The Henley Distillery is to open a brand new gin school next month (14 May). To be known as the Henley Gin Experience, visitors will be invited to come along and create their very own bespoke gin under the guidance of award-winning Master Distiller, Jacob Wilson.
The idyllic setting is a series of restored 18th century barns just outside Henley on Thames, where guests will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the gin-making process.
Gin enthusiasts will be welcomed in to the newly-renovated gin school with a G&T. Here they will learn about the history of gin and have the opportunity to taste several of the gins made at The Henley Distillery. Then it’s time to cross the courtyard, G&T in hand, to observe the working distillery in action. Visitors will discover the methods used to produce a traditional, hand-crafted gin and be guided through the lifecycle of a bottle of gin from start to finish. This new-found expertise will then be applied back in the gin school.
Individual mini copper stills will be assigned and distilling experts will be on hand to offer recipe guidance. Guests are then free to tailor the gin to their own palate, choosing from a library of over 100 botanicals -perhaps opting for the classic ingredients of juniper, coriander and Angelica root, or selecting something fruity, such as orange peel, rhubarb or yuzu.
Once recipe development is complete, it’s time to relax at the bar and enjoy a gin cocktail with fellow ‘distillers’ during the distilling process. The session ends with the presentation of each guest’s bespoke bottle of gin, with a personalised label featuring its unique formula. As the stills produce just over a full bottle, there’s time for one final G&T, and guests will sample their own gin before they depart.
With a maximum of 12 attendees per session, the Henley Gin Experience is perfect as a couples outing, a girly getaway or, for an indulgent treat, hire the school exclusively and take all your friends and family. There will also be wedding celebration packages, where wedding parties can create a special wedding gin to be enjoyed on the big day – with miniatures providing the perfect favour.
The Henley Distillery opened its doors last summer as one of the newest and most exciting distilleries in the UK. Its award-winning Henley Gin range launched soon afterwards with plaudits including the Best London Dry Gin in England awarded by the World Gin Awards. Established by Jacob Wilson, one of the youngest Master Distillers in the country, and his father Alan Wilson, the Distillery produces small batch, hand-crafted gins using handmade 300 litre copper alembic stills. The stills are heated over open flames, and are finely controlled to produce a smoother and cleaner spirit. Furthermore, the gins are not chill-filtered and each bottle is hand-filled, hand-labelled, hand-numbered and sealed with pride.
Price: The Henley Gin Experience costs £100 per person, including a tour and tasting, guidance and recipe development, a 70cl bottle of bespoke gin, x2 gin and tonics and a gin cocktail. For drivers in the group the G&T’s and cocktails will be replaced by soft drinks and 2 miniatures to take home. Available each Saturday from 1pm.
For those looking to make a weekend of it, The Henley Distillery can organise accommodation at the neighbouring Bottle & Glass Inn from £150 per night, B&B.
For more information on The Henley Gin Experience or The Henley Distillery please visit www.thehenleydistillery.co.uk or call 07725 250832.