plant-based ingredients |  essence of Wales | flavour journeys

Botanical Summary

Spirit of Wales Distillery

At the Spirit of Wales’ Distillery, we pride ourselves on using plant-based ingredients, including botanicals, natural essences, herbs, spices, grains, and wheat in our products. Each of our Welsh spirits has a finely selected assortment of botanicals, capturing the essence of Wales and Newport, where we distil our products. Setting us apart, we make slight or bold changes to our spirits with our Spirit of Wales’ flavour journeys.

What Spirit of Wales Distillery botanicals and flavours would you like to discover? Explore our range of botanicals and then try our distinct Welsh Vodka, Spiced Rum and Gins.

Steeltown Gin



Juniper is the key botanical in a gin spirit and the only botanical legally required. Despite its name, it is the densely packed cone of a coniferous plant and not a berry, going a long way in explaining its unexpected flavour. Full of resinous pine notes and backed up with hints of citrus because of its high content of the essential oil Pinene.

There are around 50 species of Juniper found around the world. It is primarily Juniperus Communis used in gin. We use heaps of in our first release Welsh Gin, sourced from the alpine regions of Southern Europe, primarily Bulgaria.

Coriander Seed

Coriander Seed is another staple botanical in Gin. Unlikely the leaf, the dried seed lacks the overpowering flavour of the leaf that often gives Coriander a bad name. Once dried, the aroma of the seed mellows out resulting in subtle woody citrus hints, due to it containing the essential oil linalool.

We use a good amount of Coriander in our Steeltown Gin as it compliments Juniper so well, providing body to the spirit and a dryness. We source our coriander from Eastern Europe, primarily Romania.

Lemon Peel

For us, it would not be Gin without a helping of mouth-watering citrus. Lemon Peel adds a brightness to Gin that opens with the addition of Tonic, provided by the essential oil Limonene.

The top note of Steeltown Gin is characterised by the intermingling of resinous pine and refreshing citrus aromas and is the profile that becomes immediately apparent on the first sip. We source our Lemon Peel from Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, primarily Spain.

Grapefruit Peel

Grapefruit packs a punch both in aroma and flavour, nothing wakes you up in the morning quite like Grapefruit.

With a more complex aroma profile than Lemon Peel, due to the essential oil Grapefruit Mercaptan, Grapefruit Peel adds intrigue to the top note of our Steeltown Gin. We source our Grapefruit Peel from the Mediterranean, primarily Spain and Turkey.

Orange Peel – Future Addition

Orange Peel is fragrant and sweet in Aroma and differs from Lemon Peel due to a small variation in the essential oil Limonene it contains.

Although not in the first distillery release of our Steeltown Gin, named 1st Release gin for this reason, we are currently working it into the recipe to provide additional complexity and complete our citrus top note. We source our Orange Peel from Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, primarily Spain and Morocco.

Cardamom Seed

The pungent aroma of Cardamom is resultant from high concentrations of the essential oils, Eugenol and Menthol. These oils act to both open your sinuses and get your mouth-watering.

We use Cardamom sparingly in our Steeltown Gin, to centre its herbaceous floral mid note and enhance the length of finish on the palate – sourced from Central American, primarily Guatemala.


Although native to the Mediterranean, Rosemary has settled very well in the coastal regions of South Wales and is used widely in cuisine as an accompaniment to the famed Welsh Lamb. Fragrantly herbaceous, Rosemary has high contents of the essential oil Camphor.

Rosemary sits above the pot when we distil our Steeltown Gin, and the vapours delicately extract the essential oils we require as they pass up through our Gin Still, Laura. We source our Grapefruit Peel from the Mediterranean, primarily Spain, Turkey, and Morocco.

Heather – Future Addition

The Lowland Heaths of South Wales are known for their impressive late summer blooms of Heather. Containing essential oils Ursolic Acid and Oleonolic Acid, amongst others, results in a balance of lighter floral notes and heavier musky tones.

Again, although not in the first distillery release of our Steeltown Gin, we are currently working it into the recipe to add to our herbaceous floral mid note. We source our Heather from Central Europe, primarily Germany and Poland.

Lavender – Future Addition

Like Rosemary, although native to the Mediterranean, Lavender is commonly found coastal gardens of South Wales. A distinctive aroma yet versatile aroma sets it aside from other flora, due to it wide range of essential oils including Linalyl Acetate, Linalool and Limonene.

Again, although not in the first distillery release of our Steeltown Gin, we are currently working it into the recipe to add to our herbaceous floral mid note. We source our Lavender from Southern Europe, primarily France and Albania.

Angelica Root

A relative of Celery, Angelica Root has a complex and all-encompassing fresh and herbaceous aroma, containing the essential oils Pinene, Camphene and Myrcene.  For this reason, it is frequently used in Gin to contribute to its base note, filling in the gap sin the flavour profile and adding to the body of the Gin.

We source our Angelica Root from Western and Central Europe, primarily Belgium and Germany.

Orris Root

Orris Root, the root of the Iris Plant, is a common ingredient of most perfumes and Gin due to its properties as a fixative, allowing a liquid to retain essential oils from longer – prolonging its flavour and aroma. The essential oil that plays this key role, Myristic Acid, is only present in Orris Root after an extensive 5-year drying period.

We use Orris Root in combination with Angelica Root to provide the foundation of the base note of our Steeltown gin – sourced from the Mediterranean, primarily Italy, Albania, and Morocco.

Cassia Bark

Cassia Bark is also known as Chinese Cinnamon and gives distinctive peppery cinnamon note found fireball sweets and liqueurs, due to its high levels of the essential oil Cinnamaldehyde.

Cassia Bark is used in our Steeltown Gin to add a bit of fire to the finish and sweetness. We source Cassia bark from East Asia, primarily Vietnam and Indonesia.

Liquorice Root

Liquorice is key component of a Gin Distiller’s tool kit. When use in appropriate quantities, the essential oil Anethole can add sweetness to a Gin and improve its mouthfeel – without contributing an overbearing anise flavour.

We source Liquorice Root from Europe, primarily Spain.

Fennel Seed

Fennel is highly aromatic, and the seeds again contain the essential oil Anethole, in addition to Estragole and Fenchone, giving a pleasant sweet and anise aroma.

We source Fennel Seed from the Mediterranean, primarily Turkey.

Dragon’s Breath



Vanilla is a rich and decadent pod, with perfumed nuances of wood and smoke, containing the essential oil vanillin.

We use Vanilla in our Dragon’s Breath Spiced Rum to sweeten it up and provide a canvas for the rest of the spices to paint their picture upon. We source our Vanilla from Madagascar.


Cinnamon is full of warming spice and sweetness due to a high content of Cinnamaldehyde and a huge variety of other essential oils.

Cinnamon adds the signature warmth to our Dragon’s Breath Spiced Rum and an addit5ional bittersweetness. Our Cinnamon is sourced primarily from Sri Lanka.


Despite their first woody appearance, Cloves are in fact, tightly closed flower buds. Containing large amounts of Eugenol, Cloves are highly aromatic.

We use a small number of Cloves to fragrance our Dragon’s Breath Spiced Rum, making it lively on the nose. We source our Cloves primarily from Sri Lanka.


Also known as Pimento, it was given the name all spice due to having the aroma characteristics of several other spices.

Allspice gives our Dragon’s Breath Spiced Rum heaps of complexity in aroma – sourced primarily from Guatemala.

Orange Peel

Orange Peel adds a citrus sweetness to our Dragon’s Breath Spiced Rum, complementing the dried fruitiness of the base White Rum that we use.

Cassia Bark

We Add Cassia Bark right at the end of the maceration period of our Dragon’s Breath Spiced Rum to intensify the fiery spice and sweetness that we are looking for.


Make Your Own Gin Botanicals

In Addition to Steeltown Gin Botanicals Above
  • Baobab Fruit
  • Grains of Paradise
  • Cubeb
  • Pink Peppercorn
  • Allspice
  • Cloves
  • Fennel Seed
  • Cinnamon
  • Rose
  • Darjeeling Tea
  • Lavender
  • Raspberry Leaf
  • Nettle Leaves
  • Rosehip
  • Elderflower
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Meadowsweet
  • Butterfly Pea
  • Sarsaparilla Root
  • Amaranth Seeds
  • Rhubarb root
  • Ginger
  • Wormwood

Dragon’s Breath

Make Your Own Gin Botanicals

In Addition to Dragon’s Breath Botanicals Above
  • Grains of Paradise
  • Cubeb
  • Pink Peppercorn
  • Sarsaparilla Root
  • Amaranth Seeds
  • Ginger
  • Cocoa Nibs
  • Coffee Beans

Find out more about our award-winning range of Steeltown Welsh Gins and Vodka, or indulge in our range of curiously Welsh Dragon's Breath Welsh Rums, Smoked Vodka, or Absinthe.

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