JC Explores: London Sipsmiths Gin Distillery!
I love me some gin. When I was younger, I hated all kinds of alcohol – wine, beer, cider, spirits, pretty much all of it, unless it was exceptionally sweet and barely tasted of anything else (RTDs!). As I grew up and the people around me started drinking more ‘adult’ drinks and sipping on wine, I felt that I needed to also have an ‘adult’ drink, so I started on the gin and tonics, ideally with a whole lot of lime added too. Nowadays I do like wine and cider but gin still is one of my favourites, especially if I want to go out for a drink without consuming 7000 calories (gin and slim anyone?).
So after that ramble, as I do have such a penchant for gin, both Paul and my sister bought me a tour of Sipsmiths Gin Distillery!! So Paul and I booked in for a chilly evening in November and headed out west to Chiswick. First, it is quite difficult to find, it is literally a street full of residential houses, then you wander through a giant door way and through a garage and there is a tiny door at the back which you enter into. It felt like a bit of an adventure so I enjoyed it. In hindsight the giant swan painted on the wall really should have made finding it a bit easier…
Once inside there are three huge stills taking up the majority of the room, with a little ‘laboratory’ to the left and a very nice bar fully stocked with Sipsmiths on the right. As soon as we got there we were greeted with an amazingly delicious London Dry Gin with Fevertree tonic which was honestly one of the best drinks I have ever had! So I was obviously excited for the rest of the tour.
Once we had sipped our g+ts, the tour and tasting began. We were told the history of Sipsmiths and how it was the first distillery in London in about 190 years. Our host then took us through the different stills, starting with the vodka still. I didn’t know Sipsmiths made vodka, but we were given a taste – neat vodka is not usually my favourite but I have to say it was quite pleasant, there was no huge burn at the back of the throat and to be honest it didn’t really taste of much which is the sign of a good vodka!
We then went onto my favourite part – the gin, and they have a giant gin still where they macerate it and distill each batch all in that one place. We tried the London Dry Gin which had a really nice citrus flavour and again hardly any burn which is impressive as usually I cannot even stand to have any neat spirits at all. We also got to try some of their special flavours – the sloe gin which I loved! It was sweet but not too sweet and I could drink it all by itself though they said they are making a sloe gin cider for winter which sounds amazing. Along with some Damson Vodka which was also very drinkable.
Afterwards of course I had to pick up my own bottle of gin, alone with some fever tree tonic and I am very much looking forward to having a few tipples over the holiday season! The sipsmiths tours book out pretty quickly and they release dates in set batches but if you can get on one then I do really recommend it, it is a really nice different thing to do on an evening out!
Do you have a love affair with gin too?