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Bombay Sapphire distillery to open in October

The Bombay Sapphire gin distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England, will open to the public on October 1, 2014.

The mill, which dates back to the 10th century, has been completely renovated by The Bombay Spirits Company, undergoing a multi-million pound restoration to the brown-field site which covers two hectares of countryside astride the River Test.

For 200 years, the site produced paper for the bank notes of India and the British Empire. Now the newly renovated site provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about the history of Laverstoke Mill and the unique vapour Infusion distillation process of Bombay Sapphire gin.

Every effort has been made to ensure that Laverstoke Mill is transformed into a state-of-the-art premium gin distillery and visitor experience, encompassing the highest standards in design, functionality and sustainability. Last year, the distillery was recognised as the first distillery and first refurbishment to achieve an Outstanding design-stage Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method accreditation2 for its distillery process buildings.

The vision for the site was headed by London designer Thomas Heatherwick and his team at Heatherwick Studio, whose ambition for the project focused on restoration of the buildings and grounds, while introducing a new structure that complements the natural beauty of the site. The centrepiece, inspired by Victorian glasshouse structures, is the two intertwining botanical glasshouses – one tropical, one temperate - designed to showcase examples of the 10 botanicals used in Bombay Sapphire gin.

Visitors will be encouraged to use interactive maps to explore and learn exactly how Bombay Sapphire is made. They will be able to wander through the glasshouses and botanical dry room, see the historical Dakin stills, understand the history of Laverstoke Mill in the Heritage Room, and end the experience with a classic Bombay Sapphire cocktail in the beautifully designed Mill Bar.

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke Mill also features the Empire Room, a new advocacy and training centre. Tailored brand education masterclasses will be hosted here for trade and media guests from all over the world, offering an incredible learning experience and opportunity to understand and share in the core values that lie at the heart of Bombay Sapphire.

Valerie Brass, global marketing director of Bombay Sapphire gin, says; “This is a truly exciting time for Bombay Sapphire as we open our doors to the public worldwide and share our story with them for the first time. Our aim was to create a world class distillery, built to mirror the fundamental principles of our brand -- beauty, creation and integrity. Everything we do from our iconic blue bottle, to the 10 exotic Bombay Sapphire botanicals and our unique vapour infusion process, demonstrate our commitment to quality and innovation in gin distillation.”

21 July 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor