A GIN distilled on a farm in east cork, using alcohol made from the milk of local cows, has been awarded a prestigious gold medal in the biggest competition for alcoholic spirits in the world.
Distilled at Ballyvolane House in Castlelyons, ‘Bertha’s Revenge’ Irish milk gin was awarded the prize after it was blind-tasted by experts as part of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Produced by close friends Justin Green and Anthony Jackson, who have known each other since they were 13 years-old, the gin is distilled using whey alcohol that comes from a dairy farm in Carbery.
“One of the main reasons we chose whey alcohol was because we wanted to make a fully Irish product,” Justin Green told the Evening Echo, adding that most grain alcohol is produced overseas.
‘Bertha’s Revenge’ is hand-crafted using this whey alcohol as well as natural well water from Ballyvolane House and a mix of 18 foraged and grown botanicals.
“Carbery really were pioneers when it comes to using whey alcohol,” Mr Green added.
“It’s a fantastic use for adding value to something that otherwise would be a waste product, either fed to pigs or spread on the land.”
There were more than 2,200 entries to the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. “We sent our bottle in six months ago then it went on to be blind tasted by experts and we heard the news last week that Bertha was a gold-medal winner,” Mr Green said.
‘Bertha’s Revenge’ was also awarded the prestigious ‘Irish Drink Award’ at the ‘Irish Food Writers’ Guild Awards’ earlier this year.
The friends produce between 500 to 700 bottles per week, with hopes to start exporting to the US and Japan later this year.
‘Bertha’s Revenge’ was named in honour of the oldest living cow in the world, Big Bertha who lived to be almost 49-years-old.