P is for Plymouth Gin Distillery

Published November 15, 2012

It’s been a while since I last went somewhere for the alphabet adventure, but I had this trip in my mind for a while - it was just a matter of getting the logistics together. My P plan was either going to be in Portsmouth or Plymouth. I had wanted to go to the Historic Dockyard, but the Mary Rose still isn’t ready, and I want to go when it’s all ready. So, instead, I headed towards Plymouth and took a tour around the Plymouth Gin distillery.

Now, this is one of those things where you can’t take photographs. In fact, you have to check in your bag and phone so that you don’t create a spark and set the whole place alight. I’m usually against things where you’re not allowed to take photos, but in these circumstances, it seems fair enough.

So, the only real picture I got was this one.

Plymouth distillery

When I got inside, I had to wait around for a while as the people at the shop desk were helping a gentleman with a question about vodka or something. That seemed slightly odd in a gin distillery, but eventually they took my booking information and directed me to the waiting room. For a worrying few minutes, I thought I was going to be the only one on the tour, but thankfully an Australian couple arrived just as the tour guide walked in too.

First we went into a room with a timeline around the wall, and the guide gave us a detailed history of the company - from family firm to subsidiary of the massive drinks companies. Then we went through to the room with giant vats, and got a talk on how the gin is created. The final room was about the specific ingredients that make the gin taste as it does.

This was the most interesting part, as the two rooms before were more static and just involved looking and listening. This final room we got little pots of the ingredients - cardomom and orange peels - and got to sniff, and then taste the gin to try and see if we could identify any of the ingredients in the drink itself.

So, overall, the tour was good, insightful with a great tour guide and a great finish, but it felt quite short and I was surprised when it was over. It’s not massively costly, and there would be more to see if they still bottled the drink there, but that went a long while ago and makes it feel like something is missing. It’s a nice tour if you’re in the area and need something to do for an hour, but I wouldn’t say it was worth seeking out specifically.

I had planned to stay out in Plymouth for a bit and take some pictures of the sea, but the weather took a serious turn for the worse.

It was definitely time to bring this edition of the adventure to a close and wait for the weather to get better again.

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