#meetthemaker - Alan Bottomley, Bottomley Distillers - Pin Gin
In our first of our #MeetTheMaker interviews we caught up with Alan Bottomley from Bottomley Distillers- the producers of our August Gin of the Month, Pin Gin - to find out some more about him, why he started distilling gin and what the future holds.
Q: Tell us a bit about you.
A: Hello, my name is Alan Bottomley. I’m a mechanical engineer by day, distiller by night. I live in, what can only be described as, a zoo, with my partner Amy, our eight month old daughter Molly, Wilson the Dog, Daniel the Spaniel and Puss the Cat. All of that wasn’t quite enough to keep me busy so I decided to start distilling gin to pass the time!
Q: Why did you start?
A: Distilling has been in my family for as long as I can remember; my father used to distil whisky and the process has always fascinated me. I have spent my working life as an engineer from starting my apprenticeship on an oil refinery to building roller coasters and then into food. After a long day at work I thought it was time to dust off the skills which I had learnt from my father and create Lincolnshire’s first distilled gin. So, I went home to tell Amy that I was going to make gin and grow Christmas trees… I’m sure that you can imagine she wasn’t quite as enthused by the idea!
Q: Tell us a bit about your gin and how it’s distilled.
A: Pin Gin is distilled as a London Dry. Our aim when we were choosing the botanicals and playing with recipes was to create a gin which captures the seasons, sights, tastes and smells from the beautiful rural Lincolnshire countryside. We have used rose and lavender to give the gin the light floral notes; cucumber, black pepper and citrus to give a smooth with lightly spiced hints and finishing with liquorice, almonds and cinnamon.
Q: What’s the best way to enjoy your gin?
A: With Pin Gin we tried to do something a little different and create two perfect serves - one for spring and summer and one for autumn and winter. For spring and summer we recommend serving in a copa glass with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic, loads of ice and garnished with strawberries and lime, we find this the perfect addition to any warm sunny day. Our autumn and winter service is in a martini glass with Fever-Tree tonic, hold the idea and serve with a cinnamon quill and a curl of orange peel; a winter warmer and pulls through the peppercorns and liquorice.
Q: What’s in your #ginstash?
A: Our gin stash is forever changing as there are so many good gins out there! Currently we are enjoying Whittaker’s, which is a lovely Yorkshire gin, and Love Gin from Eden Mill which is wonderfully complex. Amy is a big fan of Ophir.
Q: What’s your favourite tonic?
A: I enjoy our gin with a classic Fever-Tree Indian Tonic, but with there being so many different tonics which suit the vast amount of gins, it really is hard to pick an overall favourite! We do quite like the Franklin & Sons Sicilian Lemon Tonic!
Q: What’s your favourite non-gin tipple?
A: I do enjoy a cold San Miguel or Stella Artois, Amy’s favourite is a pint of Guiness!
Q: What else can we expect from Bottomley Distillers?
A: On the gin front we are trialling some sloes at the moment. We also have a few other projects in the pipeline - we are working with a large craft brewery and looking to create a full Lincolnshire Whisky. A project I am very excited about is putting a new gin together to celebrate the anniversary of one of our great institutions which will be available in 2018, all a bit hush hush as the moment so please watch this space for more information!
Pin Gin is available from The Gin Parlour for £34.95 and is our August Gin of the Month.