Winchester Distillery Fine Dry Gin was launched, after three years of research and and experimenting with different processes and botanicals, in April 2017 and was the second permanent gin in their range after Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin.
Winchester Distillery Fine Dry Gin is a small batch, micro distilled London Dry Gin. London Gin is a gin that is made by re-distilling alcohol in the presence of botanicals in traditional stills. Most importantly all the ingredients must be natural and no colouring or flavourings can be added. The resultant gin must also have less than 0.1 g/L of sugar. This is basically what most people think of when they think of gin. All of the gins at Winchester Distillery are distilled in a traditional copper pot still, a descendant of the alembic still, used to make small batches of spirits, unlike the continuous distillation of large, more commercial column stills.
There are 6 botanicals in Winchester Distillery Fine Dry Gin including juniper, coriander, angelica, lemon and lime. The production method for this gins varies a little compared to the other Hampshire Gins produced: the dry botanicals macerated and distilled in the pot still as normal whilst the fresh citrus peel’s flavours and aromas are extracted by “vapour infusion”. This means the peel sits in a basket above the boiling alcohol with the alcohol vapour passing through it on its journey through the still. As Paul Bowler explains, the “process of vapour infusion retains the bright, zesty flavours of the fresh fruit without them becoming stewed, additionally creating a spirit rich in essential oils giving a silky mouth-feel and lemon-sherbet finish”.