Waterhead Gin of the Month – Pickering’s gin

Waterhead has an impressive Gin Library of over 40 gins and each month we feature one as our Gin of the Month. This month it is the turn of Pickering’s.

Pickering’s gin comes from the first gin distillery to be based in Edinburgh for over 150 years and was launched in March 2014. The Summerhall Distillery is housed on the site which used to be an old animal hospital. Part of the veterinary school, known locally as the Dick Vet, is now an arts venue called Summerhall. A pub on the Summerhall site, the Royal Dick, enjoys Pickering’s gin piped straight to tap from Pickering’s distillery just next door. It is here that they also produce the small batches of handcrafted gin which we know as Pickering’s.


Pickering’s gin is based on an original Bombay recipe dating back to  14th July 1947, brought back from Mumbai by a family friend of the founder, Marcus Pickering. It was kept as a secret for over 60 years and was only brought out when they started distilling at Summerhall in Edinburgh. Since the reintroduction of the recipe, the distillery has fine-tuned and perfected the balance of the botanicals to suit the contemporary palate.

A Clever Copper Still, named Gert

Pickering’s gin is made using 9 botanicals which incorporate some of the classics as well as some variations, giving Pickering’s that extra edge. The botanicals are Juniper (of course!!), cardamom, angelica, fennel, anise, lemon, lime and cloves and they are carefully measured and added to the grain spirit in the 500 litre copper still, named Gert!!

Gert’s clever custom-designed bain marie heating system is what makes Pickering’s so smooth. As the heat is provided gently but all over the still, it allows the botanicals to enjoy a luxurious simmer that entices out the subtle, soft, but highly drinkable, flavours.

The release of Pickering’s 1947

Pickering’s 1947 is the official gin of the Edinburgh Tattoo and sees trelease of the Pickering’s recipe as it was intended. They have replaced the cinnamon, which was added for the more modern palate,  and reverted back to angelica as listed on the original recipe. Launched on 17th July 2015, it comes with stronger, more powerful flavours of cardamom and cinnamon which compliment the spicy curry notes. This is a fantastic gin which comes with a kick to it. But don’t be put off, it is still wonderfully smooth, just with a little extra edge.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Clean fresh pine derived from the juniper, with citrus notes.
  • Taste: Strongly aromatic with hints of liquorice and cinnamon, slightly nutty and a sweet lavender-like softness.
  • Finish: Refreshing crisp and dry.

Gin Tasting Evening at Waterhead

Waterhead regularly hosts Gin Tasting Evenings with special guest speakers. To keep up-to-date with all future gin tasting evenings at Waterhead take a look at the events page for our upcoming events, also look out for our monthly gin blog.

The Waterhead is currently stocking Pickering’s Gin as their Gin of the Month, when you are next at Waterhead Bar & Grill make sure its a must try! Hope you enjoy.

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