I was delighted to have won a stay in a luxury cabin in Essex as a prize in the Silver Traveller 12 Days of Christmas draw (see my previous review), especially as it included a gin tasting session at the nearby East Coast Distillery.
We drove out to this quiet south-east corner of the county, not far from Walton-on-the-Naze, not knowing what to expect, but were greeted with a warm welcome and a private tour, talk about the gin-making process, and tasting! We learned much about how a group of friends, with no previous knowledge or experience in the industry, had decided to embark on a new venture very different to their day jobs. At the moment it’s quite a small concern, but growing all the time with their introduction of new products.
We met Monty, their multi-functional still (picture attached), and were told about the various botanicals, mostly found and foraged locally, which give their gins their own particular flavour and individuality. It seems the local environment of the nearby tidal estuary and saltmarsh between Walton and Harwich provides many of the unusual ingredients, such as Sea Buckthorn and Sea Parslane which are the basis of their signature Tide’s Fortune Gin.
The tasting was extensive, the only pity for myself being that I was driving! However, I did manage to enjoy a taste of Tide’s Fortune, as well as the Elder Pear Dry Gin and their Distiller’s Cut “Afternoon Tea” Gin, all of which my wife and I found absolutely delicious! In these days of gins in as many different flavours and styles you can think of, these were new (to us!) and slightly different to others we’d tasted. In short, a very pleasant surprise, well worth a try and a short detour to this quiet little backwater of Essex. If you can’t get there, you can order from their website…..https://eastcoastdistillery.co.uk/