Iron Balls – Thailand’s Craft Gin

Ashley Sutton is an Australian club and bar designer who created the concepts for The Iron Fairies, The Bookshop, and Sing Sing. All his establishments pay attention to every little detail which never goes unnoticed. After being in Bangkok and sharing his ideas with all his clients for many years, Ash decided to create his own place: A.R. Sutton Engineers Siam Bar which eventually got renamed to Iron Balls.

In 2015, Ash successfully obtained a distillery license in Thailand (it had been 31 years since a new license was allowed!) to create Thailand’s first craft gin: Iron Balls. We are extremely excited to be one of the distributors for his products. Ash imported the best stills he could find from Germany and engineered the distillery’s hybrid distillation system himself. The time from inception to production took three and a half years, over 600 recipes, 2,000 runs and all the money he had.

The production of Iron Balls is extremely limited owing to the small distillery size, with master distiller Ash Sutton choosing the highest quality possible ingredients to create a truly artisan spirit. Much of the production process and ingredients are not open to the public and are kept secret but he does share that the distillation uses freshly cracked coconuts and pineapples with hints of juniper, hillside ginger and lemongrass. You may also taste some cinnamon or nutmeg, a kick of black pepper and/or coriander seeds. It smells extremely fruity and the sweetness from the pineapple comes through very strongly.

In a review we read, the author said it tasted more like a flavored vodka than a gin, in the sense that it lacked the piney, raw juniper quality that is typical for most gins. Iron Balls overall pushed the limits of what can be defined as a gin. You could tell how much time and effort had been put into the gin, from the handcrafted glass bottles reminiscent of an old naval mine sliced in half, to the handwritten batch number written by hand, to the beautiful liquid gold contained within. You can’t miss the slogan written across the label of the beautiful bottle: “you always have options if you have balls.”

On their website, it’s recommended to serve with a few slices of pineapple, basil leaves, and a slice of lime – how refreshing! With this, it makes for very pleasant sipping. My mouth is watering now… it’s definitely time to place an order of a bottle of Iron Balls Gin on the Gulp website for only 1,800 Baht. By the way, they also make an Iron Balls Vodka which we sell for 1,400 Baht!