Plymouth Gin launched in 1793, and has been made with the same botanicals, on the same site, ever since. Plymouth Gin is the only brand in the UK to have a PGI mark (Protected Geographical Indication), which means it can only be made in Plymouth.
This PGI also denotes that Plymouth is a style of Gin, as well as a brand. It is thought that the PGI was acquired (back in the 1880s) to protect the reputation of the brand which was supplying over 1,000 barrels of Gin to the British Royal Navy at the time.
Plymouth Gin is traditional in its botanical makeup (juniper, cardamom, coriander, angelica root, citrus peels and orris root), although less so in flavor. It’s a particularly smooth Gin due to the higher number of root botanicals, giving an earthier feel than a London Dry Gin. It works well in Martinis and Gin and Tonics alike.
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In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers spent their last night in England at the distillery buildings before embarking on the Mayflower’s epic voyage to America. The Mayflower still forms part of Plymouth Gin’s label to this day.
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The Blackfriars Distillery is the home ofPlymouth Gin, which has been producing Spirits since 1793. Today, it’s known as the Plymouth Gin Distillery and remains the oldest working distillery in England.
Before it became a working distillery, the buildings were a monastery belonging to the Black Friars (hence the name). Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, the buildings were many things – including a prison!
In 1793, the Coates family joined the established distilling company Fox & Williamson, but in time, the family took over the distillery and it was named Coates & Co Ltd until 2004. The Spirits today are made in a Victorian copper pot still which isover 150 years old.
The Blackfriars Distillery is the only distillery licensed to produce a Spirit called Plymouth Gin (which is both a brand and a style of Gin), as the Coates family sought an injunction which prevented London distilleries from naming their Gins as Plymouth made.
Back in the 1880s, Plymouth Gin was supplied to the Royal Navy, which was a huge stamp of approval for the brand, and led to many imitators.
AddressBlack Friars Distillery, 60 Southside Street, Plymouth PL1 2LQ, UK