We spent a lot of time looking at the incredibly ornate greenhouses, where they have examples of the plants they use as botanicals.
There plants in the greenhouses aren't actually used in the gin though, so are strictly part of the tourist attraction.
|The golden lemon is not made but grows on a green tree|
This was all good fun but really I wanted technical details about the stills. I've long had a suspicion that gin distilling is quite frankly on the boring side. The do after all start with grain neutral spirit at 96.3% ABV so as far as I can see the interesting bit has already been done.
This didn't explain why a column with cooling could be clearly seen on top of the stills, I'm pleased to say it was all in the mag. They have two pairs of stills, this is one of the 3000L ones:
It's to an 1830s design and has nine plates in the column, presumably from when spirits were less pure. The Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) is diluted to 80% ABV before distillation, which helps ensure the still doesn't run dry, and the botanicals aren't boiled in the spirit, instead the vapour goes to in infuser which contains them. The distillation temperature is 79°C.
|The larger 12000L stills|
They made of big show of making the cocktails and I dare say they know their stuff but they're not really my thing. Had I not been driving and had there been more time it would have been interesting to work my way though their offerings though.
As it is most gin that comes my way ends up as sloe gin and I don't think I'll be investing in a cocktail shaker any time soon.