Found on the stunning shores of Salcombe in Devon, a port once known primarily for smuggling, is the Salcombe Distilling Company and their affectionately named distillery, The Boathouse.
It sits in the Boat Building Quarter, and so is very aptly named.
Salcombe is a picturesque little town, and is where the distillery’s founders met whilest teaching sailing as teenagers.
Howard Davis and Angus Lugsdin shared a passion for two things, sailing and Gin.
Life took them both away from Devon, but they maintained their friendship and eventually moved back at the same time.
They rekindled their passion for Gin and Tonic, and with it came a burgeoning business idea.
Lugsdin says, “The conversation got onto our desire to start our own businesses. I had a passion for distilling born out of a love for single malt whisky, so was keen to get into it.”
They followed their hearts and were lead to Salcombe and Gin, two things they loved and when they got down to it, went pretty well together.
But they don’t do things by halves, and this meant learning about Gin and the art of distilling. This adventure saw them networking with Jake Baxter, creator of Burleigh’s Gin, and James Swan, who is well renowned in the Whisky industry.
They even took trips to Springbank Distillery and Kilchoman Distillery to learn the ropes of distilling and become better acquainted with the process.
But all this hard work was worth it, as their end product has been a great success, winning Gold at the World Gin Awards as well as 3 stars at the Great Taste Awards and Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards.
It has several botanicals that includejuniper, coriander, grapefruit peel, lemon peel, and lime peel.
The fascinating thing about these is that they were not chosen at random or simply for taste, many of the botanicals used in Salcombe Gin have historically been imported into Salcombe by the “Salcombe Fruiters”. These were very fast ships that would transport fruit in the hopes of getting to port before it went off.
This is exactly the character and flavour of Salcombe Gin. From the very beginning of the nose, it is full of citrus zest and tang.
There is a lovely life to this Gin, as the fruit is fresh and clean. It sits well with the earthiness of the juniper and sweetness of the coriander.
These flavours melt together on the palate, which is soft and easygoing. There is plenty of lemon and line to give a nice crisp edge to the mouth feel.
The spicier botanicals brighten up here as well and add a great depth to the Gin.
The finish is strong, with lots of citrus and juniper.