Bass & Flinders Distillery: Artisan Grape Spirits
Address: 40 Collins Road, Dromana VIC 3936
Varieties: Gin, Vodka, Grappa, Limoncello and Brandy
It started with two new neighbours getting to know each other over a glass of champagne, and has culminated years later in the creation of award winning gins and spirits. Founders Wayne Klintworth and Bob Laing (now deceased) were the first to pioneer a distillery in the winery-saturated Mornington Peninsula, and once you pay them a visit, you’ll be very thankful they did.
In the impressive cellar door that includes a trendy cocktail indoor/outdoor bar, you’ll be guided through the fascinating distilling process – often by owner/founder Wayne or his daughter Holly. Of course, you’ll also get to sample some of the delicious wares they have worked hard to create, which are notably stocked in many well known restaurants and bars around Melbourne and the Peninsula.
So what exactly makes Bass & Flinders Distillery so special? Good question. The original idea for the distillery was to make a Cognac style spirit, but that takes 5-6 years to age. So what to do in the meantime? Make other spirit varieties, of course.
Little did they know that the gin they created to “fill in time” would become their signature show stoppers. Their current varieties rake in the accolades from critic including their base range: their classic soft and smooth Gin, wild and spicy Gin 10, refreshing and unique Monsoon Gin, and a range of ever changing limited edition and seasonal options.
They’ve also got plenty of other fantastic options that benefit from their focus on the finer details, like using Cape Schanck water in their Sheerwater Vodka, or using locally produced lemons to create delicious Limencello varieties.
Their Aged Grape Spirit Ochre has also been released and is highly recommended. They serve the tasting in a warmed glass to really bring out the aromas.
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A visit to the distillery door is a unique experience, as it provides a rare insight into the engine room of Bass & Flinders. The refurbished cellar door combines modern architectural style with a bar and tasting room and full view of the operating stills
As an operational distillery, you’ll be amongst the equipment and barrels as you taste, which really just makes the experience all the more special.
They also offer a great range of cocktails that showcase their spirits in all their glory. The classy surrounds matched with an equally impressive drinks menu is sure to impress if you have the time to kick back.
You can’t talk about Bass & Flinders Distillery without mentioning their famous Gin Masterclass. This is an experience like no other, where you get the chance to design your very own bespoke gin. They’ll guide you through the distilling process, let you sample various gins (for reference, of course), and then leave you to create your own bottle, which you get to take home!
What we like
The Bass & Flinders Distillery offers excellent artisan spirits that you won’t find in many other places, and certainly not on the Mornington Peninsula. They haven’t just created great gins and left it at that though; they’ve focussed on creating truly personal and memorable visits that enhance the entire experience.
What we don’t like
Unfortunately they are not really set up to be able to take larger groups and can be selective on the types of groups they let through the door which is a shame as we do get a lot of groups wanting to visit. We will just remind you that you will need to book another occasion to make the trip down and say hello.