In Conversation With… Silent Pool Distillers
Where does the name Silent Pool come from?
Many people don’t know the Silent Pool is a real place. It’s a pool of water over 2 million years old that’s fed through a chalk aquifer that gives the water it’s unique teal hue, the same colour we use on our bottle. Our distillery is situated on the banks of the Silent Pool so it only seemed fitting we name ourselves after the historic location that we call home.
Congratulations on being awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise! Can you tell us a bit more about what this means?
Thank you! We won in the International Trade category, recognising our growth internationally between 2018 and 2020. We’re honoured to win such a prestigious award, our team work tirelessly to create the outstanding spirits and it’s a privilege to be able to share them with customers all over the world. It means we’ll be able to grow our international footprint even further.
What’s the story behind your Platinum Celebration edition? What makes it different to your other gins?
We wanted to create something special and unique to celebrate Britain’s longest reigning monarch. The Queen is a known gin fan, so the fit was very natural. The most noticeable change on the surface is of course the bottle. We never anticipated an occasion big enough that would see us change our iconic copper pattern. We swapped the copper colour for a platinum alternative and the bottle is adorned with platinum coloured stickers representing the Platinum Jubilee with dates of Her Majesty’s reign. We didn’t stop there, the gin is a new recipe too. The idea for the flavour was inspired by a traditional afternoon tea. Enjoy aromatic notes of peach, delicate notes of tea and light rose notes all underpinned by juniper and bright citrusy pepper notes.
"When we came across Flexi-Hex it was exactly the sort of innovation we were looking for."
What sustainable practices are you most proud of at the distillery?
Good question! A real highlight for us is how we’ve reduced emissions and resources in our distillation process. As you can imagine, the production process of gin is a fairly resource intensive one. When we got our larger, 1800l still a few years ago we had originally intended to power it in the same way we power our smaller still, with a wood-fired boiler, but we couldn’t generate enough energy from this. Through some research we landed on using a boiler powered by hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), which is made by refining 100% renewable inedible waste or residue food stock, like chip oil. This renewable fuel source reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%. Any organic waste from distillation, the botanicals for example, are transported to an anaerobic digester where it’s used to create methane and in turn electricity and the remaining waste is turned into fertiliser. Our still has a closed loop system built within it that recovers heat in between batches so the boiler can be used less. The heat energy it retains is enough to power two houses for a day!
What were you using before Flexi-Hex and why did you make the switch?
Before Flexi-Hex we were using plastic blow up bags. When we first made this choice there wasn’t a sustainable alternative we could find that could support our bottles. When we came across Flexi-Hex it was exactly the sort of innovation we were looking for. Something made from sustainable material, in a manner that’s kind to the earth, can be reused and supports our bottles! It was a no brainer to make the change. We ship out thousands of bottles a year from the distillery to customers so the amount of plastic packaging that will be saved from landfill by making the switch is significant.
Any more exciting plans for the rest of the year?
We’re soon to see the next instalment in our Green Man Spirits range: Green Man Wildwood Vodka. The range is packaged in a cardboard bottle – and was the first spirit in the world to be! A delicious botanical vodka inspired by our local woodlands.
Finally, any cocktails we should be making over the Jubilee weekend?
Our Platinum Spritz is delicious! Just combine 35ml Silent Pool Gin Platinum Celebration Edition in a Copa glass filled with ice, 70ml dry white wine, stir in a teaspoon of honey and top with elderflower tonic. Cheers!