Steel Bonnets: Encapsulating the History of the Border Reivers | The Lakes Distillery Steel Bonnets: Encapsulating the History of the Border Reivers – The Lakes Distillery

We’re proud to announce the launch of Steel Bonnets, a world’s first of bringing together English and Scotch Malt whiskies.

Created with the highest quality malt whiskies from both sides of the border, ‘Steel Bonnets’ is a combination of The Lakes Single Malt from England and some of the most respected malts from Scotland.

We have created Steel Bonnets in honour of the memory of those people who lived in the Border Marches of England and Scotland during the 13th – 17th century.

Nigel Mills CBE, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Lakes Distillery, said: “It was very important to us that our geographical location, its people and its culture were recognised in this new blended malt whisky, ‘Steel Bonnets’. The Border Reivers were an integral part of Border history in the 300 years leading up to the union between England and Scotland in 1707, which eventually brought peace to this battle-strewn land.”

At the time, this Frontier territory, so distant from Crown control of both nations, proved difficult to govern. In fact, the people of the Border Marches did not see themselves as either English or Scottish, and therefore developed a certain independence of spirit that set them against the world.

In early English, to ‘reive’ is to rob, and from this were born ‘The Border Reivers’, nicknames the ‘Steel Bonnets’ after the ‘burgonet’ or ‘morion’ helmets they wore for protection.

Robber and blackmailer became everyday professions. Raiding, arson, kidnapping, murder and extortion were just an accepted part of life. These were not acts committed merely for personal gain, but family survival. Clans both sides of the border claimed allegiance to Kin not Kingdom. Inter-marriage further strengthened family bonds, creating a unique blend of people that lived, loved and died for each other.

Today the borderlands are, thankfully, a more law-abiding place, yet still retain a strong sense of community and distinct character born of times gone by. Steel Bonnets is a blend of kindred spirits – malt whiskies from both England and Scotland. At its heart is single malt whisky from The Lakes Distillery, created with love and great care in the Lake District National Park.

The Lakes Distillery Master Whiskymaker, Dhavall Gandhi, said: “I handpicked the individual malt whiskies to create a unique blend – something that has never been tried before. The whisky, at 46.6% ABV, has a creamy, slightly nutty and full-bodied flavour with notes of vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and hints of dried fruit. All held together with a sweet layer of woodsmoke. A fitting tribute to the history of the Border families.”

Steel Bonnets
So, raise a glass to family and friends, may they be of the past, present or future.

So, raise a glass to family and friends, may they be of the past, present or future.

Is your surname Armstrong, Maxwell, Johnston, Graham, Bell, Scott, Nixon, Ridley, Carlton or Robson? If so, did you know that your family history may well be connected to the Border Reivers? These families are now spread all over the world and ‘Steel Bonnets’ is the perfect way to celebrate that illustrious history of family loyalty and comradeship.

If you have any interesting stories about your family history, do get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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