Selkirk Distillers produced their first gin in September 2017. It’s architects, two couples from Selkirk (Jane and Allan Walker and Dave and Susan Myatt), believed that the Scottish Borders with it's rich history and wealth of natural resources could produce high quality spirits. This was proven with the successful launch of Reiver's Gin.
The main botanical in Reiver’s Gin grows wild on the rolling lowland hills of Selkirkshire. The whin flower, known as the golden flower of Thor, is handpicked, cleaned and dried by the creators before infusing it within their gin.
Selkirk Distillers' next creation was launched in December 2017. Bannock Gin also had its base ingredient deeply rooted in Selkirk. The Bannock used in the process comes from Cameron's Bakery in Selkirk, home of the original bannock. The first batch of this delightful ‘bannock in a bottle’ almost sold out in one day.
Selkirk Distillers are also delighted to use a unique design on their gin bottles, created by the wonderfully talented local artist, Conor McAllister.
Meet Selkirk Distillers...
Selkirk Distillers comprises of two couples from Selkirk who have been friends for many years. Allan & Jane Walker and Dave & Susan Myatt.
Allan retired from the police force in 2011 and launched Build Rwanda, a social enterprise dedicated to help build a school in Rwanda. As an entrepreneur, Allan has enjoyed working with many craft food & drink businesses. This led to the friendship with Tony Reeman-Clark, a renowned Craft Distiller and founder of Strathearn Distillery. With Tony's help and encouragement the Selkirk Distillers were born.
Jane is a community Nurse and has lived in the Borders town of Selkirk most of her life. Her late father, the Reverend William Gentleman, was a “Weel Kent” figure in and around Selkirkshire. Jane first met Allan when he was selling an array of stock, including gin, at the annual Scott’s Selkirk. Thus their love of gin brought the couple together.
Now married, Jane and Allan have worked hard on producing their first gin together with their good friends, Dave and Susan Myatt.
Dave is a former Artisan Sergeant of the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. he left the army in 2006 after completing twenty-two-and-a-half years service. his wealth of knowledge and engineering skills have proved invaluable to the establishment of Selkirk Distillery. Susan is a qualified Assistant Clinical Physiologist and is currently working at the Borders General Hospital, Melrose. Dave and Susan lived and worked abroad for over 17 years before they moved to the Borders in 2001 to be close to friends and family. The couple are now settled and happy in Selkirk.
After the success of their two gins, Selkirk Distillers knew that the next step was to create Selkirk’s first legal still.......Their dream: a small distillery producing the Finest Borders’ Spirits.
It was not long before they discovered the perfect venue: The Old Joinery on the Philiphaugh Estate, owned by Sir Michael Gavin Strang-Steele. Currently a blank canvas, the building comprises enough space for the distillery that the couples’ dream of. This will be the perfect setting for Selkirk’s first Lowland Distillery.
A Little Bit of History
Philiphaugh Estate is near the site of The Battle of Philiphaugh, which was fought on 13 September 1645 during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. On that day the Royalist Army of the Marquis of Montrose was defeated by the Covenanter Army of Sir David Leslie, thus restoring the power of the Committee of Estates.
Selkirk is in the heart of the Scottish Borders. The town's name means "kirk of the forest". It is home to Scotland's oldest horse racing track, the Gala Rig, on the outskirts of the town. Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Marquis of Montrose and the Outlaw Murray all had connections with Selkirk. It is the site of the first Borders abbey and it is reputed that William Wallace was declared Guardian of Scotland in Selkirk’s Old Kirk (perhaps the town’s greatest claim to fame).
Selkirk’s most famous figures are the explorer Mungo Park; the poet and writer James Hogg (known as "The Ettrick Shepherd"); and Sir Walter Scott, a writer of romances in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Today, Selkirk is probably best known for its bannock, which is a tasty fruitcake. Bannock Gin was crafted from this same cake.
With this impressive heritage it seems only right that Selkirk should be the home to one of Scotland’s newest distilleries.