Where? 60A Haven Rd, Exeter EX2 8DP
How much? £70 for a 90 minute gin crafting experience and educational
How do I book? Book online at www.quaysidedistillery.co.uk
Go Here… Quayside Gin Distillery
Is this possibly the coolest distillery you’ll ever see?
That’s the tagline on the wall of Exeter’s newest artisanal craft distillery, nestled alongside Exeter’s historic quayside. It’s certainly unique. And as you venture on your journey of Quayside Gin discovery, you’ll discover there’s more to that than you first might think.
On arrival we were seriously impressed by the décor of the bar area. Exposed brickwork adds a rustic baseline that you’d expect from a historic location, modernised and complemented by bold wallpapering, low-hanging bulbs and plants galore.
Master Distiller Tom was poised and ready with a friendly smile behind the bar, ready to pour our welcome drink of choice. As we sipped one of Quayside’s very own, our attention moved to peering through the windows behind us, into what looked like a science lab – intriguing.
After settling in, we made our way into the lab and took our seats around a large wooden bench for a fun, informative history of gin. Tom is a brilliant teacher, and with some recent award wins to his name, he knows a thing or two about gin craft.
Anyone who knows a bit about gin or the distillery process might be thinking at this point, where are the stills?
There’s no copper here. Quayside isn’t your traditional distillery. Instead, they’ve opted for vacuum distillation – a process which allows specific flavour profiles to be extracted from, well, almost anything!
I won’t give away too much, but as we learnt about this gin-ovative approach to gin craft, it paved the way for a fun tasting session of ‘guess the botanicals’ as we sprayed samples into our mouths – from jam doughnut to oyster, and even pickled onion monster munch!
With 500ml of juniper distillate in front of us – the baseline for all gins – it was time to make our own with the understanding that anything is possible.
With nearly 30 pre-distilled botanicals to sample and choose from, we were advised to slowly mix and match in 15ml increments to build a flavour profile. I went for a citrus theme, adding yuzu, orange and lemon, and attempting to add a smoothness with some additional vanilla bean, while one member of our team ignored all advice and went for a strawberry overload…
Tom was on hand to advise, but was keen to let us learn through trial and discovery. And by jotting down your recipe as you go, you can re-order another batch of
your handiwork in future.
Once happy, we chose a name and labelled our bottle for the finishing touch, ready to take home and enjoy.
Quayside’s gin school is a fantastic, immersive experience recommended to anyone who enjoys a G&T. Cheers!
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This manageable there and back route offers easy walking and wheeling along the eastern side of the reservoir and to the dams, plus additional access to the wildlife trail in the Burrator Arboretum