The Wheadon family have been renowned for their alcohol production on the Channel Islands for over 150 years. This heritage combined with the island’s maritime environment acts as the ultimate inspiration behind its production.
The gin distillery itself is situated in the Bella Luce Hotel within the St Martin region of the island, tucked away in a cosy, yet sophisticated cellar lounge. The gin is distilled in large copper stills and this traditional process paired with high quality botanicals is what separates these gins to above the rest.
Gin is made through the batch distillery of neutral grain spirits with various botanicals to create its unique and delicate flavours. Gin connoisseurs often keep their botanical mix secret, as this is what gives each gin its exclusive flavour. The botanicals used such as rock samphire and gorse flowers are found locally and foraged for on the rugged Guernsey cliffs, whereas ingredients that are grown further afield are supplied by a trusted selection of international growers.
Wheadon’s believe that great gin is all about the flavour which involves creating the perfect balance of botanicals, whether that be to pair with a tonic or as the base for your favourite cocktail. By distilling in small quantities, each batch is carefully fine-tuned to create the ultimate exquisite drink.
It is for these reasons that Wheadon’s is the official gin partner of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society and its products are well respected around the island.
Wheadon’s use the freshest of ingredients and work with different balances of botanicals to create their gins, and this means that there are regular small batches of limited-edition infusions. They do, however, have three signature drinks that each have their own complexity and unique flavour.
This blend juxtaposes the sweetness of the locally foraged rock samphire with the enjoyable bitterness of the pink grapefruit. This gin is a real palette freshener, ideal to have between meals and perfect paired with either a traditional or Mediterranean tonic. For those looking for a cocktail, this gin is also great when used in a gin Bloody Mary.
A versatile base across all drinks, this mandarin lime and hibiscus infusion is a celebration of flavour with the immediate fragrance from the citrus lime followed by the deep floral hibiscus notes. Wheadon’s recommend pairing with an aromatic tonic, garnished with a slice of lime or strawberry. This blend also makes an incredible negroni.
This infusion immediately pulls you in with high notes of the citrusy yuzu before leading you into the longer lemongrass flavour. After that, you’ll feel the herbaceous green tea pulling through, taking you on a smooth journey through an array of exciting flavours. Wheadon’s recommend enjoying this with premium Indian tonic water over ice, garnished with a sweet raspberry or a slice of fresh ginger.
If you are a gin lover and visiting Guernsey, Wheadon’s distillery experiences are an ideal way to spend an evening, with a wide selection of experiences to choose from depending on your time and budget.
For those short on time, you can have a half hour ‘gintroduction’ where you get an introduction into the gin making process, as well as a few tasters of the delicious produce.
If you want to make an evening out of it, you can opt for the ‘gintroduction’ followed by a three-course dinner at the luxurious Bella Luce hotel where dishes range from pan fried Guernsey scallops to steak.
For a more thorough introduction, you can book on to an hour’s session where you start to gain an understanding into the different botanicals and then have a gin tasting opportunity to taste the significance of the botanicals.
You can design your own distillation in a more hands-on approach workshop which consists of a two-hour session exploring the whole of the gin-making process and the significance of the botanicals. Your group will then design an infusion that can distil while you dine, allowing you to take home a miniature bottle of your own gin!
The Bella Luce is one of Guernsey’s most luxurious hotels and is situated in the delightful parish of St Martin in the south east of the island. Each room is individually designed to add to the character of the property and has everything you need for a perfect night’s sleep.
There is an onsite spa available so you can drink your gin feeling absolutely pampered in the hotel cellar: an atmospheric lounge with vintage armchairs and leather sofas for the perfect relaxed and sophisticated evening.
When the sun is out, the hotel has a welcoming outdoor terrace where you can bask with a drink from the yard bar or indulge in some of the delicious food from the impressive range of dishes on the menu. The food on offer is a celebration of Guernsey’s position between France and the UK with fresh seafood and local produce.
If you don’t get a chance to visit on your travels, you can find Wheadon’s rock samphire and pink grapefruit gin on board our duty free shop.
Click here to look at the timetables and book your journey over to Guernsey to discover the unique taste of Wheadon’s gin.