Puffing Billy Steam Vodka is a small batch spirit with a big difference.
Hailing from the Borders Distillery – makers of Kerr’s Borders Gin and Lower East Side whisky – Puffing Billy Steam Vodka is unfiltered malted barley vodka, bottled at 40% ABV, and named after the Carterhead still which plays a key role in its production.
Regular filtration would strip away the delicious flavours and soft textures of the barley, so instead the task of smoothing the spirit is handed to Puffing Billy, a rare Carterhead still.
The spirit is steamed through charcoal inside the still, rather than filtered as a liquid. The resulting vodka is brimful of character with an incredible creamy mouthfeel.
Rod Gillies, head of marketing at The Borders Distillery, explained: ‘Vodka is an important segment of spirits, but it has lagged behind other drinks in recent years, making it ripe for reinvention.
‘Our distillers developed a unique way to make vodka – pot-distilled malted barley spirit, re-distilled in a Carterhead, and steamed through charcoal. It’s the only vodka in the world made like this.
‘The unique process makes for a genuinely fantastic vodka. I was blown away when I tasted it.’
Puffing Billy Steam Vodka is a versatile spirit for mixology. Its full rounded smoothness provides an excellent balance to sharp and dry mixer flavours, whilst the tropical, citrus, and grassy notes in the nose work well with berry fruit flavours. Alongside the creamy texture, there is a subtle malt character which can balance stronger citrus or sour fruit tastes such as grapefruit.
Puffing Billy Steam Vodka is available from the distillery shop and website at £32 per 700ml bottle, and will be appearing soon on cocktail menus in bars and restaurants.
Owned by The Three Stills Company, The Borders Distillery opened in April 2018, becoming the first legal Scotch whisky distillery in the region since 1837.