We were recently invited to NB Distillery in East Lothian for a Scottish Gin tour. We love Scottish gin, so jumped at the chance to visit the home of NB Gin for one of their five-star ‘Ginspiration Tours’.
NB Distillery, North Berwick
NB Distillery is located in a pretty rural setting a stone’s throw away from North Berwick.
Inside, the purpose-built distillery had a slight steam punk vibe going on – very cool.
Besides looking cool, the building is environmentally friendly too. The power is generated by solar panels and rainwater is collected to make gin. So, the next time you complain about the rain in Scotland, remember – today’s rain is tomorrow’s tasty Scottish gin.
Our NB Distillery Ginspiration Tour – welcome
The NB Distillery ‘Ginspiration Tour’ is a small group tour. It lasts for 90 minutes and costs £25 per person. Mr G and I were joined on our tour by a couple from Aberdeenshire and three ladies from Angus.
Arriving for our tour, we were welcomed by Hilary and Jenny and offered an NB classic gin and tonic, garnished with pink grapefruit and basil. It was the perfect serve. Well it was for me, Mr G was driving, so had a soft drink instead.
We sipped our refreshing G&Ts as Hilary shared some background information on the NB Gin brand. I love a local success story, and NB Gin is just that.
Viv and Steve Muir had successful legal careers when they decided to start a joint venture together in 2011. Armed with central heating pipes and a pressure cooker, they began experimenting with gin making in their kitchen. Once they’d perfected a recipe, they had a custom-made still built.
Fast forward to 2015 and NB Dry London Gin wins the title of ‘World’s best London Dry Gin’ at The World Drinks Awards. From there on in the accolades kept coming. The gin was served at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, Harry and Megan’s wedding and the Brit Awards.
NB Distillery later added a Navy strength Dry London Gin to their brand, followed by a samphire gin and a half-strength gin, which tastes exactly like their original Dry London Gin. ‘School Night’ is 21% proof, which means you can drink it on a school night without suffering the next morning. Even better, School Night comes in an eco friendly cardboard bottle, which looks fab and is kind to the planet. And for those who prefer vodka, or even rum – NB Distillery have branched out into those drinks too.
Our NB Distillery Ginspiration Tour – the production area
Once we’d finished our classic G&Ts, we moved to the production room to see where the magic happens. Steve Ross, the distillery’s Head of Production introduced us to NB’s resident gin still ‘Little Gloria’ before talking us through the gin making process. It was really interesting. We tried to get some trade secrets out of Steve, but he wasn’t for divulging NB’s magic formula.
From gin, our attention turned to rum making and the distillery’s huge copper rum still. It looked just like a whisky still and Steve told us it was, and could easily be reconfigured to make whisky.
Will we see NB Whisky in the future? I do hope so.
Our NB Distillery Tour – the tasting
The third and final part of our ‘Ginspiration Tour’ took place in the distillery’s comfortable lounge. There we’d sample a flight of gins, plus vodka and rum for good measure.
First, we tried NB’s original Dry London Gin neat, nosing it before taking a sip. Hilary asked if we recognised any of the ingredients. I guessed lemon. I was right, there was lemon peel in the gin. We were then asked to add a little tonic and taste again. What flavours could we detect now? This time I picked up an obvious taste of pepper. I was right. Could I guess three in a row? My third guess was coriander and like a charm I was spot on.
By the time we moved on to the second glass in our tasting flight (NB Navy Strength Dry London Gin), the conversation in the room was flowing and we were having a right old laugh.
I loved the navy strength gin (it was my favourite) and the samphire gin that followed too.
After gin we sampled NB Vodka. I’m not a vodka drinker, but I really liked NB Vodka. It was smooth and citrusy and tasted great mixed with ginger beer.
We finished with a choice of rum, either NB Full Bodied Golden Rum or NB spiced Rum. I chose the spiced rum. I’m not a rum drinker either, but this was wonderful and tasted like Christmas in a glass. It was warm, rich and buttery and slipped down a treat with an apple juice mixer. It’ll definitely be on my shopping list for this year’s Christmas celebrations.
A tipsy end to a brilliant Scottish gin tour
Tasting over, we had the opportunity to buy NB gin, vodka, rum, candles, hand sanitiser and glasses at a discounted rate.
I bought a couple of nice gin glasses, so I could enjoy a NB Gin (or two) in style at home.
Thanking Hilary and Jenny and bidding farewell to our new drinking cronies, we headed out into the warm summer’s night – me with a rosy glow on my cheeks after consuming a tipple or two on a school night.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Scottish gin tour at NB Distillery. I’d highly recommend a visit to the distillery if you have a trip to Edinburgh or East Lothian planned, or if you’re local and love a good Scottish gin. For those of you who are fellow gin lovers, but unable to travel, NB Distillery sell their lovely gins online. The distillery’s online shop ships worldwide and they’ve given me a discount code to share with you. So, if you fancy treating yourself to a quality Scottish gin, vodka or rum from NB Distillery, quote WEEWHITEDUG21 at checkout and you’ll receive a 10% discount.
Our ‘Ginspiration tour’ was provided on a complimentary basis, however all opinions are my own.
Until next time …
Although Casper joined us for the tour, he wasn’t allowed inside the production area.
The discount code provided above is not an affiliated, commission earning link.