UNIQUE FLAVOURS AT DISTILLERY 031
DISTILLERY 031, as the dialling code inspired name would suggest, is a Durban-based distillery run by Andrew Rall, the founder and a master distiller. They distil an award-winning range that includes three gins, vodka, rum, brandy, liqueur, absinthe and cachaça, which is made from sugar cane.
Rall has been distilling for about 12 years, with Distillery 031 coming in as the oldest craft distillery in KwaZulu-Natal and one of the first in South Africa.
“We started distilling well before the Cape Town gin boom began,” he said.
Rall has always had an interest in spirits but, for a long time, focused on quantity rather than quality. It was during a period living in the United Kingdom that he spent some time in Scotland and fell in love with single malt whiskies.
“Visiting whisky distilleries sparked an interest in distilling and quality spirits. About 12 years ago, I was drinking with some friends when we started discussing why there were no quality spirits being made in South Africa,” he said.
After some investigation, Rall realised that the only reason that SA didn’t produce great spirits was that no one had tried, so he took it upon himself to give it a bash.
“My passion was (and still is) rum, but along the way, I began to discover amazing craft gins in the United States and Europe and fell in love with gin,” he said.
The distillery leans toward both classic gin botanicals and a few that are unique to KZN.
“We combine botanicals like juniper, coriander, cardamom, and angelica root with unique botanicals like African Rosehip, coffee cherries and then some,” Rall said.
The botanicals are sourced from around the world but, wherever possible, he has tried to use local ingredients.
“The barrels we use for D’Urban Barrel Aged Gin are made with French oak (the same type as used to make Cognac) because they impart a very subtle flavour to the gin. We do use many local ingredients, however.”
Distillery 031 produces D’Urban Dry Gin, D’Urban Scarlet Gin and D’Urban Barrel Aged Gin.
The D’Urban Barrel Aged Gin was the first South African barrel-aged gin to win a gold medal at the Gin Masters in London in 2017.
D’Urban Scarlet Gin uses cascara (the bright fruit from coffee cherries), sourced from Beaver Creek Coffee Estate on the South Coast.