Aber Falls distills first gin on Snowdon summit

Welsh gin and future whisky distillery, Aber Falls, has teamed up with the Snowdon Mountain Railway to produce the first gin to be distilled 1,085 metres above sea level at the mountain summit.

Image: Phil Tragen

Taking the gin craze to new heights last week, Aber Falls Distillery, based in north Wales, climbed Snowdon to distill a bottle of gin made with botanicals foraged from the mountain.

The aptly-named Summit Gin: the Mountaineers Cut was produced in a mini one-litre copper pot still and included botanicals such as sloe berries and heather. The bottle will now be auctioned off in aid of Wales Air Ambulance.

Also joining the team at the peak was the 2018 winner of the Morning Advertiser’s Bartender of the Year Award, Alex Mills, of Cardiff’s Lab 22. Mills created a special summit serve called A’r ben y brig to warm up walkers on the day.

James Wright, managing director at Aber Falls, commented: “With gin’s booming popularity, together with the demand for small-batch, locally-made spirits, we saw an opportunity to make our mark by putting our distilling expertise to the test, to produce the first-ever gin at the top of Snowdon. By drawing on a cocktail of local botanicals from the mountainside, this gin really reflects the region of North Wales – you can’t get more authentic than that”.

Aber Falls, based in Abergwyngregyn, is set to release its first whisky in 2020, having already released a Welsh Dry Gin, flavoured gins and gin-based liqueurs. It is currently constructing a permanent visitor centre complete with restaurant and music performance space.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway dates back to 1896 and welcomes 130,000 visitors a year. The Welsh Air Ambulance service, which has bases in Llanelli, Caernarfon, Welshpool and Cardiff, is solely reliant on charitable donations in order to raise the £6.5 million a year required to keep its helicopters in the air. It has carried out more than 29,000 missions since it was established in 2001.

Scroll through for a selection of images from the distilling and foraging mission.

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