The Caorunn Distillery sits alongside the Balmenach Single Malt Whisky Distillery in Scotland’s Speyside whisky region within the Cairngorm National Park at the foot of the Haughs of Cromdale.
Housed in the former cask filling store, the Caorunn Distillery sits alongside the Balmenach Distillery
When Inver House Distillers decided to start making gin, Simon Buley, one of the malt whisky distillers at the Balmenach Distillery, and something of gin aficionado, was tasked with creating the new gin. He lives near the distillery and it was to the hills of the National Park in which the distillery sits that Simon looked for both inspiration and ingredients.
Consequently while Caorunn’s recipe includes six traditional gin botanicals: juniper, coriander, lemon peel, orange peel, angelica root and cassia bark, its character comes from five Celtic botanicals, all of which grow profusely in the countryside surrounding the distillery. (These are rowan berries, Coul Blush apple, heather, bog myrtle and dandelion.)
Rowan berries - are sharp tasting piquant red berries and in Celtic mythology the rowan is known as the Traveller's Tree because it was believed to prevent travellers from losing their way. Rowan wood’s density made it popular for walking sticks and its branches were often used as dowsing rods. As well as being crucial to Caorunn Gin’s flavour it also inspired its name. In Gaelic the word for rowan berry is Rudha-an (literally meaning ‘red one’ and pronounced similarly to English rowan) or more usually, Caorann (pronounced 'ka-roon').
Heather - covers the Scottish Highlands and lends subtle perfumed undertones with a nuance of honey to Caorunn.
Bog Myrtle - is a deciduous shrub which commonly grows in the peat bogs of the Highlands and gives Caorunn soft, sweet resinous aromas.
Dandelions – have long been used as a herb and impart just a hint of sharpness to Caorunn.
Coul Blush Apple - Britain's most northerly apple first fruited in Coul, Ross-shire in 1827. It has golden coloured skin and sweet, soft, cream flesh.