The Blowing Stone

The award-winning Blowing Stone ‘Ashdown Series’ has been inspired by the rich local heritage surrounding our distillery in the village of Compton, West Berkshire and celebrates the profound impact of this early medieval period on the course of England’s history.

In conceiving and developing the Blowing Stone gins, we have set out to ‘distil history.’ We bring the events of 9th century Wessex to life through both the design of the spirit bottles and through the way in which we have developed the flavour profiles.

The Blowing Stone London Dry has received the award for the best English London Dry, from the World Gin Awards. The panelist described the gin as “A great traditional-style gin with a zing of juniper alongside meadow flowers, herbs, citrus peel, cumin and gingery spices. Good and complex. Some woody notes and some warmth, before a complex, rounded finish. “

The Legend of The Blowing Stone

On the 8th January 871, an Anglo-Saxon army, led by King Ethelred and his younger brother, the future King Alfred the Great was about to face the Viking army…a formidable enemy, intent on establishing Danish rule over the whole of England. Having conquered every other kingdom in England, just one more separated the Vikings from total domination – The Kingdom of Wessex.

Known as ‘The Great Heathen Army,’ the Vikings had been camped at Reading. Marching west into the North Wessex Downs, they were to meet the Wessex Army close to the prehistoric Ridgeway path just outside the village of Compton.

To summon his troops into battle that morning, Alfred blew into an ancient perforated sarsen stone which delivered a loud booming sound across the downs. Known as ‘The Blowing Stone’ this marked the beginning of the Battle of Ashdown from which Alfred emerged victorious.

The Blowing Stone, pictured right, has been moved from its original location and now resides, rather unceremoniously in the front garden of a house!

The Making of The Blowing Stone Gin

The Blowing Stone gins have been lovingly crafted using carefully selected botanicals. Following extensive research of the period, we have selected fruits, herbs and some more unusual ingredients which would have been growing wild or readily available at the time of King Alfred the Great’s reign.

We’ve also included some more exotic spices which would have been imported by spice merchants whose aromas would have regularly filled the royal courts. Furthermore, the honey which smooths our Blowing Stone London Dry is made locally by our own bees.

To capture and balance these flavours, we use a three-part process combining traditional batch pot distillation methods of steeping and infusion with the careful blending of a fragrant botanical tea.

We hope you feel as we do – that the end result is ‘history distilled’.