A few weekends back, Dan and I headed out for a little road trip to The Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria to learn about the process behind their spirits including whiskey, vodka, and my favourite, gin! The lovely folk had kindly sent me a bottle of their Explorer Edition Gin to sample at home and offered us a complimentary visit to see how its all made in their beautiful distillery!
Its no secret that I’m a huge gin fan, so I was really intrigued to see the distillery and learn all about the botanicals used to make their products. Due to the processes used and the sensitivity of the recipes and practises in the distillery, we weren’t able to snap any photos inside the rooms where it all happens, but I would highly recommend taking the tour if spirits are your thing. I was genuinely really interested in everything the tour guide talked us through and it was incredible to see the vast amount of ingredients used to produce just small batch of spirit! We visited on a Sunday, when all of the workers are on their day off in the distillery itself, so we didn’t really get to see much ‘in action’ but it was still a really interesting thing to see regardless.
The Lakes Distillery has only been open for a few years, but in that short space of time its racked up a pretty amazing set of awards including Best Smaller Scale Visitor Centre in The Distillery Experience Challenge and numerous accolades for its spirits, restaurant and stunning buildings.
The tour itself was an hour meander around the buildings, starting with a brief history about the building, a short film about the spring water, pumped directly from its source at the back of the building, used in all of the spirits and the chance to see, feel and smell all of the ingredients up close.
We were then shown round the rooms where all the magic happens and saw the whiskey at various stages of production. We learnt how the vodka and gin are produced (a much more simple process!) and then we were taken in to one of the warehouses where crates of the spirits are stored for distribution. Finally the tour ended with a tasting session (the best bit, obviously) where were treated to a measure of each of the spirits, which were all delicious! The gin was a clear favourite for me, but the whiskey was really lovely, which is high praise from someone who doesn’t usually like whiskey!
After the tour we decided to head over to The Bistro, the on site restaurant, in need of some food after the three shots of alcohol! The Bistro is a lovely little restaurant serving really great food, and being Sunday, there was only one thing on our minds – Roast Dinner! I had the roast lamb, and Dan went for the roast beef, both served with all the trimmings and a HUGE Yorkshire Pudding which went down an absolute treat. Accompanied by another glass of The Lakes Gin (why not?) we also had a pudding of chocolate tart, apricots and peach ice cream which was incredible! I’ve been raving about the food to all of our family as it really was delicious!
Since our visit, we’ve cracked open our bottle of the Explorer Edition of The Lakes Gin, which comes in a stunning blue frosted glass bottle and display box, and we have not been disappointed! I’d personally say its a little more delicate in flavour to the standard version, and the difference in the two is the mix of botanicals, with the standard one being more floral and this one having more of a citrus taste.
We’ve been serving ours with a slice of grapefruit, some crushed ice and Fever Tree tonic, and its so good! I like a lot of gin and have a few favourites (Brockmans, Hendricks, Tanqueray) and this one is up there with those in my opinion. Definitely one I’ll be treating myself to again in the future! Thank you so much to The Lakes Distillery for having us and giving us a great day out in a beautiful place, and also for the delicious gin! We’ll definitely be back in the future!