The Darnley’s story begins in 1565 when Lord Darnley first met his wife to be, Mary Queen of Scots, at Wemyss Castle in Fife, on the East coast of Scotland.
Centuries later and the new generation of the Wemyss family used this historical moment as inspiration for the name Darnley’s Gin and the elderflower growing wild around the castle, inspired their first gin recipe.
Family and what that represents is at the heart of what we do here at Darnley’s, whether that’s getting together with those you love to celebrate with a cocktail or gathering together and sharing stories over food and some g&t’s. We hope you can join us at the distillery for a tour or gin school experience and experience our hospitality first-hand.
A Cottage Gin
The derelict farm cottage next to our whisky distillery in the village of Kingsbarns was the perfect space to realise our dream of distilling gin in Fife, where our family have lived and worked for centuries.
With a lot of hard work, we transformed it in to Darnley’s Distillery & Gin School and it is here that our Distiller, Scott, produces our award-winning range of gins covering the entire flavour wheel from fresh and floral to warm and spicy and an experimental smoky gin.
Each bottle of Darnley’s Gin begins with the highest quality British grown grain spirit and the finest botanical ingredients.
Our Head Distiller makes Darnley’s Gin in a traditional copper pot still in the London Dry style which has been around for centuries. We chose to make our gin this way as we feel it produces a gin with uncompromising quality and flavour.
To make a London Dry Gin it means no flavours or sugars can be added after distillation, only purified water to reduce our gin to its bottling strength. We use a small 350l pot still, where the carefully selected combination of botanicals are steeped in the base spirit, allowing the essential oils and flavours to be released before distillation.
Scott our distiller throws away the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ and saves just the ‘heart’ of the distillation which is the best part of the run in terms of flavour and quality. It’s at this point that the skills of the distiller are revealed, as the method of London Dry Gin making requires the distiller to achieve the full balance of botanical flavours in the distillation, as we cannot enhance the flavours later on.
Original – Elderflower & Citrus
Spiced – Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, mixed spices, cardamom and orange.
Spiced Navy Strength – using the same botanicals as Spiced but with more juniper and bottled at 57% ABV. Double Gold winner at International Spirits Challenge 2020.
Cottage Series Smoke & Zest – using Fife grown barley smoked over pine wood chips, lapsang souchong tea, coriander and rowanberry.
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