You know what they say; everything has to start ‘somewhere’. For Lorna Scott, ‘somewhere’ meant her kitchen table with a 2 litre copper pot still affectionately named Mini-Meg.
Over a period of three years Lorna sat at that kitchen table with her son Rohan and, through trial and error, developed the range of Inverroche Gins that you can enjoy today.
“It was a labour of love. We never dreamed of the commercial success we’ve enjoyed, we just did it because we were fascinated with the botanicals and the process; it was an adventure that ultimately turned into the business it is today,” beams Lorna.
It wasn’t just the ingredients that they experimented with, but also the method. This eventually lead to them developing their own proprietary process whereby they charge the pot still with their base spirit and then layer the selected botanicals into specially designed steam baskets within the pot still.
Adding the fynbos in this manner allows the gently heated spirit vapour to extract the aromatic oils from the botanicals before collecting in the helm and traveling down the condenser – the result is a subtle, yet complex spirit infused with layers of exceptional flavours and unique aromas.
But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating or, in this case, the drinking. “We knew we were doing something right when very quickly demand outstripped our ability to supply and we had to bring in a 1,000 litre wood-fired copper pot still,” adds Lorna.
Aptly named Magnanimous Meg, this magnificent and eccentric new still was custom designed and built for Inverroche in Stellenbosch. If you’ve had Inverroche Gin in the past three years, you’ll know and approve of Meg’s work!
“And, in case it ever comes up as a Trivial Pursuit question, both stills are named after Meg Dodds, the irascible landlady in Sir Walter Scott’s famous novel St. Ronan’s Well,” Lorna says with a twinkle in her eye.