South West Independent Gin Guide, a book review

South West Independent Gin Guide, a book review


Being a Devon gal for most of my life, I was absolutely delighted to be given a copy of the first edition of the South West Independent Gin Guide, by my friend Greg Millar, whilst supping gin at his beautiful Dartmoor Whisky Distillery in Bovey Tracey.

The 132-page publication is ideal in size (A5) to pop in your pocket, handbag, or car glove box; to be referred to as you wobble around the many places to buy, try or learn about gin – from Land’s End to Bournemouth, or ‘up north’ to Warwickshire. Which is exactly what Greg’s daughter Abby did, when helping to compile this bijou bible of gin.

We start with a ‘welcome’ from the editor, Jo Rees, before moving on to ‘true craft gins’ – where you are treated to a description of each available. For example, the first is Cotswolds Dry Gin, whose history and production process are explored, backed by interesting info such as launch date, ‘perfect pours’ and tasting notes, plus distillery contact details and where it can be purchased.  A further 20 local gins are covered, all beautifully illustrated with superb photography.

For those on the go, ‘gin haunts’ offers the best places to drink the stuff – yippee, I haven’t been to any of them yet!  Details are provided of location, number of gins stocked, contact numbers and whether food is served.  Again, supported with great pics – while the food descriptions are inspiring too: for example, The Bay Hotel in Truro offers the chance to ‘match your gin with juicy lobster.’

The ‘gin stores’ section offers a description of shops – all independent – where we can buy our ruin; how many are stocked, and events to attend: for example, Wildmoor deli in Bovey Tracey does gin tasting; and useful contact details are again provided.

Last but not least, ‘gin schools’ across the South West are covered, giving us gin-thusiasts the chance to make our own – such as Salcombe Gin School which charges from £100, with capacity for a group of 16 people to learn about the tipple as well as make it… hint … my birthday’s coming up …

Yep – this little book is going in the car to facilitate future gin-ventures that will find space in our GINblogger pages.  Buy yours from Amazon, or directly from the publisher, Salt Media, at https://indygin.guid – it will be £7.99 well invested.



“For those on the go, Gin Haunts offers the best places to drink the stuff – yippee, I haven’t been to any of them yet! “