Whitby Gin, the Demeter Edition review


“From beach to batch”

The initial ‘gin-spiration’ came on a camping trip to the Outer Hebrides, after visiting various local artisan-gin makers.  However the vision focussed on the opposite coast to the UK: “to create a quality gin which would celebrate the diverse natural landscape of the place we’re lucky enough to call home.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the draw of the sea, beaches and landscapes around Whitby inspired the founders of this lovely gin – after all, the town was well known for its whaling industry, so all the locals will have the sea in their blood … as one visitor also perhaps sensed in the air back in 1890.

Bram Stoker would stroll from the genteel Royal Crescent down into the town, on the way, taking in Whitby’s windswept headland, the dramatic abbey ruins, the swooping bats, and the people’s long held fascination with jet – a semi-precious stone used in mourning jewellery.  The scenic backdrop meeting the requirements of Gothic literature at the time, of tales set in magical lands full of eerie castles, crumbling ruins and the ferocious sea, casting ships towards certain death.

Bram Stoker was inspired by Whitby’s atmospheric beauty to publish his blood-curdling Gothic novel Dracula, in 1897.

While staying in Whitby, Stoker would have heard of the shipwreck, five years previous, involving a Russian vessel called the Dmitry, which ran aground below the East Cliff, carrying a cargo of silver sand.  Stoker’s fertile imagination translated the unfortunate vessel’s name as The Demeter from Varna, which would carry Dracula to Whitby – with a cargo of silver sand and boxes of earth.

The distillery sits in the shadows of Whitby Abbey

Now – and still not for the faint-hearted – we are offered Whitby Gin, The Demeter Edition …  with the inclusion of plum as a key botanical apparently nodding to the fact that bats feast on the fruit.  Sweet on the palate, the plums and vanilla are followed by spicy pepper.  Locally gathered rosehips, heather and elderflower provide the lovely aroma to this 42% spirit.

We enjoyed our Demeter Whitby Gin with ice, Indian tonic and juicy lime, although it’s good enough to be supped neat.  The distillers suggest a serve with loads of ice, pink peppercorn tonic along with a garnish of black peppercorns and a slice of orange … could that be blood orange?

Whitby Gin, The Demeter Edition, can be purchased for around £40 from the distiller or through various online shops


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Gin Lover One ‘aka’ Juliet Meechan is a seasoned journalist, blogger, content writer and gin lover!