September's Gin of the Month is here! In fact, 3 gins are here! Craft Gin Club Members are enjoying Burleigh's Signature Edition, Distiller's Cut and Export Strength - all Spirits of Adventure from the 45 West Distillery.
Every month, Craft Gin Club Members receive expertly selected craft gins from the world's best artisan distillers. Each parcel is full of surprises! To get these incredible surprise gin parcels, become a Craft Gin Club Member for £10 off your first bottle with the code SEPTGIN10.
True to the intrepid nature of Burleigh’s Master Distiller Jamie Baxter, the 45 West Distillery proclaims its products to be “Spirits of Adventure.” If you find yourself a bit too timid to jump right into the distiller’s daring drink, perhaps another of Jamie’s passions will help ease you in. That’s right. The best introduction to the 45 West Distillery is musical and it’s just a quick YouTube search away.
Local Leicestershire band Jersey Budd - who Jamie describes as “fantastic” - visited the distillery one day and composed a song about their experience. Jamie and Co. complemented the music with some images of the distillery to create a video calling card used to present the distillery and the skills of Baxter’s consulting firm, Exigo.
The song itself, Messy Bessy Blues, is named after the distillery’s still, Messy Bessy. Jamie came up with the moniker while listening to his iPod on his way to the distillery one day, the song Messy Bessy by 1940s bandleader and rock n’ roll pioneer, Louis Jordan, piping through his headphones.
Although Jordan sings about Bessy’s whiskey drinking, her still alter-ego produces gin. Furthermore, the copper Messy Bessy doesn’t come from the home of R&B, rather she hails from the land of Oomp-ha bands, Germany, specifically the Bavarian town of Markdorff near Lake Constance.
Messy Bessy began spilling out gin in the spring of 2014 in buildings number 4 and 5 at the Bawdon Lodge Farm. By happenstance, Phil Burley ran businesses from the address 4-5 West Lee Avenue. The name “45 West Distillers” pretty much created itself.
When you visit 45 West, you not only get the chance to taste Jamie’s gin but you can also try your best at besting Jamie’s genius: Messy Bessy has a litter of eleven mini-stills that are the centrepiece of the 45 West Gin School (see next page). Visitors to the school learn not only how Burleigh’s is made but also have the opportunity to make their own gin. Jamie jokes that his students do his product development for him.
Apart from gin, 45 West plans to produce flavoured vodkas which Jamie calls “just gin without the juniper berries,” as well as spirits such as absinthe and schnapps. He’s not sure if they’ll sell in the UK but he’s not bothered - he likes various spirits so much he’ll drink them all himself!
So as you enjoy your Burleigh’s Gin, be sure to join the adventurous Jamie with a little adventure of your own - a trip to the 45 West Distillery. You’ll leave with a wealth of gin knowledge, your own bottle of bespoke gin, and maybe a few new spirits on the side.