A Scottish distiller has found a novel way to recycle the botanical by-products from the gin distilling process by using them to create an innovative beard balm.

Illicit Spirits stated that they take the residue left in their gin still, filtering out the solids (which are then composted) before reducing the resulting liquid down to a syrup to concentrate the essential oils.

Illicit Botanical Beard Balm

This is then mixed with Argan oil, Shea butter and Beeswax to create a natural balm that “enhances and nourishes beards”.

Darran Edmond, who founded the distillery in a railway arch in Glasgow last year after graduating from Heriot-Watt and the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling, announced the new product this week on social media stating that it would soon be available to buy (£10 for 60ml) online.

Illicit Botanical Beard Balm

Darran said: “Any gin distiller will tell you that the smell that greets you upon opening a still after a distillation is amazing, and we decided it was a shame to just pour this concentrated mixture of botanicals and essential oils that don’t make it out of the pot down the drain.

“As a bearded man myself, I realised that the aroma was akin to something you’d find a a beard oil-type product, and that we could create something similar just by concentrating the oils and adding a couple more ingredients.

“After a bit of research on Google, we also found out that a lot of the essential oils found in the botanicals – juniper, sweet orange, cinnamon, clove – have beneficial properties for your hair and skin anyway, so it all sort of made sense. As well as being a cool product it helps us reduce waste, so it’s a win-win.”

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About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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