My recent Asian adventures brought me to some beautiful places and allowed me to tick off top bucket list items. One such place that I was so excited to visit was the vibrant country of Singapore, and was even more thrilled when I was given the opportunity to have a private tour of the recently opened Brass Lion Distillery. And what an experience it was, this brand new distillery is hip, vibrant; quirky and creator to some tasty ass gin!!
Brass Lion Distillery opened its doors in 2018, after a 6 year journey that spanned across the globe with the main goal of creating a true Singaporean Spirit that captured the essence of the small island nation. The brains and brawn behind the operation is Jamie K (founder) who began her amazing gin dream in 2012, touring, interning and apprenticing from Portland to South Carolina, London and Germany’s Black Forest in order to gain experience, knowledge and love for the spirit. THIS WOMAN IS LITERALLY MY HERO!! From her amazing adventures she fully completed her journey back in Singapore where her flagship Singaporean Dry Gin was born.
I hot tailed it in a taxi out to the distillery, which is about a 15 minute drive from the city centre, pulling up outside I was greeted at the entrance by a large brass lion statue which was very fitting and effective! The distillery itself is small, but it is a very cool and welcoming space with a very quirky industrial feel. The entrance hall flooring is concrete, creating a very sleek vibe, emblazoned with an eye catching gold sketched Brass Lion emblem which leads you to a huge glass paneling wall which looks right into the heart of the operation, the actual distillery where the marvelous gin making magic happens! My head was literally pressed against the glass like a child at a sweet shop window! After being peeled away I was brought up a stairwell whose walls were lined with brass lion door knockers (I was totally in love with the theme and definitely knew I was visiting the home of the “Brass Lion”)! Once upstairs I was taken into the Tasting Room, where you can visit daily to sample some amazing Brass Lion concoctions! Just past the bar a small corridor leads you to the newly opened Gin School! Yet again another very open, welcoming space with large glass panels looking right into the old pharmacy/medical inspired room, with the small still pots for the individual experiments of those lucky enough to have a class booked in!
Brass Lion try to be as sustainable as possible, growing some botanical’s / ingredients on site in their small growing garden which are used in the Tasting Room cocktails, I got shown some home grown Butterfly Pea flowers, torched ginger flower and mandarin to name but a few. They also try to be as local as possible, however Singapore is a small city country so a majority of their ingredients are imported from Malaysia and Thailand. But they pride themselves on good quality ingredients that are used to lovingly create their small handcrafted products.
Now let’s talk the magical liquid that is created in this quirky little hub:
Singapore Dry Gin
Has a unique blend of 22 botanical’s, bringing together a tasty treat, combining the classic gin botanical’s such as juniper and coriander and perfectly matching them with local Asian flavours of citrus lemongrass and torched ginger flower, creating a tasty aromatic explosion. The end product is aromatic which hints at the tastes of Asia however it is true to the traditional gin profile capturing the classic notes of juniper. The end result is a Singapore Masterpiece, it is refreshing, light and truly tasty. A spirit that Singapore can be proud of!
Butterfly Pea Gin
This is an interesting gin that yet again takes inspiration from its homeland; this bottle is a delicious blend of the flagship Brass Lion Dry Gin with lavender and butterfly pea flower. It is a lovely floral finish gin which is slightly different to its aromatic sibling. The Butterfly Pea Flower gives it an enticing and magical blue tint, when combined with citrus this blue tone transforms into a soft lilac hue. The Butterfly Pea acts as a natural litmus, when it comes into contact with acid it changes colour, so the addition of an acidic citrus fruit changes the colouring.
Pahit Pink Gin
Enjoyed in colonial Malaya, the Gin Pahit was a mixture of gin and bitters, and translates to “bitter gin”. Being described as a pink gin, the Raffles Long Bar Singapore (famous for inventing the Singapore Sling – obviously had to sample one whilst visiting and was amazing! :P) served a Gin Pahit as 1.5 ounces gin and 0.5 ounces Angostura bitters with some sugar syrup. Brass Lion captured Pahit Gin in their own way and developed their own Brass Lion Pahit Pink, I drank this straight and by god it was delicious!!
The spirit itself is amazing and truly encapsulates Singapore, but the bottling just gives it that finishing touch that makes you want to display your bottle with pride. The labeling for the Singapore Dry Gin like the gin itself captures the essence of Singapore, all the botanicals used are displayed on the label and a small depiction of the Clarke Quay district offers up a dedication to the city that is clearly much loved by the Founder.
I cannot wait to see what other tasty creations this distillery brings us!! It has only just began not even a year old yet and is developing truly sensational spirits!! Anyone lucky to be going to Junipalooza 2019 in London can go and visit our friends!! Defiantly do not miss out!! Brass Lion is was a pleasure 😊