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Three new gins to look out for from Guernsey, the island of gin

It may be small, but Guernsey is churning out bottles of premium gin to rival the big names
It may be small, but Guernsey is churning out bottles of premium gin to rival the big names

Welcome to Guernsey, island of gin. Three relatively new distillers are at work here, which means the sunny triangle of land in the Channel, measuring only 25 square miles, is punching well above its weight in the world of our favourite premium spirit.

I visited last week, staying at boutique hotel Bella Luce where Wheadon’s gins are made. This is a gin lover’s ideal bolt-hole with a vast range behind the bar, regular botanical foraging and gin tasting events and, best of all, the large copper still at work, in full view next to the restaurant. Distiller Luke Wheadon is an ex-chef who makes gins with particularly bold and bright notes. His first release, Wheadon’s Rock Samphire and Pink Grapefruit, launched in 2016 – do check out his other gins, Mandarin Lime and Hibiscus, and Yuzu, Lemongrass and Green Tea.

Blue Bottle Gin, created by Dr Matt Polli (also Guernsey born and bred) is made in the island’s capital St Peter Port, and more classic, with dry, subtle notes of traditional gin botanicals coriander seed and cubeb pepper and a floral hint from local gorse flowers. Polli, originally a molecular embryologist (many scientists seem drawn to distilling), launched it in 2014 in a strikingly beautiful bottle – try it in dry martini with a hit of Noilly Prat.

And newly moved to St Peter Port from the north coast is the White Rock Brewery where Ross Gledhill distils Ten Degrees Gin. His gin is vacuum distilled at a lower temperature, and it’s fresh and elegant. Gledhill is opening a tasting room and shop on the premises later this summer. Visit if you possibly can.

Wheadon’s Gin Rock Samphire & Pink Grapefruit, 
Guernsey

(46%, The Whisky Exchange, £36.95 for 70cl)

A highly aromatic gin with plenty of ripe and tangy citrus on the flavour at first, then moving to mineral, saline and herbal notes from the rock samphire to lift the finish. Makes a seriously good G&T with a premium, unflavoured tonic.

Blue Bottle Artisan Dry Gin
, Guernsey

(47%, 31Dover.com, £30.75 for 70cl)

Smooth gin with a light pepperiness and floral hints, ending on cardamom and nutmeg. Despite its relatively strength, well balanced and subtle. One to sip on the rocks or use in fine cocktails.

Tendegrees Ultra Premium Gin, 
Guernsey

(42%, Amazon, £XXX for XXcl)

Fresh and lively, with a slight sweetness balanced by bergamot’s sharper twist and kaffir lime’s exotic note. A deeply refreshing gin which only opens up more when diluted with tonic.