In a converted cattle shed in the farmyard of Ballyvolane House, County Cork, you will find school friends Justin Green and Antony Jackson producing a unique craft gin.
Grain is the base ingredient for most spirits however Berthas Revenge is made from whey alcohol. In cheese making, milk is separated into curds and whey. The curds are used to make the cheese and the whey is traditionally considered a waste by-product. However with specially developed yeast the milk sugars can be converted into alcohol and distilled to produce a quality whey spirit.
Berthas is produced by macerating eighteen botanicals in this whey spirit and slowing distilling it further before cutting with spring water from a spring on the grounds of Ballyvolane House. The result is a rich full bodied gin with the whey alcohol giving a smooth creamy texture which marries perfectly with the spicy cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and more delicate juniper notes. Soft and sweet upfront with a long spicy finish.
What about the name? Well, being made from milk spirit in a converted cattle shed it was only fitting that the guys named their gin after a famous cow. Big Bertha was the oldest cow in the world when she passed away in 1993 at the ripe aged of 48. However she was not just a venerable bovine she also raised over $75,000 for charity. Similarly the guys are planning to donate a percentage of their annual sales to charitable organisations.
This gin has quickly become a firm favourite for us and can be sipped on its own with a dash of water to open up the aromatics or enjoyed in a G&T garnished with orange peel.