It has been the ‘to do’ list for a while and I finally made it. As Feta is to Feta, ham is to Parma, and Buffalo Mozzarella is to Buffalos so is Gin to Plymouth.
There was some debate as to which tour we should opt for, the £40 Master Distillers Tour which involves two and a half hours of gin fuelled fun including the chance to take home a 200ml bottle of you own recipe. Didn’t go for this on the grounds that 200ml is a joke, I’ve got bigger, more alcoholic and possibly tastier bottles of nail polish remover. The other option was the Gin Connoisseurs Tour (£20) which includes an opportunity to compare and contrast a number of gins in a tasting session…this was more tempting. In the end we decided we’d get the most bang for Jacky’s buck to go with the £7, no frills distillery tour and then buy a litre bottle in the gift shop at the end. I have to say je ne regrette rien.
- Discovering juniper berries. I don’t mean to sound like Bryn, but you literally crush them and they smell of gin, its marvellous! I don’t understand why no one is selling juniper juice? I could have it for breakfast before moving on to the hard stuff.
- The tasting session. I have never tried sloe gin before. It did taste a lot like cough syrup but I’m told it is very pleasant mixed with lemonade and a good accompaniment to cheese.
- The free g&t in the gin bar at the end of the tour, even better that Jacky was driving and couldn’t drink his.
- Jacky, who thought he hated gin, discovered he was quite partial to a gimlet. This has opened up a world of opportunities for our relationship.
- ‘Surprise’ bottle of gin Jacky got me when I accidently-on-purpose picked an opportune moment to nip to the loo when he was in the gift shop :)
Serious issues that the Plymouth Gin Factory need to address before I return:
- They are not handbag friendly people at all. Just as it is probably would not be acceptable to ask a blind person to ditch the dog, it is not acceptable to ask me to store my handbag in a locker. Not only is it not acceptable to ask me to store my handbag in a locker, but it is very very unacceptable to then provide a teeny tiny little thing that would cause handle crushage. The tour guide lady’s solution to this was to ‘stick my bag somewhere safe’. This was followed by totes awks, elongated pause as she went to take the handle, and I refused to let go before catching a glimpse of Jacky’s please-don’t-make-a-scene face. So no, I did not have a hissy-fit (saved it for the car journey home). If you too are planning a visit my main recommendation would be to make sure you bring a small handbag, and dustbag obvs.
- They make you touch a metal bar before you go in so your static doesn’t blow the place up, well random. Someone should tell the airports, would save a lot of time at security.
- Can everyone please plant a Juniper bush, this fungal infection sounds bare destructive.