produced again blends.
Some say there’s nothing new in Scotch whisky. Borders say, think again.
WS:00 New Make Spirit is the foundation of all that TBD do, an award-winning spirit made in the Borders, by Borders people with Borders barley.
WS:01 Borders Malt & Rye is a marriage of grain rye spirit with Borders malt, with a limited run of 6,000 bottles, all individually numbered.
In 2023, WS:02 The Long & Short of it was released. For this second edition of the Workshop Series, The Borders’ distillers experimented with very short fermentations of 55 hours and very long ones of 150 hours. Both batches were then distilled twice and matured in first fill ex-bourbon barrels, before being married with a splash of single grain.
“Whether you prefer your whisky long or short it doesn’t matter, as this blend makes a great serve either way. The Borders Distillery is almost six years old, so I still think of us as the new kids on the block when it comes to the greater whisky industry. It makes sense to us as a company that we can play on this youthful outlook and have fun and experiment. We allow our distillers to be creative and we want to encourage people to think of whisky in a new light; it's all about finding the right serve for you as an individual. There is a new wave of consumers, and we are targeting our whisky towards people who want to have fun and try something new.”
Kerr’s Gin is the distillery’s award-winning gin. It is the only Scottish gin made with malted barley spirit in a Carterhead Still, which gently steams the botanicals used rather than boiling them like most other gin stills, making for more subtle aromas and complex flavours. The gin is inspired by the accomplished 19th century, Hawick-born botanist, William Kerr.
Enjoy Kerr’s Gin poured over lots of ice, topped with a good tonic water, and a juicy slice of orange.
Puffing Billy is the distillery’s steam vodka. Also made in their Carterhead Still, the barley-based vodka is steam-smoothed through charcoal, leaving an incredibly smooth serve that can be enjoyed in cocktails, with a mixer or simply on the rocks.
You can try all of what The Borders Distillery has to offer at In Drinks 2024.