Drawn by a common passion for the precision and innovation of craft distilling, a group of individuals came together to create artisan spirits in a historic location in the Surrey Hills.
You wouldn’t be alone in wondering how a distillery nestled deep in the woodlands of the Surrey Hills came into existence. It’s a story of two Surrey locals coming together to create a distillery where things are done properly.
In 2014, founders Ian McCulloch and James Shelbourne met in their local pub (where else?) and discussed the idea of setting up small, local distillery. Taking their inspiration from Scottish whisky distilleries, the two friends started out with a grand vision of making a truly sustainable distillery next to a fresh water source, producing handcrafted, artisan spirits using locally sourced ingredients. But first they needed the perfect location.
Most distilleries end up in grim locations or boring industrial estates. Where’s the fun in that? Ian and James wanted somewhere filled with history, a good story and plenty of provenance. After scouting many locations in the south of England, one day Ian happened upon Sherbourne Farm (a former cow barn and petting zoo) on the banks of the magical Silent Pool in the Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Excited by the find, Ian and James contacted the landowner, The Duke of Northumberland, and got the go ahead to restore the dilapidated farm buildings into the Silent Pool Distillery.
Whilst all of our products taste distinctively different from one another, each are united by a shared purpose and vision. Rather than being reliant on one unique ingredient to shine through, all our recipes work like a symphony of flavours. Each and every ingredient serves a purpose and complements the last without dominating the palate.
The balancing of these complex flavours always involves a long and arduous process. Our distillers have experimented with hundreds of different flavour combinations over the years before landing on the perfect recipe. Taste our products side by side and you’ll find they share the same DNA; handcrafted, multi-layered and bursting with complex flavours that evolve as you experience them. There are many ways of making gin, most of them simpler than the unique four stage process we employ, but we passionately believe it’s well worth the extra effort.
The Legend of The Silent Pool
The area of the Silent Pool is an atmospheric location shrouded in myth and legend. In the early 20th century Agatha Christie was said to have faked her own death here. But centuries before that, in the 1200’s another intriguing female was said to have come to an untimely end here.
Legend has it that a Woodcutter’s Daughter, Emma, used to bathe in the Silent Pool regularly. One evening, a knight on horseback spied her. Taking a liking to what he saw, he drew nearer to the bank. Scared by his lecherous advances, Emma retreated and fell into a deep part of the pool where she drowned. The knight fled in haste and fear. The Woodcutter, on searching for his missing daughter, found her floating dead in the water. He also found something else: there, on the bank of the pool was the royal crest of Prince John, who later became King John the First of England. Look closely at the pattern on your Silent Pool Gin bottle and you’ll spot Emma, Prince John and a crown representing his royal crest intertwined amongst the botanicals.
Our rural location is a constant reminder of our need to work sustainably to minimise our impact on both the local and wider environment by reducing our carbon footprint.
Silent Pool Distillers Bottling Line
An automatic bottle filling line to dramatically increase production capacity of Silent Pool Gin for UK and export markets’.
It is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development