REVIEW: Kerr’s Navy Strength Gin

Drinks blogger James Robertson samples Kerr’s Navy Strength Gin from The Borders Distillery.

IF YOU have not tried the original Kerr’s Gin then you should, however this is a limited edition run of 2,022 bottles of a navy strength version distilled at 57.1% alcohol by volume (ABV). Made by John Fordyce and the team at The Borders Distillery in Hawick, this is a gin of real character. Balanced, with full-on citrus and juniper notes, with a pine tree freshness and a hint of barley. Like the original Kerr’s, this is made from local malted barley and distilled in a Carterhead still. Don’t be put off by the high ABV either as, once mixed with tonic water, it has a wonderful intensity. The stand out blue bottle is one thing, but it is also the first Borders Distillery bottle to be paperless as the label uses state of the art printing technology.

A quick aside – why are some gins called “navy strength”? This dates back to the 18th century and the Royal Navy. Gin and rum were stored on their ships and being next to the gunpowder were kept at a higher alcohol strength. The purpose being that if the barrels leaked and went near the gunpowder the higher alcohol content meant that when used the gunpowder would still work.

Available at £50 per bottle

Read more of James’s wine, beer, and spirits reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.