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Six Dogs Distillery

The Six Dogs story begins in a garden shed...

“At Six Dogs it’s about waking up every day and loving what we do. It’s about setting out to create the finest spirits we can, one batch at a time. It is about creating something extraordinary. Something to be proud of. That’s who we are”

Charles Bryant Six Dogs Creator

The Six Dogs story begins in a garden shed, a space that until Gin came along belonged to Charles Bryant’s six dogs – Obelix, Cloud, Bodrum, Flea, Blue and Midget. The aim was to create something totally unique and really quite special, using a custom still forged from the bones of a copper geyser.

No one really knows where the Karoo in South Africa begins and ends. We do know, however, that in our little valley of De Wet, nestled between the Breede River Valley and the Hex River Valley, the wild things grow. We use some of these wild plants in our Gin, also growing our own botanicals whilst supporting neighbouring farmers who grow specific fruit for us. Our Distillery was built with a view of the mountains from which we get the purest mountain water to make our Gin.

There are 11 botanicals featured in Karoo Gin in total, half of which are local. These are either grown on the farm (lemon buchu, Persian limes, mandarin) or harvested from the wild (Acacia thorn tree and wild lavender). Then there’re the ingredients that anchor this in a more ginny direction – juniper, angelica, cassia and chamomile and it is the cunning marriage of the two and the subtlety in which locality is matched by classicism that makes Karoo Gin special.

Tasted neat, cassia leaps right up on the tongue, though the gin has clearly had a great deal of copper contact, as there’s no burn whatsoever. It’s soft and gentle, despite the fire.

Neat, it’s impressive, but with tonic, it’s a whole other story. The botanicals swirl together in one big exotic mess, creating something that can be none other than the taste of the Karoo. There are sherbet lemon sweets, succulents and shrubbery.

There are great bursts of vivid pink flowers exploding on the tongue. There’s juniper,
of course, and plenty of it. It’s all there, but it’s there as one.

Six Dogs Blue Gin

All you need to know about Six Dogs Blue Gin

The bold blue liquid and curious colour-changing ability of Six Dogs Blue Gin set
tongues wagging for all the right reasons.

The beautiful blue – not a colour often found in nature – is derived from the flower of
the Blue Pea plant. It’s entirely natural and there are no artificial colouring agents or
other additives in this Gin.

The botanical name for Blue Pea is Clitoria Ternatea! Take a look at the flower – there’s a picture of it on the label and on the box – and you’ll see why the flower has that botanical name.

The colour changes to pink when a good tonic is added. This is the magic of Six Dogs Blue Gin. The Blue Pea flower reflects the pH (acidity or alkalinity) of the mix, and as tonic is more acidic, the colour will change to a light pink when it’s added. The same colour-changing effect occurs if a slice of lemon is added to the gin as lemon is more acidic.

The mystical Blue Pea flower and Rose Pelargonium are the standout botanicals in Six Dogs Blue Gin, which also boasts Juniper, Naartjie, Angelica, and Coriander.

Six Dogs Blue embodies the freshness of a classic dry gin but offers two infusions
whose combination is previously unknown in the world of gin: the Blue Pea which
provides an earthy ‘cut-grass’ layer; and Rose Pelargonium, which gives our Gin its
refreshing lightness and Rose characteristics.

Six Dogs Pinotage Stained Gin

All you need to know about Six Dogs Pinotage Stained Gin

Six Dogs Pinotage Stained is deep in colour and bold in flavour. It is the newest
member of the pack.

Six Dogs Pinotage Stained get its colour whole berry pinotage grapes, which are
carefully handpicked and added to waiting tanks of Gin, which naturally infuse the
liquid with their colour and flavour profile. The dark, wine-like hue is entirely natural
and there are no artificial colouring agents or other additives in this Gin.

The distinguishing botanicals in Six Dogs Pinotage Stained are whole berry pinotage
grapes. These are what make this Gin so special and truly South African while other
noteworthy botanicals include juniper, cassia bark, angelica and coriander.

The overall taste sensation of Six Dogs Pinotage Stained embodies the freshness of a
classic dry gin but offers the infusion of a uniquely South African cultivar: pinotage
grapes. Sip it and you’ll taste notes of black cherry, plum, blackcurrant and some tannin. While each year’s grapes bring unique (albeit subtle) variants in taste, the
juniper-forward flavour is consistent with each batch.

The best way to enjoy is to sip it neat over ice or dilute with a splash of good tonic to
create a fusion of terroir, cultivar and the finest Gin Six Dogs can make. If you like to
add garnish, we recommend frozen red grapes or a slice of fresh citrus.

Six Dogs Karoo Gin

All you need to know about Six Dogs Karoo Gin

Six Dogs Karoo Gin was the very first product to come out of Six Dogs Distillery. It took exactly 187 iterations and over two years of trials to get this Gin perfectly balanced and to our liking.

Our farm, where our Gin is made, intersects three different bioregions including the
succulent Karoo. It is from here that we gather the Karoo thorn flower and wild
lavender that make our Gin unique amongst all the gins in the world.

We use a neutral cane spirit as the base for our Six Dogs Karoo Gin as it doesn’t have much smell or taste, which means the aromas of our Karoo botanicals can come through beautifully.

Six Dogs Karoo is a delicate and balanced Gin of twelve select botanicals, including the Karoo thorn flower (known as a ‘doringboom’ or ‘soetdoring’ in Afrikaans), wild lavender and farm-grown lemon buchu. Known as South Africa’s “miracle herb”, lemon buchu is an ingenious plant with a refreshing citrus flavour. Buchu is known for its health benefits and is often used to treat inflammation.

Six Dogs Karoo is a London Dry style gin. Sip it and you will pick up the paired notes of juniper and wild lavender that introduce the Karoo. What follows is a fresh medley of citrus including limes, mandarins and farm-grown lemon buchu.

Six Dogs Karoo can be enjoyed neat over ice or with a splash of good Indian tonic. As the flavours of this Gin are delicate and balanced, it needs no garnish! However if you must add garnish, we recommend a wedge of lime or an orange rind.

It’s because of Six Dogs Karoo Gin that the Six Dogs team was invited to hold the
international bursary spot at Junipalooza gin festival in London in 2018. The festival
owners described Karoo as “nothing short of a holiday in a glass” and wrote a truly
humbling review.

Six Dogs Honey Lime Gin

All you need to know about Six Dogs Honey Lime Gin

Six Dogs Honey Lime is the inevitable result of a sustainability project that began when South African bee conservation company, Bee Smiths, approached us to relocate rescued bees to the farm where our distillery is situated.

While our six dogs soon learnt to keep a respectful distance from the hives, we learnt that the combination of farm honey and home-grown limes, when blended with the finest botanical spirit, proved irresistible.

Sip it and you will taste a subtle sweetness that cuts through the zestiness of the limes. Six Dogs Honey Lime is best enjoyed with ice and a good Indian tonic on a hot summer’s day.

Six Dogs XO Pot Stilled Brandy

All you need to know about Six Dogs XO Pot Stilled Brandy

At Six Dogs we set out to uncover the finest vats of aged Brandy in South Africa. Our aim was to create the smoothest brandy possible.

In collaboration with renowned South African brandy distillers, we made our selection from different distilleries and different vats before beginning the blending process. Made from Chenin Blanc and Colombar grapes from the Western Cape Wine region, each brandy selected has been double distilled in copper pot stills and aged in small French oak barrels for a minimum period of ten years.

To enhance the warm tone and smoothness of the blend we introduced a very small
quantity of hand-harvested fynbos honey from our own hives, and then blended down to the lowest alcohol level permitted in brandy in SA, namely 38% ABV. The result is Six Dogs XO Brandy, complex and smooth on the palate with flavours of peach and apricot and a hint of coconut, and a lingering aftertaste of honey, passion fruit, dried peaches, dates and fig.

Smooth enough to appeal to seasoned Cognac drinkers as well as those new to the spirit. The Brandy is to be released in three small batches – Mahogany, Maple and Oregon – denoting the wood type used on each hand made box that houses the XO Brandy. A collector’s item, each box is individually engraved with a unique number matching the number on the bottle itself.