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22/05/2020

The T&M Distillation Process

The distillation process at Taplin & Mageean dates back hundreds of years. This tried and tested process uses hand-made alembic copper stills to make our small batch ultra-premium gins. Copper stills may be inefficient in many ways when it comes to maximising profit but we use them for a reason — they cling onto every flavour molecule.

Our distillation and bottling all takes place under one roof in our distillery at Leyburn train station, so there is no chance of our gin being adulterated by third parties who don’t share our attention to detail and passion for premium quality.

Trials of our recipes take place in an alembic copper pot named “Ruby”, and once the recipe is finalised, distillation scales up to our 100L copper still (Wendy) and our 300L copper still (Jenny).

Each distillation takes two days from soaking of first botanicals to extracting the final product, the distillation itself in the copper stills taking 12 hours. The botanicals are soaked for different durations to ensure each note is tasted at the correct volume.

At Taplin and Mageean, only a tiny percentage of the overall output is selected for bottling to ensure that peak optimal quality is maintained.

Ours is single shot gin, and only pure Dales water is added after the distillation process to cut it down to our bottling strength. There are no additives, and we don’t use extra raw alcohol. In this way you have an ultra-premium gin, and we remove the headache!

The gin distillation process can be divided into 3 parts — the heads, the heart, and the tails.

The heads can contain unpleasant chemical compounds like acetone and methanol. The tails are low in alcohol and contain nasty sulphates and fatty acids that give a stewed taste. In the middle, the heart is the highest-quality part of the distillation.

Run of the mill gins cut into or redistill the heads and the tails to maximise the volume produced and hence their return. Ultra-premium gins such as those produced by Taplin & Mageean focus in on slim central heart cut to ensure premium quality and smoothness. This is why we can maintain that Taplin & Mageean gin is truly from the heart.