Winchester Distillery logo with stylized compass.

Winchester Distillery

  • Scotland
  • World Gin Awards, Best Gin Bottle Design
Phone Number
  • Unit C St Martins, Winchester Trade Park, Nickel Cl, Winchester SO23 7RJ, United Kingdom

Architectural glasshouse structure by pond with industrial backdrop.


History of Winchester Distillery

The Genesis of Winchester Distillery

From Software to Spirits: Paul Bowler’s Leap

In 2014, the Winchester Distillery story began in a modest home kitchen in central Winchester. Paul Bowler, transitioning from a career in software development, founded the distillery fuelled by his passion for gin and a desire for deeper connection with his Winchester community.

Crafting a Signature: Twisted Nose Gin

The Birth of a Flagship Spirit

Twisted Nose Gin, Winchester Distillery’s inaugural creation, set a high standard for the brand. Using local Hampshire botanicals, including watercress, this gin became a true representation of the local landscape’s essence.

Expansion and Diversification

Broadening Horizons in Spirit Production

Winchester Distillery expanded beyond its initial confines, moving to a larger facility equipped with advanced distillation equipment. This expansion signified not just the growth of Twisted Nose Gin but also the start of new ventures in brandy, rum, and whisky production.

Fostering Community Engagement

Building Relationships through Local Markets

Bowler’s early efforts in selling gin at local farmers’ markets and pubs were more than commercial endeavours. They were opportunities to build relationships with fellow locals, forming a community around the distillery.

The Road Ahead

Innovating for the Future

As Winchester Distillery looks to the future, it remains focused on innovation and excellence. The distillery has plans for new products, promising a future filled with exciting possibilities and a continued commitment to quality.

Awards Won by Winchester Distillery

  1. World Gin Awards:
    • Twisted Nose Gin received the award for the World’s Best Gin Design.
    • Twisted Nose Wasabi Vodka was awarded a Gold medal in the World’s Best Flavoured Vodka category at the World Vodka Awards 2020.
  2. Recognition for Branding and Design:
    • The distillery’s collaboration with Valiant Design for the Twisted Nose gin branding and bottle design led to multiple awards. They were recognised in categories such as World’s Best Gin Bottle Design and other design-related awards.

Winchester Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Winchester Distillery offers an engaging and informative tour experience that caters to gin enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. Here’s a detailed overview of what to expect during a visit to the home of Twisted Nose Gin:

Tour Details

Location: The distillery is conveniently located a short walk from the centre of Winchester, nestled in Nickel Close, SO23 7RJ. It’s situated within a cluster of red units, making it a unique and somewhat hidden gem in the area.

Tour Price and Schedule: The tour is priced at £15 per person. It is available on the second Saturday of every month and lasts for approximately 1.5 hours.

Booking Process: Reservations for the tour must be made online in advance.

Tour Experience

Gin’s History: The tour begins with an insightful lesson on the history of gin. This part of the tour is not only educational but also sets the stage for appreciating the craftsmanship involved in gin production.

Behind-the-Scenes Look: Visitors are taken through the production process of Winchester Gin. A highlight of this segment is meeting ‘Persephone’, the still used in the distillation process, and learning about the flavouring and crafting of Winchester Gin.

Guided Tasting Session: The latter half of the tour includes a guided tasting through the extensive range of spirits produced by Winchester Distillery. This experience is particularly enriching as it offers knowledge about different styles of gin and helps in understanding the nuances of each type.

Additional Information

Restrictions: The tour is exclusively for individuals over the age of 18. Children and pets are not permitted on the premises due to the distillery being a food production facility.

Shop Access: The distillery’s shop is open during tour hours for guests who wish to purchase their favorite spirits or related merchandise.

Car Parking: While the distillery does not have a dedicated car park, there are public parking options available nearby. It’s advised to check for parking in advance due to the rural location of the distillery.

Refund Policy: Changes to bookings can be accommodated up to 7 days before the scheduled event. However, refunds are not offered for cancellations or no-shows.

Tips for Visitors

Plan Your Visit: Due to the distillery’s rural location, it’s recommended to allow ample time to find the venue. The unique setting adds to the charm of the visit, making it a memorable experience.

Explore the Range: Winchester Distillery boasts a diverse range of spirits, including seasonal gins and limited editions, so there’s much to explore and taste.

Flask & Barrel Review of Winchester Distillery

As a seasoned whiskey collector who’s toured many distilleries, I found my visit to Winchester Distillery quite impressive, earning a solid 4.7 out of 5 in my book. Here’s my casual take on the experience:

The Vibe: Right from the start, Winchester Distillery had a welcoming, almost intimate feel to it. It’s smaller than some of the big-name distilleries I’ve visited, which actually works in its favor, giving it a more personal touch.

The Tour: Their tour is quite the treat. Lasting around 1.5 hours, it kicks off with an intriguing history lesson on gin, which was unexpectedly fascinating, considering I’m more of a whiskey guy. Then, meeting Persephone, their still, was a highlight. There’s something about seeing the machinery and hearing about the process that really brings home the craftsmanship involved.

The Tasting Experience: This is where Winchester Distillery really shines. The guided tasting session was a journey through their spirit range. Despite my whiskey leanings, I have to say their gins, especially the Twisted Nose, were a revelation – fresh, aromatic, and with a clear local signature.

The Little Extras: Their shop, open during the tours, is a nice touch. I picked up a couple of bottles to add to my collection. And the staff’s knowledge and passion for their craft were evident throughout.

Accessibility: It’s out of the way and doesn’t have its own parking, but that’s hardly a deal-breaker. Just plan for the travel.

Overall, Winchester Distillery may not be the biggest or flashiest, but it’s got heart and quality in spades. It’s a must-visit for any spirit enthusiast, and even a whiskey purist like me can appreciate the artistry of their gin. It’s worth the trip and the time!

Why Not a Full 5? Well, I reserve that for places that blow me completely away. No doubt, Winchester Distillery is fantastic, but I keep that little extra room for the extraordinary.

What To Do Nearby Winchester Distillery

Winchester Cathedral: Just a stone’s throw from the distillery, this enormous gothic cathedral is steeped in history, including a fascinating story about a diver who spent years fixing its foundations.

The Great Hall: Home to the legendary round table of Arthurian lore, this site is a recreation commissioned by Henry VIII and is a sight to behold.

River Itchen Walk: A leisurely stroll along the River Itchen takes you through lush countryside with opportunities to spot wildlife. The two-mile loop offers stunning views and a chance to immerse yourself in nature.

Josie’s for Brunch: After a refreshing walk, you might enjoy visiting Josie’s for their spectacular pancakes or a hearty veggie breakfast.

Local Pubs and Bars: Winchester boasts some great traditional pubs like The Black Boy and The Wykeham Arms, known for their unique decor and craft beers. For cocktail lovers, Cabinet Rooms or Incognito are excellent choices.

Independent Shops: Exploring Winchester’s winding side streets reveals an array of independent shops, perfect for those who love unique finds. Don’t miss P&G Wells, a charming bookshop with a rich history.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens: A little further out, these world-famous gardens, about 11 miles from Winchester, offer a diverse plant collection spread over 180 acres, a testament to Sir Harold Hillier’s extensive travels and botanical passion.

Winchester High Street: Claimed to be the UK’s oldest high street, it offers a mix of impressive architecture, shopping, dining, and the iconic High Street Clock.

The Hospital of St Cross: About a mile from Winchester, a walk down the Itchen River leads to this picturesque site, known for its photogenic qualities and historical significance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Winchester Distillery?

Rick Stein, Winchester: This restaurant boasts a 4.4-star rating on Google Maps. Known for its sophisticated modern atmosphere and a focus on fish and seafood, it’s a popular choice for those looking for a refined dining experience. For reservations, you can contact them at +44 1962 587348. The restaurant is at 8 High St, Winchester SO23 9JX, United Kingdom.

Palm Pan Asia Restaurant: This intimate and contemporary Thai and Asian cuisine restaurant has a 4.3-star rating. It offers a full bar and set lunch options, making it a great spot for a variety of dining experiences. To book a table, call them at +44 1962 864040. Their address is 166-167 High St, Winchester SO23 9BA, United Kingdom.

Porterhouse Steakhouse: With a 4.5-star rating, this modern steakhouse is known for its traditional cuts of grass-fed beef served in a bright setting with high back leather chairs. Reservations can be made by contacting +44 1962 810532. The steakhouse is located at 24 Jewry St, Winchester SO23 8SB, United Kingdom.

What hotels are near Winchester Distillery?

Holiday Inn Winchester, an IHG Hotel: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them on their phone at +44 1962 670700 for reservations. Their address is Morn Hill Caravan Club site, Telegraph Way, Winchester SO21 1HZ, United Kingdom.

Hotel du Vin Winchester: This hotel boasts a 4.2-star rating. You can make reservations by calling them at +44 1962 841414. The hotel is at 14 Southgate St, Winchester SO23 9EF, United Kingdom.

Winchester Royal Hotel: With a rating of 4.1 stars, this hotel is popular. For booking inquiries, contact them at +44 330 102 7242. The hotel’s address is St Peter St, Winchester SO23 8BS, United Kingdom.