Gin distillery tours and gin tastings
Gin distillery tours in Wales are often all about family-owned small batch operations run by passionate people. They love nothing more than a chat about their craft. And you'll bound to get to sample the products too - gin tastings are all part of the experience!
Pete and Danny Cameron at Dyfi Distillery have developed a unique approach to distilling, using customised stills and secret blends of botanicals foraged from the verdant hillsides and pristine hedgerows of the Dyfi Biosphere in Mid Wales. The result? Exceptionally fragrant, highly unusual gins that win lots of awards. There are no official tours, but you can visit, say hello, talk gin, sip gin and see how it's made.
Another family distillery, Coles Distillery is located in Llanddarog in Carmarthenshire. Uniquely they make their own base spirits for their gins, whiskeys and rums. You can book a fascinating tour to see the different spirits being made. They also brew beer and run the onsite pub. The thatched White Hart Inn dates back to 1371. So once you've sampled the brews you can stay for lunch too.
Gower Gin Company
Sian and Andrew use all sorts of flavours at Gower Gin Company. Foraged botanicals include gorse flowers, sea buckthorn and linden, but other quirky additions include Lapsong Souchong tea and cubeb pepper. They take inspiration from all things Welsh - including Dylan Thomas, Worm's Head and even Grandma's recipe for Bara Brith. You can sip some in their peaceful garden if you book a free tasting session.
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Gin making experiences
For the true gin aficionado, what could be better than a gin making experience in Wales? Generally these are run by the larger more established distilleries, so a tour is often part of the package and you may well find there's a cafe and visitor centre too.
Aber Falls Distillery
Aber Falls Distillery in Abergwyngregyn, North Wales is a stone's throw from the spectacular waterfalls from which it gets its name. Choose to do a tour, wander the visitor centre, have a bite in the bistro or create your own gin in the Gin Lab. Here you can spend an afternoon learning all about gin, creating your own recipe using the finest Welsh botanicals and distilling using a miniature gin still.
Silver Circle Distillery
Lots of quirky spirits make their way into the gins at Silver Circle Distillery including local honey, black pepper and cardamon. What goes in yours is more or less up to you, as you learn the art of gin making and then get to choose your botanicals to flavour your own gin distilled in a miniature copper still. Naturally you get to bottle and take it home too.
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In the Welsh Wind
In The Welsh Wind at Tanygroes sits surrounded by woodland and fields overlooking sparkling Cardigan Bay. In their Gin Lab you find out all about the arts of distilling, choose your unique botanical profile and get cracking distilling, bottling and labelling your own gin. There should be enough left over to sample a nice G&T with it too! The team also run Bar 45 - an intimate, gin bar just off the High Street.
A distiller is on hand at Cardiff Distillery to teach you some of the magic of flavour and aroma combinations before you get cracking distilling your own spirit. You get to sample your finished work at the end and take a bottle home. What's particularly clever is they keep your recipe on file and you can just order up more whenever you fancy.
Hensol Castle Distillery
They've got it all at Hensol Castle Distillery. Located at a splendid 17th century castle on the Vale of Glamorgan, there's South Wales’ first full scale gin distillery, a visitor experience, gin school and bottling plant. Choose from a tour which features tastings and a look around the sensory botanicals room, or go for the gin making experience and create your own signature spirit.