Questers’ Visit to Bombay Sapphire Distillery

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On the last day of March a small group of Questers met at the Bombay Sapphire distillery at Laverstoke on the site of a mill noted in the Domesday book. We were met by our knowledgeable guide who gave us a brief history of the large site and how many of the old buildings had been adapted for modern use. For 200 years this complex of brick buildings was owned by the Portals paper making business who produced bank notes for the British Empire and was subsequently sold to De La Rue who ceased production in 2018.
We were invited to make up our own G & T mix with plenty of ice and take a seat in the comfortable cinema to learn more about the distilling process.

Dodging the sleet squalls, our guide took us into the glasshouses where some of the herbs and spices used in the distilling process are grown, the remainder coming from selected growers around the world.

We then had our opportunity of seeing and smelling the 10 “botanicals” with an explanation of how it is the vapour from the botanicals that makes the gin lighter and different from other varieties. The cost and noise of having a bottling plant at the Laverstoke site means the concentrated spirit is transported by road to Glasgow where the alcohol content is reduced before it is bottled in the distinctive blue rectangular bottles. In 1998 Bombay distillery was acquired by Bacardi and since then the visitor centre and other improvements have been made


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