Be careful what you wish for!
After customers kept appearing in our Church Street shop raving about a new gin made in teeny tiny batches in Dorking we knew we had to investigate, and that's how we found ourselves in a beer garden on South Street in Dorking at 10.30am tasting 85% proof spirits!
The team from The Gin Kitchen haven't been distilling for long, but are already gaining an exceptional reputation. The brainchild of Helen and Kate - who figured that they drank so much gin they might as well start making it - this product is clearly the result of a a great deal of hard work to source exactly the right blend and style of botanticals to produce an extremely complex high quality gin unlike any we've ever tasted. In fact, Rebecca, our resident gin lush, has even proclaimed it "the best gin I've tasted in years!"
Gutsy Monkey, their winter gin, is full bodied with a lovely silky texture in the mouth and a blend of aromatics that delicately combines both citrus and spice. One of the things that makes their product stand out is the use of fresh ingredients in the distilation. Thyme, lime zest and ginger are combined with the grain spirit that has already been steeping with allspice and juniper.
A gentle steam distilation is used to make sure the subtle flavours aren't burnt off, and deciding when to capture the "hearts" of the process (the best bits that actually make it into your bottle) is trickly and all done by taste and smell by their trusty still guardian Jamie. He is there throughout the whole process keeping a stearn eye on "Dinky Dragondale" their bespoke copper still that was hand crafted in Portugal.
We had the honour of visiting the team in the Gin Kitchen while they were making the Vineking batch! That's right our very own batch of gin marked with a distinct batch code that you'll only find in our stores.
We also had the chance to hear about all their plans for the future, and whilst the donkey riding across India to harvest botanicals direct from the plants might be a little way off yet, their newest products are already in testing and their summer gin isn't too far away.
We'll have little tipples on tasting for you in store this weekend and you can pick up your very own bottle of the Vineking batch - what number bottle will you choose?