Gin experience at Winchester Distillery
For those of you who are gin lovers you may have already tried Twisted Nose Gin, a gin produced at Winchester Distillery using locally grown
watercress and other secret botanicals. For anyone who has yet to try this spectacular gin then a visit to Winchester Distillery for a gin experience is a must.
Erica and I, along with a mini bus full of our friends, went along to Winchester Distillery for one of their tasting events and it was truly amazing. Our day started at 11.30 a.m. where upon our arrival we were presented with a glass of Twisted Nose Gin mixed with Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic and a slice of fresh pink grapefruit, this was superb. We sat in the tasting room sipping our drinks while we listened to Paul Bowler, master distiller and creator of Twisted Nose Gin, deliver a talk on the history of gin and how he got started as a distiller. Paul’s story is both interesting and packed full of humour, he is incredibly knowledgeable, and his passion is infectious.
Gin experience – tutored tasting of five different gins
Our day then moved on to the gin tasting, we had a line-up of five different gins to try including a Prohibition Gin – a cold compounded gin with juniper, coriander, cardamom. liquorice and angelica root. We then tried a Raspberry distilled gin which had been infused with fresh raspberries. This was followed by Paul’s signature Twisted Nose Gin and the Aged Twisted Nose Gin. The Aged Gin spent time in French oak barrels prior to bottling. Our final gin was an apple and cinnamon gin which had been infused with fresh apple. The five gins that we tasted were very different from each other and within our group we found we all had very different tastes and preferences.
After we had completed the tasting session we were given another glass of gin and tonic, this time we tried Hampshire Fine Gin with Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic and fresh lemon and lime slices. We were quickly learning that gin and tonic is not as simple as it sounds, the flavour of the gin is enhanced by choosing the right tonic and the right slice of fruit to add.
Gin experience – 16 bottles of gin to make!
Paul then took us into his distillery for a tour and to introduce us to the secret world of botanicals. This was when the fun really started, Paul had a selection of different botanicals for us to smell and we then set about the task of writing our own recipe for making our very own unique bottle of gin to take home. With a group of 16 people this meant Paul had a lot of bottles of gin to make. So while he got to work we enjoyed yet another glass of gin and tonic, this time we had a Winchester Dry Gin with Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic served with fresh lemon.
It was clear from the start of our day that Paul’s passion is infectious, he loves to share his knowledge and answer questions. The only question we couldn’t get him to answer was the secret blend of botanicals that go into his award winning Twisted Nose Gin. That information he is keeping very much under wraps!! If you fancy having a go at making your own unique bottle of gin under Paul’s guiding hand then take a look at his website here
Enjoy Discovering Wine run WSET Level 1 and Level 2 Spirits courses details can be found here
by Helen Evans – October 2017