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Creating gin flavour – the effect of different stills etc

Paul Hughes

Professor Paul Hughes (Heriot-Watt University/ Institute of Brewing & Distilling)

Paul originally trained as a chemist, and worked with the Health and Safety Executive and the Brewing Research Foundation. After a nine-year sojourn in Surrey, Paul moved to Heineken Technical Services in the Netherlands, heading up a programme of international research projects.

In 2005 Paul joined Heriot-Watt University, assuming the role of director of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling. He is currently professor of brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University and heads up distilling and research activities in Edinburgh.

Heriot-Watt University and the ICBD
Brewing education began at Heriot-Watt in 1904, a programme focused on training practising brewers. In 1966 Heriot-Watt began awarding bachelor degrees and, following a review carried out 20 years later, the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling was formed in the late 1980’s. With funding provided principally by the distilling industry (the SWA, Suntory), the Centre established an honours degree in brewing and distilling, and has developed postgraduate degree offers for both on-campus and distance learning students.

Investment in infrastructure, particularly pilot plants, has provided hands-on practical experience for budding brewers and distillers alike. The teaching programmes are complemented by a selective research activity which, in terms of distilling, includes work to understand the impact of distillation on flavour recovery and quality for gin production, the utilisation of co-products and development of analysis-sensory relationships for distilled spirits.

• The term gin evokes a range of conflicting emotions: from sophisticated clubs to gin palaces
• We have already heard that the regulations permit substantial latitude for gin production
• So much that can be altered, where to start?
• Here we review these variables and their potential impact on the product
• (Focus here is on products made with externally-sourced GNS)