It was the year 1793 when the English city of Plymouth was born in The Barbican, the area near the port, the homonymous distillery specializing in gin, the only one in the city. Founded by Mr Coates, it soon became one of the most important distilleries in the country. The building that housed it opened onto Southside Street, and according to local tradition, it was once a religious monastery of the Dominicans and later a refuge for the Pilgrim Fathers who emigrated to the United States in the 17th century aboard the Mayflower before its departure. There seems to be in fact the origin of the symbolism of this gin.
The city was also an important maritime military stronghold of the British Empire, which made the drink popular with Royal Navy officers, who made it their own as a companion on sea voyages throughout the entire suite of British conquests. It is said that the officers received a bottle as part of their salary and that the cocktail making kit was included in every new vessel launched into the sea by the British navy. It is also said that it was the favorite gin of important personalities such as Churchill or Hitchcock.
The building was used for many other things and varied during all this time, but today the distillery is imposed, accompanied by a bar and a bistro. As such, the Plymouth brand belongs to the multinational Pernod Ricard once it acquired the rights to the Nordic group V&S, its previous owner, better known for also owning the Absolut Vodka brand.
The manufacture of gin continues here, a process that can be discovered thanks to the guided tours they organize for amateurs and onlookers. The elaboration is carried out following the precepts of the original recipe, a distillation in copper alembic, and the production in small batches ensures the highest quality, in a single pot and avoiding mass production. A traditional process and a legacy from generation to generation now continued by Master Distiller Sean Harrison. It is a gin with earthy notes, where you can appreciate the freshness of juniper and a slight citrus touch of lemon with sweet notes. A total of seven botanicals are involved, among which can be found cardamom, Florence root or coriander seeds.
The reality is that Plymouth Gin, in addition to being a brand, is a type of gin regulated by the European Union, given a curious circumstance: being the only distillery in Playmouth, in the county of Devon, right now they have a monopoly on the elaboration of this variety.