A gin run is made up of heads, hearts and tails - hearts being the tasty part that we collect. We cut heads & tails as the flavour flowing from the still changes throughout the run - as the botanicals appear during different parts of the distillation. A harsh flavour from juniper oils appears at the start, so we cut this out. We collect hearts as the bright piney and citrusy notes appear, from the large quantities of juniper and citrus in our recipe. We collect the hearts for 4 hours as the gin flavours subtly change with floral and citrus notes arising before giving way to heavier spices.
By the time we switch to tails the gin distillate has started taking on a spent tea characteristic as the best of the botanical flavour has been extracted. The final liquid left in the still which we do not use has a Christmas cake smell to it, caused by heavy spice molecules that didn’t make it through the still into our gin distillate.
Once we have collected several runs we mix all the hearts together to provide a consistent end product with a tasting at the end – a perk of the job!