Plymouth Gin: The gem of the Gin world
Plymouth Gin, you may have heard of it, or you may be thinking ‘what, what is Plymouth Gin? When it comes to the world of gin, there is one name that stands out for its rich history, distinctive flavour profile and deep-rooted connection to a vibrant maritime city. In this blog we explore the fascinating story of Plymouth Gin.
What is Plymouth Gin?
Plymouth Gin is a distinctive style of gin originating from the historic maritime city of Plymouth on the south-west coast of England. Plymouth Gin is one of only three types of gin to have a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, which means it must be produced in Plymouth according to specific regulations. The flavour profile of Plymouth Gin is often described as ‘earthy’.
With its unique flavour profile, traditional production methods and historical significance, it remains a popular choice for gin lovers seeking a taste of history and quality in their gin experience.
What is the origin of Plymouth Gin?
The origins of Plymouth Gin can be traced back to the city of Plymouth in Devon, England. More specifically, The Black Friars Distillery, which began producing gin in 1793 and is now one of the oldest working distilleries in England. It continues to produce Plymouth Gin using traditional methods. The distillery itself is located in a former monastery, which is why they named it “Black Friars”. The exact date of its establishment is uncertain, but the roots of this iconic gin can be traced back to the early 18th century. In the first half of the 18th century, government policy and economic conditions made gin a cheap and readily available alcoholic beverage.
When Plymouth Gin was launched, it was an instant hit with gin lovers. The product was standardized and reliable, while the distillation took place far from the London slums where poor-quality gin was usually made and drunk. Plymouth is a maritime city with a lot of trade.
As a result, Plymouth Gin became popular with sailors and the British Royal Navy. It became a staple on naval ships and was even included in sailors’ daily rations to boost morale and combat seasickness. Plymouth Gin’s association with the Royal Navy led to its global spread as naval ships carried it to ports around the world. It became widely recognized as a quality gin with a distinctive flavor profile, making it a sought-after spirit in different parts of the world.
What is Plymouth gin made from?
Plymouth’s production process is traditional and because it is carefully made, its distinctive flavor profile can be guaranteed. But what is Plymouth Gin made from? The production of Plymouth Gin starts with a neutral grain spirit, which is re-distilled with a carefully selected blend of botanicals, including juniper berries, coriander seeds, sweet orange peel, green cardamom and angelica root. Plymouth Gin’s recipe focuses on how each ingredient combines best with the others, resulting in a more balanced, smoother and less juniper-dominated gin.
An important aspect of the production process of Plymouth Gin is the distillation. It is distilled in copper pot stills, called ‘The Copper Lady’ and ‘The Copper Gentleman’, which gives the gin a rich and rounded character. In addition to a very specific botanical blend and base spirit, Plymouth Gin gets its final characteristics from the local Dartmoor reservoir water, which is naturally filtered as it flows through peat over granite. Plymouth Gin is matured for a short period of time to harmonize and soften the flavors. The gin rests in oak casks for a short period of time, adding subtle nuances and rounding out the overall character of the drink.
It is worth noting that the exact details of the production process, including specific times and quantities, are closely guarded secrets of the distillers at Black Friars Distillery in Plymouth.
Plymouth gin’s flavor profile
Are you looking for a gin with a distinctive, smooth, full and sweet flavour profile? Then Plymouth Gin is the best option for you. The flavor differs from the more common style of gin, London Dry. Plymouth’s recipe uses a higher percentage of roots and other botanicals, giving the gin a more ‘earthy’ feel, along with a softer juniper berry flavour and noticeable but subtle citrus notes.
It can also be described as spicy, due to botanicals such as coriander seed and green cardamom. One of the defining characteristics of Plymouth Gin is its smoothness. The combination of carefully selected botanicals, traditional distillation methods and oak barrel maturation results in a gin that goes down smoothly, without any harsh or abrasive qualities.
So, what is Plymouth Gin? A well-balanced, smooth, dry gin with a slight sweetness.
Plymouth Gin VS London Dry Gin, what’s the difference?
There are many different types of gin, want to know what they are? Read about 8 different types of gin. But first, let us compare it to a classic gin, London Dry Gin. In fact, Plymouth Gin is considered a subtype of London Dry, but is it really? Plymouth has more citrus notes than the London Dry style. What other differences are there? Below we summarize Plymouth VS London Dry:
- Geographical Indication: according to its Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, Plymouth Gin must be produced in Plymouth. The name of London Dry would suggest the same, however, this type of gin can be produced anywhere, as long as it meets the defined criteria.
- Flavor Profile: Plymouth Gin is known for its smoothness, full-bodied nature, and slightly sweeter taste compared to other gins. London Dry Gin, on the other hand, tends to have a drier and more juniper-forward flavor profile, with a focus on crispness and botanical freshness.
- Botanicals: While both styles of gin use juniper as a key botanical, the specific botanical blend may vary. Plymouth Gin typically includes juniper berries, coriander seeds, sweet orange peel, green cardamom, and angelica root. London Dry Gin must predominantly feature juniper, but the other botanicals can vary widely, including citrus peels, herbs, spices, and floral elements.
- Distillation: Plymouth Gin is distilled in traditional copper pot stills, which imparts a rich and rounded character to the spirit. London Dry Gin can be produced using a variety of distillation methods.
Are you curious to know more about London Dry Gin? Then read our blog about London Dry Gin: Discover the dry delights of London.
Plymouth Gin in cocktails, neat or for a Gin Tonic?
You may be wondering what goes well with Plymouth Gin. Because it is a gin with a distinctive flavor, it can be drunk neat. However, it can also be used as a base for classic cocktails such as the Martini or Negroni. The flavor profile also lends itself well to refreshing gin and tonic combinations or mixed with other ingredients in modern cocktail creations.
Buy Plymouth Gin for your liquor store at Moving Spirits!
Moving Spirits is the place to buy gin for your liquor store. With over 80 brands of gin always in stock, you’ll never have to choose. Of course, we don’t just sell Plymouth Gin. You can also come to us for:
- London Dry Gin
- Old Tom Gin
- Navy Strength Gin
- New Western Dry Gin
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