Let’s start by saying we love Arc gin! For us, it’s a gin that is very much part of our own love affair, as we received a bottle from our friend as a wedding gift. And as Giselle is from the Philippines, it holds a special place in our gin collection. It’s a reminder of home, with zesty pomelo and fragrant botanicals picked from the islands. So we were excited when we saw that Arc were making an appearance at Junipalooza London and made sure we stopped by to catch up with Matthew and Laurie Westfall, the husband and wife team behind Full Circle Craft Distillers to talk about their Arc gin.
Matthew, an American from Massachusetts and Laurie, a native Filipina, run the distillery with their two assistants. Matthew’s grandfather was a chemist and distiller who extracted the flavours from tropical fruits for a line of soft drinks and became a Filipino citizen, so there is history both with the country and with distilling that goes way back.
It’s great to hear the passion with which they both talk about their products and their desire to create something of great quality to reflect the diversity of the islands (of which there are 7107!), and to show the world that the biggest gin drinking nation on the planet doesn’t have to just drink poor quality gin.
Full Circle create three products – their Lava Rock vodka, which is filtered through lava rock from local volcanoes, their flagship Archipelago botanical gin (or Arc for short), and their Arc Barrel Reserve, where their Arc gin is rested in new American Oak barrels which have been given a medium long “toast”. This allows the oak to give rich aromas and adds a complexity to the spirit.
Arc gin is an explosion of fresh citrus pomelo on the nose and a rich floral fragrance that hints of far away lands and exotic botanicals.
To taste there is a big forward hit from the pomelo and calamansi (a native sour lime type fruit), followed by a juniper spiciness and finishing with nicely balanced citrus and cardamom.
Unfortunately, Full Circle don’t yet have a distributor here in the UK, which is a shame as we think it would find a ready market, but we’ll be the first to tell you when it is available to buy on these shores!