Craft Gin Brands in the West Country
Gin, rum and more from Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall
As you may have noticed, there has been a significant explosion in craft gin production in the UK over the last few years, with rum distillers rushing to catch up. At The Wine Box, we like to think of ourselves as gin experts (we have our own in-house gin distillation experience, the Gin Nest where everything is all about gin), and we apply that expertise when we choose the fantastic artisan gins that we stock alongside the best of the well-known gin brands. Let us be your gin guide round the South West of England.
Craft gin brands
Using our local knowledge (you will find us in Torquay in Devon), we make sure that we always have a selection of the finest craft gin brands distilled in the South West of England with labels such as Anning’s with their great selection of flavoured gin; Torbay Gin from just down the road with their excellent Rockpool Gin (this is one of the best gins for gin and tonic – turning pink when the tonic is added); Salcombe (try their Rose Gin or find out more about how they got started in our interview with one of their founders) and Tarquin’s from Cornwall (you may want to taste their Twin Fin spiced golden rum while you’re here). And you shouldn’t forget 6 O’clock gin, distilled in Thornbury near Bristol – you may recognise their London Dry gin in its distinctive blue bottle.
18, E18ghteen, Eighteen
Officially, it is E18ghteen gin (vodka, rum and, surprisingly, amaretto), but however you spell it, it tastes amazing. Fragrance and freshness comes from the sugar beat vodka that the gin is re-distilled from, with added flavours of gingerbread, passion fruit and strawberry, if flavoured gin is your thing. Distilled in Somerset by master distillers.
What is a craft gin?
- Distilled in small batches (small batch gin isn’t necessarily craft gin…)
- Made with care by gin lovers for gin lovers
- Distilled by small teams of passionate people, often family and friends
- Crafted from locally sourced, unusual or organic ingredients
- Handcrafted. The distiller is personally involved from beginning to end. Botanicals to bottle.
West Country gin
You could definitely spend quite some time on a West Country gin tour (several distilleries are open for visitors). As well as the distillers that we’ve already mentioned, there are a host of others to discover.
The Black Dog
Award-winning gin from Newton Abbot with locally foraged botanicals and distilled from Dartmoor spring water in a still designed and built by the distiller.
If you like a hit of citrus Bad Fagin’s Devon Gin will hit the mark with lemon and orange peel, fresh pink grapefruit, Seville blossom in the mix. Distilled in Exeter.
Produced with carefully selected botanicals from around the world but with deep roots in Dartmouth. Classic, award-winning Dartmouth English Gin is a must for your gin tasting list.
Distilled in Brixham, Deckchair, the Three Dimensional London Dry Gin is a genuine small batch citrussy award winner. They recommend trying it with a slice of ruby grapefruit, with ice over tonic – unless you prefer it neat.
More fantastic English gins from our neck of the woods
We’ve been a bit Devoncentric with this last list of English gins, but, having said that, we’ve already mentioned Annings from Dorset and Tarquin’s who are properly Cornish.
Does Herefordshire count?
A bit further north, there is the Chase Distillery, who somehow manage to cram 250 English potatoes into each bottle of their vodka, which they use to craft their artisan gins. As they say: ‘Field to bottle’. Maybe try their Seville Marmalade gin with your breakfast…
Along the coast bit to the Isle of Wight, you should definitely consider Mermaid Gin (even if it’s just for the bottle) with notes of the sea air from locally foraged rock samphire among their ethically sourced botanicals. The Isle of Wight Distillery have produced a beautifully complex, refreshing gin.
Hand foraged in Dorset
Back towards home (for us), there is Conker Spirit’s Dorset Dry Gin with a flavour unusually led by gorse flowers which they handpick every spring. They sign every bottle.
If you are looking for a Cornish Gin, Trevethan could be an excellent place to start (possibly with their gin gift box). Their Trevethan Gin is hand bottled with ten botanicals. Their slightly stronger (in flavour and alcohol content) Chauffeur’s Choice gives more of a Navy Strength kick while maintaining a seriously smooth finish.
Where will you start?
Although this isn’t an exhaustive list of distilleries, we hope that it gives you a good idea of the range of gin types and flavours that are waiting to be found in the South West. The biggest question is: where will you start? You will find a number of the brands we stock winning awards on Food Drink Devon.
And don’t forget, if you’d like to have a go at creating your very own unique mix, book a visit to The Gin Nest here in Torquay and then come and visit us in The Wine Box.
West Country Gin brands round up
In no particular order, a quick summary of our favourite West Country gin brands
- The Black Dog (Devon)
- Bad Fagins (Devon)
- Dartmouth Gin (Devon)
- Deckchair Gin (Devon)
- Trevethan Gin (Cornwall)
- Salcombe Gin (Devon)
- Taraquin’s Gin (Cornwall)
- Annings Gin (Dorset)
- Mermaid Gin (Isle of Wight)
- Conker Spirit (Dorset)
- Chase Distillery (Herefordshire)
- E18ghteen Gin (Somerset)
- 6 O’clock gin (Gloucestershire)
- Rockpool Gin (Devon)