Last month saw the grand opening of The Borders Distillery in the historical town of Hawick. A very exciting development as there has not been a whisky distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837. After writing about Grant’s whisky I was fascinated by the making of the Scottish Spirit and thought it would be very fitting to tell you all about Hawick’s very own distillery.
The Borders distillery is owned by the The Three Stills Company (TTSC), founded in 2013 and made up of four men who previously worked as executives for William Grant & Sons. The company feel strongly about supporting the local economy and respecting the towns history. The distillery will create 19 new jobs, bring tourism to the local area and only use barley grown in the Scottish Borders proving this is a truly local affair. A cafe and visitor centre is on site so guests can learn all about the production process and enjoy some delicious home-baking. There is even the opportunity to book a tour of the distillery if you want the full story! The team have kept in touch with the towns industrial roots by converting an old factory building in the town centre, while ensuring that the architectural details remain so they can take the buildings history into the future.
The distillery started operating on 1st May this year but it will take a minimum of 3 years in cask before any whisky can legally be sold. TTSC created a new blend of whisky called Clan Fraser which will be the first blend to flow through the pipes. This blend was inspired by the roots of the company, as the Fraser family settled in the Borders after travelling from France over 900 years ago. It will reflect the spirit of the Borders with a taste that will be both honeyed and buttery, with hints of cinnamon spice and vanilla. Amongst all the whisky, gin will also be produced, to the delight of us here at ScotlandShop.
Hundreds of years ago the Scottish Borders was thriving with whisky distilleries a major contributor to the rural economy and livelihoods of local people, but tax men sent by the English to collect duties forced the distilleries to re-locate to the highlands, a more remote region where whisky production could continue unhindered. Now that the Hawick project has been completed, plans have been put in place by other companies to open distilleries in Jedburgh and Peebles. Currently world famous for manufacturing cashmere with a superior soft finish due to the softness of the water in the River Tweed flowing through the area, the distillery looks to expand the reputation of the town for producing high quality Scottish products in a different direction.
The locals say “A day out of Hawick is a day wasted”, and this saying could not be more topical than now with the grand opening bringing some excitement back to Hawick. If you manage to visit The Borders Distillery we would love to see your pictures, and make sure you wear a bit of tartan for your visit, Fraser or otherwise!