Gin Distillery Tour

Singapore isn’t especially known for it’s spirits, and I mean the alcoholic type. Besides the world famous Tiger Beer which has been around for ages since my grand parents’ time, there aren’t any other well known Singapore based spirits that have made a name worldwide. With almost all of the country’s spirits imported, you wouldn’t think that there will be local breweries and distilleries around the island.

But during the pandemic, I’ve noticed the local supermarkets starting to put locally made spirits on their shelves. Maybe its boredom for not being able to travel and use up our duty free allowances, but I’ve been trying out some of these locally made spirits which incorporate local flavours from South East Asia for a different and exotic taste.

One of these local spirits is gin made by Tanglin Gin. Curiosity got the better of me after trying their award winning Orchid Gin, and I decided to find out more about them. After all, gin has it’s origins in Europe and it’s rare to find someone making gin in Singapore. I ended up booking a distillery tour on their website. The tour also comes with a free gin tasting and drink.

Tanglin Gin’s distillery is located in the rather upmarket Dempsey Hill which houses plenty of restaurants and cafes.

We were greeted by the friendly staff and after having our ID’s checked to make sure we were of legal drinking age, the tour started. First we had to get access behind a locked door where the distilling equipment and ingredients were kept. There was a single still where ethanol and juniper berries are mixed and heated. The evaporated alcohol then rises up through layers of spices called botanicals which gives the gin it’s flavour. The different flavours of gin comes from the mix of botanicals which are used in that production batch.

Due to the rising demand for their gin, we were told that they are getting a second still to increase production.

Looking like a mad scientist’s equipment, the top of the still contains layers of botanicals like orange peels, cassia, etc which gives the flavour to that particular gin.

We were also introduced to the many spices and botanicals which are used in gin making. Besides juniper berries which must always be used to be considered as a gin, there were common spices like anise, pepper, chili, and cassia. Vanilla beans, nutmeg and fruit peels are also used for flavouring.

The favourite part of the tour is the tasting, since we got to try out all the different types of gin available.
After choosing our favourite gin from the tasting, they made a cocktail out of it.
This shelve of different gin samples really reminds me of my secondary school’s chemistry lab.

The tour lasts roughly an hour and we could also purchase our favourite gins at a discount. If you are looking to check out interesting local tours, do try this out.

For more alcoholic blogs, here is one on whiskey appreciation and another one about a French vineyard.

3 thoughts on “Gin Distillery Tour

  1. When we first visited the Quays, it completely changed our perspective on that part of Asia. After a couple of weeks in Malaysia with hardly any alcohol anywhere, we were amazed at the hedonistic scenes down on the Quays. It took us by surprise, and so did the prices!

  2. What a great find, and definitely a perfect excursion to take ~ I too would not imagine a gin distillery in Singapore, but it looks incredible. Will have to see if I can find any of the Tanglin Gin here 🙂 Wonderful photos of the process and the product… clear & crisp photos so I take it they were taken before you began trying the product 🙂 Cheers to a good week ahead.

    1. I should have taken more photos but I didn’t want to interrupt the guide with all my camera clicks. You are right that I took the photos before the tasting. My wife doesn’t drink and I drank her share, so I was really woozy after that…

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