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Plymouth Gin Distillery, Plymouth

The Plymouth Gin Distillery in The Barbican, Plymouth, England has been in operation since 1793 and used to be a significant manufacturer of gin in the UK. Also known as the Black Friars Distillery, it is the only gin distillery in the city.
The original building opens on to what is now Southside Street. Local tradition has it that it is located in what was once a Dominican Order monastery, built in 1431, although there is no evidence to support this. It is also said that some of the Pilgrim Fathers may have stayed here while the Mayflower was in the harbour for repairs before finally setting sail to North America. This is where the ship on the company label is thought to have originated from.
It was a large merchant's house dating from around 1500. By 1605 the building was used as a gaol, and a Congregational meeting house from 1689 to 1705. It was remodelled and extended as a gin distillery from 1793 when Coates joined with the established business of Fox & Williamson. The business was known as Coates & Co. until March 2004.
It is now a bar with bistro above, and the distillery provides several tours. Since 2005 the brand and premises have been owned by the Scandinavian V&S Group, better known for making Absolut Vodka, who in turn were later acquired by Pernod-Ricard.
Plymouth Gin is still made here, and in recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of the distinctive sweeter and lighter but stronger Plymouth flavour, compared to the more usual London Dry Gin. The company has produced a large range of promotional items, including Dartmouth Potteries Gurgle Jugs, miniatures, glasses, ashtrays, match strikers, etc. Many of these have become very collectable.

On the afternoon of 27 February 2008, the building was substantially damaged by a kitchen fire starting in the nearby (and that time recently opened) Barbican Kitchen, which has subsequently re-opened.
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Plymouth Gin Distillery Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
907 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Very enjoyable little tour. Full of history and really interesting. Lovely to sit upstairs and enjoy a drink after too. Gift shop was well stocked with a nice selection of items  more »
  • Been here a couple of times for birthdays. I’m not keen on gin but we’d interesting to see how gin is made!  more »
  • A very interesting trip even if you are not a gin lover. Lots of history in this amazing old building. The tour guide was a delight too!  more »
Google
  • Fantastic tour .Becca was fabulous,bottled sunshine ,would love to go back and make my own bottle. Phoned them on the off chance of a tour as no availability on line so glad I did .I am not a gin addict or fan but love other people's professions.Fascinating .Thank you Becca for your enthusiasm and so glad I purchased the Sloe Gin .
  • Fantastic place, really great tour, delicious gin! Our tour (10 £ per person) was very interesting, our tour guide smart, funny and enthusiastic. We learnt a lot and could even try the gin, that was excellent.
  • I'm sure this place is great! I only had time the gift shop but had very friendly service
  • Plymouth Gin has a range of different cocktails on offer at the bar upstairs. Had a really funky vibe and a chilled atmosphere. The bar tenders are extremely friendly and helpful, not to mentioned skilled. The cocktails are made from fresh produce and are reasonably priced. Highly recommended.
  • Very interesting tour, topped by the tastings on the Connoiseur tour

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