How to Plan the Perfect Gin Distillery Tour
If you are a gin lover, you may know that gin is crafted by combining juniper berries (and possibly a few other botanicals) with neutral grain-based alcohol to create the distinctive spirit you adore. The botanicals are blended into the raw spirit along with whatever different spices, fruits, and floral aspects are desired to make for a more interesting and aromatic favour.
For the perfect gin distillery tour a bit of research and planning can see you setting up for the ideal weekend away for you and your gin-loving friends. With distilleries throughout the United Kingdom, you need to decide which you would most like to visit. There’s a gin distillery for everyone’s taste and some offer more than others. From virtual tours to live interactive tours to gin pairings to gin tastings to “make your own”, there is so much to choose from. If you don’t already have a favourite, you may believe that any distillery tour will do the trick – but this is not so. Not every tour is created equal as each one aims to offer a one-of-a-kind adventure. So, you need to get stuck in and do your homework, read reviews, ask questions on social media sites, and listen to word-of-mouth recommendations.
Every distillery has its own unique method, and tours can highlight different aspects of a distillery’s unique personality. If you are planning a weekend away, why not find a few close to where you will be staying and sample the wares! You will not only be supporting local businesses, but you will learn more about your favourite tipple and maybe even determine a favourite brand or distiller.
History is the first essential component of distillery tours. Each distillery has its own narrative and so tours often begin with a trip down memory lane. Here guests can learn about the families and challenges faced in starting the gin distillery.
Distil the Process
The next component of a perfect tour is an overview of the gin-making process. Every distillery does it a little differently, but the idea is the same: take tourists on a trip through the process of creation. The importance of simplicity cannot be overstated. The finest tours break down the process step by step in simple terms so that everyone can comprehend what’s going on.
The aim is to teach you everything you need to know about the distillation process and botanicals, but do you really want to know about the labour-intensive processes and complicated chemical and technological operations and techniques?
Gin School – Craft Distillery Basics
If you do wish to take your learning a step further, perhaps you should investigate distilleries that offer “gin school courses”. Perhaps you even want to pursue the idea of starting your own handmade distillery and gin brand? For hobby and professional gin producers interested in developing their own distinctive small-batch gin recipes, there are 5- and 6-day distilling courses, as well as 1-day intensive gin school programmes on offer. Distilling is an exciting industry to join, but make sure you walk in with your eyes wide open.
The Proof is in the Tasting
Now, we’ve arrived at the most important part of any fantastic tour: the tasting. You just cannot leave a distillery without sampling its products and learning about the many tasting notes that the master distiller is producing.
Different distilleries provide different tastings, but the ones where you can talk about your favourites, compare notes, ask questions, and swap anecdotes with friends, other guests, and your guide, are usually the most popular.
When planning on taking a gin distillery tour (or three or four!), it’s best to do some research and understand what you hope to achieve from the tour.