A new distillery, gin school, visitor experience and bottling plant based in a historic castle in South Wales has opened its doors to the public.
Hensol Castle Distillery and the Grade I-listed Hensol Castle are set to become a top tourism destination for the region after a multi-million-pound investment.
At the new distillery experience, visitors will be able to make their own bottle of gin at the gin school, tour the distillery with the castle’s team of distillers, including master distiller Dai Wakely, and get a gin history lesson (and a cocktail) at the on-site bar. Its public opening was delayed from March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hensol Castle is South Wales’ first full-scale gin and spirits distillery and contract bottling plant. It started production in 2019 and has so far launched the Crawshay gin range, both vodka and gin under its Benjamin Hall brand, and a collection of reduced-calorie liqueurs, Trulo. Distillation takes place on a 400-litre copper pot still.
Christopher Leeke, managing director of Hensol Castle Distillery, said: “It’s been a real labour of love to breathe new life back into the old castle walls and convert it into a premier tourist destination, and we’re looking forward to finally being able to open our doors and share what we’ve created with others.”
The first bottle of Hensol Castle Gin to come off the distillery’s production line was included in a time capsule buried in the castle grounds by the Leeke family, together with a handwritten note from Christopher Leeke.
The distillery is part of a wider £7 million redevelopment at Hensol Castle, which has included turning the once-derelict castle into a wedding and conference destination.