Discovering Artisan Gin | An Evening with Burleighs

Friday 15 December 2017

Are you a gin lover? In my house, we’re huge fans of the stuff (we claim its ‘medicinal’ and with a boisterious 2 year old, its certainly needed a lot of the time).

Gin is my perfect everyday drink – ideal in the bath at the end of a long hard day, sipped in the back garden overlooking the river as the sun goes down or in front of the fire on a winter weekend. There’s no occasion where it doesn’t feel right.

I’ve never stopped much to consider how it was made, so when I landed in invite to go and see the production of Burleigh’s gin in person, I was super excited. The chance to peek behind the doors and see how one of your favourite spirits is actually produced is pretty exciting!

Produced by 45West, a small artisan distillery located on a farm in the Leicestershire countryside, a lot of care goes into this unique product.

The signature Dry Gin is distilled using a mix of interesting botanicals – silver birch, elderberries, iris and those childhood classics, dandelion and burdock! The drink was inspired when Jamie Baxter, the master distiller, took a walk through Burleigh wood and realised all the botanicals would make the perfect gin blend.

The result is a supremely drinkable, balanced gin with a citrusy hit fading to a wooded finish. They produce a number of other variants in the Burleigh’s range, including a Distiller’s Cut, an Export Strength (more on those later), a Pink Edition that adds Japanese cherry blossom, hibiscus, rose and pink grapefruit to the mix and a special Leicester edition.

This is, intriguingly enough, designed to complement that other Leicestershire culinary offering, the pork pie! Using notes of nutmeg, sage, thyme and mace to reflect the flavours and heritage of the local area where its produced.

The tours that the distillery run make a perfect present for any gin lover, as they allow you to get up close and personal with the brewing process, ask any questions you have, see the passion of all who work at the distillery, and of course, sample some amazing gins!

Starting with the raw ethanol, we were talked through the entire process in front of Messy Bessy, the distillery’s custom-made copper still – she’s a beauty with her iridescent sheen and inviting smells!

Each bottle of Burleighs is made from start to finish on site, and there is so much love and dedication that goes into producing it. It was fascinating to get up close with some of the interestinger botanicals that they use – who knew powdered orris was so pungent, or that star anise added such an interesting twist?

I tend to like a gin that has plenty of juniper in the flavour (which is why I’ve never really liked Hendrick’s!) so Burleigh’s is nice and balanced.

It was the Pink Gin that was actually my favourite. I loved the refreshing pink grapefruit twist and the soft, floral notes. It would sit perfectly with some St Germain mixed in with your tonic hit. Bliss! It’s quite a romantic tasting gin and probably wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed the delicate blend of notes.

For those who really want to go in-depth, there’s also a Gin School on site, where you have the chance to brew your own custom creation, bottling it up and collecting it later to take home – that would make such an amazing experience for someone who loves their gin.

The tour is only £20 per person and you can book on via the website – you get a one and half hour in-depth tour of the distillery, tasting of the full Burleigh’s range and a £5.00 discount voucher for any bottles you want to purchase. If you’ve run out of time to buy someone a Christmas present its ideal  - one click and you’re done, and they’re on the way to gin nirvana.

I had an amazing, really unique and enjoyable evening – if you’re a fellow gin lover, get yourself down there and discover more about it.

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