Just in time for the holidays, Full Circle Craft Distillers Co.’s award-winning craft spirits are now available in California and New York, offering an opportunity this holiday season for the Filipino-American community on both the East and West coasts to celebrate with the very best from the Philippines.
Located on the foothills of Mount Makiling in the lush, tropical province of Laguna, Philippines, the country’s first authentic craft distillery, Full Circle, was established to promote the very best of the Philippines and place the country on the global spirits map. It is now proving to be a game changer in the craft spirits industry.
Just a year out the gate, ARC Botanical Gin and its sister spirits have garnered international recognition and medals, including two Gold medals at the prestigious World Gin Awards in London in January 2019, two Gold medals at the SIP Awards in March 2019 in California, and two Silvers at the highly-competitive World Spirits Awards in Austria, the first Philippine entrant in the event’s history.
These industry accolades come on the heels of Full Circle being recognized as “Philippines Distillery of the Year” at the Hong Kong International Spirits Competition in 2018, and Silver medals bestowed by the Cathay Pacific International Wine & Spirit Competition.
A number of influential online reviews have lauded ARC Botanical Gin, including the leading gin blog site in Germany, Ginvasion.de, which ranked ARC 9.9 out of 10, the highest score on its global leader-board, and named the spirit “one of the best Gins of the world.”
The industry-leading, Singapore-based The Bar Awards also just named Full Circle as one of the “2019 Asian Gin makers to Watch,” the first-ever Philippine distillery to make the list.
Focused on precision, excellence and authenticity, Full Circle’s state-of-the-art, PEZA-registered distillery in Calamba, Laguna, features a fully-automated, state-of-the-art 450-liter CARL copper pot still from Germany, considered the Rolls Royce of distilling.
From the beginning, the idea behind Full Circle was to use its flagship spirit, ARC Botanical Gin, as a way to promote and highlight the beauty of the Philippines, and its wondrous array of botanicals, from citrus to mango to exotic flowers.
Award-winning ARC Botanical Gin is handcrafted from 28 botanicals, 22 of which are sourced and foraged from across the Philippines. This citrus-forward, botanically-rich gin highlights supply chains of native botanicals to illustrate the incredible beauty of the Philippines—from pomelos from Davao to freshly–foraged Benguet pine buds from Sagada, to dalandan oranges from Quezon Province. Full Circle also uses fresh mango in their recipe, sourced from their family farm in Dasol, Pangasinan.
Each native botanical sourced from a different province in the Philippines has a story to tell. In a sense, ARC Botanical Gin tells the story of the Philippines, and with each refreshing sip, you are enjoying an exquisite taste of the archipelago.
Full Circle’s cofounders, Matthew and Laurie Westfall, spent over 4 years perfecting their gin recipe, working closely with Europe’s leading Master Distiller, Dr. Klaus Hagmann, the creative genius behind some of the world’s best craft gin brands.
The team worked through some 35 variations of their flagship gin recipe, with a year of test distilling on their 25-liter pilot still at the plant in Calamba, until they achieved near perfection. They then scaled the recipe up to their newly-commissioned CARL still, and the results were incredible—achieving all the flavor and aroma notes they hoped to hit, and then some.
To craft their spirits, Full Circle sources its premium base alcohol from Europe’s leading premium beverage alcohol supplier, Cristalco in France, which is GMP-certified and operates at the highest standards in the industry. Derived from French winter wheat grown by local farmers in the fertile Champagne region, and distilled from the whole kernel, the base alcohol provides a crisp, clean mouth feel that one cannot achieve with a local cane distillate.
Full Circle was established to put the best foot forward for the Philippines, through a line of spirits handcrafted with both passion and authenticity, and which demonstrate pride of place in every drop. At this early juncture, we can easily say they are well on their way, and for spirits enthusiasts in California and New York, just in time for the holidays!