The Plymouth Gin Distillery is the oldest working gin distillery in England. It has been making Plymouth Gin according to the original recipe since 1793 and today we still use the same copper pot dating from 150 years ago. The medieval building dates back to 1431 when it was a monastery used by the Black Friars, who were famous for offering alcoholic remedies for a variety of ills. They even thought that juniper could ward off the plague.
How did Plymouth gin begin?
Plymouth gin began its journey on the docks of Plymouth: the stronghold of the British Royal Navy, quickly becoming the standard issue gin for all naval ships’ officers. The Distillery’s historic bar, The Refectory, is believed to be the room where the Pilgrim Fathers spent their last night before setting sail on the Mayflower for the New World.
Plymouth Gin Original is distilled using a blend of seven exotic botanicals whose proportions remain secret, soft Dartmoor water the finest pure grain alcohol. On the nose is a rich, fresh aroma of juniper followed by notes of coriander and cardamom. To taste, our gin is extremely smooth, creamy and full-bodied, with a slight sweetness. The finish is elegant, long, fresh and aromatic.
What’s the difference between Plymouth gin and London dry?
The primary difference between Plymouth and London dry gins is that Plymouth has no bitter botanicals. There is also less juniper, which gives Plymouth a softer, smoother taste than recipes where juniper is more dominant. Plymouth also has a higher proportion of sweeter-tasting root botanicals, such as orris root and angelica, this results in an aromatic and round flavour.
The Dartmoor water’s softness contributes to Plymouth’s exceptional smoothness, while its clarity also gave Plymouth the distinction of being the first gin in a clear bottle. That’s because, years ago, the water used in London was so murky that the London gins had to be bottled in green bottles. At least, that’s the story.
From the deep earthy notes to wonderfully fresh juniper and a lemony bite, Plymouth Gin Original’s great depth of flavour is just one of the reasons it’s truly unique.
How is Plymouth gin made?
A beacon for explorers and pioneers, the port of Plymouth has been shaped by the sea and defined by its geography. Plymouth Gin has always been made in the historical Black Friars Distillery, formerly a monastery dating to the 1400s. To honour these monks, we place one on every bottle we produce. It is said that when the friar’s head pops above the gin and he can breathe again, it is time to buy another bottle.
Plymouth Gin is handcrafted in small batches. The Master Distiller is responsible for the quality of Plymouth Gin through every step of the production and distilling process. A very time-consuming stage is the evaluation of hundreds of samples of botanicals. The character of every gin is defined by its botanicals and selecting the perfect botanicals is not just a matter of freshness or size. You have to understand what you are trying to create, understand the finished article.
The essential oils of juniper berries provide an aroma of pine and a hint of bitterness on the palate while coriander seed provides a balance to the gin with citrus aromas, a hint of sour and spice. Orange and lemon peels bring delicate sweetness and citrus notes. Green cardamom is intense, sweet, spicy and floral – we’re one of the few distilleries to use it. Angelica root brings the distinctive dry finish that English gins are deservedly famous for alongside complex sweetness and orris root is added to bind the flavours and aromas.
What other products should we try?
Plymouth Sloe Gin is a quintessentially English drink – the origins of which have been lost in time. It has a clear character of mellow sloe berries, fruity with notes of sweet cherry and a slight scent of almonds. The making of fruit gins has long been a tradition in the English countryside, and ours keeps true to a recipe dating back to 1883. It can be enjoyed chilled over ice or simply neat. Of course, it’s also superb for cocktails.
While Plymouth Navy Strength (XR) celebrates the brand’s long association with the British Royal Navy. Navy Strength was, coincidentally, the benchmark at which a spirit could be spilt onto gunpowder but yet still allow it to ignite. For almost two centuries, Her Majesty’s Naval Fleet was sustained by Plymouth Gin and no ship left port without a supply of Navy Strength. At a hefty 57% ABV, Plymouth Navy Strength offers a more intense and rich taste that the Original. It is commonly enjoyed in classic drinks like the Pink Gin or Gimlet.
You can find more information about Plymouth gin here. If you want to stock Plymouth gin, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your spirits range is a success, from free menu design and print services to barware.