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Gin distillery tours

Fabulous tour and tasting experiences in the South West
Conker Distillery, gin distillery tours

Imbibe artisan spirits, craft your own premium pour and get a taste of life as a distiller at one of these gin distillery tours and tastings in the South West

Conker Distillery, Bournemouth, Dorset

Conker was Dorset’s first gin distillery when it opened in 2014 and it continues to lead the field in an industry which has exploded with newcomers in the past ten years.

The Conker range now includes its classic Dorset Dry Gin, a Navy-strength version, and gins aged in ruby port barrels which infuse the spirit with fruity port flavours and also turn it pink. Conker’s famous coffee liqueur has been as successful as its juniper juice, and decaf and French Roast spin-offs now flank the original.

To really capture the spirit of the Conker vibe, head to the Bournemouth distillery for a two-hour guided tour and tasting between 2pm and 4pm on a Friday or Saturday. Tours need to be booked, but another option is to just swing by and visit the Conker Tap Rooms on Fridays and Saturdays where, between 4pm and 10pm, Conker cocktails are served alongside local ales and street food.

Find out how to book.

Salcombe Distillery

Salcombe Distilling Co., Salcombe, Devon

The team at Salcombe Distilling Co. are pioneers in the British new-wave premium spirits scene and have crafted their collection of multi-award winning drinks in Salcombe for almost a decade.

The Boathouse distillery on Island Street is nestled among traditional boatbuilders and is one of the only distilleries in the world directly accessible by boat. It’s in this picturesque spot that the team develop and distil their drinks and where visitors can take part in tours and tasting experiences, as well as visit the bar to sink top-notch cocktails crafted from the house pours.

Those who want to learn how to make gin from scratch should visit the award-winning Gin School where participants are given a mini copper still in which to make a unique 70cl bottle of gin.

The session begins with a complimentary Start Point & Tonic and a tour of the distillery. This is followed by the creative process of gin making with a Rosé & Tonic in hand. The visitor’s finished gin is adorned with a personalised label and placed in a wooden presentation box. Those who’ve got a further G&T in them can indulge in a cocktail at the bar made using their own gin – the bartenders providing the most complementary tonic and garnish to the botanicals employed.

Beyond hands-on gin making, visitors can also take part in a Distillery Tour & Tasting Experience which reveals the history behind each of the spirits, their flavour profiles and characteristics, and discover which tonic and garnish works best with which spirit. The sessions include a complimentary Salcombe & Tonic, a distillery tour, and a tutored tasting of four gins, plus a discount in the shop and on the visitor’s first round of drinks in the bar.

Find out how to book.

Exmoor Distillery

Exmoor Distillery, Dulverton, Somerset

This family-run distillery is in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is Exmoor National Park.

It may be off-the-beaten-track in the charming moorland village of Dulverton, but the distillery has made a name for itself on the global stage through its flagship spirit: Northmoor Gin which won double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Married team John and Nicola Smith are the spiritsmiths behind the brand – and they produce more than just their signature gin. The Exmoor Distillery range includes a traditional London Dry gin, Navy-strength and Navy reserve gins, craft vodka, plus cask-aged, silver and spiced rums.

The recipe for each of the spirits has been created by John and Nicola, and tweaked repeatedly until it hits the sweet spot of perfection the couple demand. To adhere to these high standards, everything, from fermentation and distillation to bottling and labelling, is done by hand in-house.

Visitors can watch the magic happen for themselves by visiting the Dulverton distillery for a tour and sampling session. Available seven days a week, by appointment, they last around an hour.

Find out how to book.

Fowey Valley

Fowey Valley, Lostwithiel, Cornwall

Fowey Valley crafts award-winning Cornish fine spirits and artisan ciders at its HQ in Lostwithiel on the River Fowey.

Barrie and Geraldine Gibson and team make everything in their artisan drinks collection from scratch, including creating the vodka (no bought-in ethanol here) used in the small-batch production of their award-winning Foy Gin, vodka and eau de vie. They start with alcohol which they distil several times to make a vodka of 95 per cent, which they then adjust to strength. In the creation of Foy Gin, this base spirit is given another pass in the still before botanicals are added to create the juniper-forward dry London gin with its citrussy notes and hint of fragrant spice.

Visitors can experience these spirits for themselves at the on-site shop which offers free tastings from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively, swing by on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings for the free one-hour tour and tasting sessions, where the team reveal how they distil spirits and ferment cider.

Amateur distillers can take the immersion one step further in the two-hour gin-making experience led by Barrie where, with cocktail in hand, guests learn about the art of gin making and get to craft their own bespoke bottle of gin, using a mini still and the botanicals of their choice from an extensive collection. The resulting gin is unique and theirs to take home. With over 150 five-star Google reviews it’s safe to say you’ll need to book ahead for the popular tour and tasting sessions and the gin-making experience – they sell out fast.

Find out how to book.

Psychopomp Distillery

Psychopomp MicroDistillery, Bristol

This groundbreaking artisan distillery has been making gin in Bristol for over a decade. It’s USP is single-shot distillation during which – other than dilution with purified water to reach the preferred drinking strength – no other process is performed after distillation.

This traditional and meticulous process emphasises quality over quantity and is how Psychopomp creates its signature gins Woden and Old Tom. The team also craft limited-edition seasonal recipes and bespoke gin recipes for independent restaurants and producers, as well spirits such as the first British aqvavit, a traditional Parisian style absinthe and a single-origin coffee digestif.

Head to the distillery for the weekly sessions that cover the art of distilling and let visitors distil their own bottle of gin. An impressive selection of botanicals guarantees a unique result.

Psychopomp also runs weekly gin masterclass where, G&T in hand, visitors learn about the history of gin, the process of making it, and get to experience the nuances of various gins in a tutored tasting.

Find out how to book.

Enjoyed our round-up of gin distillery tours in the South West? Dive into our curation of vineyard tours and tastings.

We choose the companies included in our 5 of the best features based on editorial integrity. Occasionally, some inclusions will be handpicked from clients with whom we have a commercial relationship.

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