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The Oxford Artisan Distillery, Oxford

4.8
#4 of 10 in Breweries & Distilleries in Oxfordshire
Must see · Distillery · Food & Drink
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The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD, previously known as The Spirit of TOAD) is the first ever legal distillery in Oxford, England. It is the first certified organic "grain-to-glass" distillery in the United Kingdom, covering all parts of the distillery process.
The distillery is located at the top end of South Park, Headington, in the Old Depot of Oxford City Council at the former Cheney Farm. It was founded in 2017 by Tom Nicolson and Tagore Ramoutar, with the master distiller Cory Mason distilling rye whisky, gin, and vodka. Shares were offered to the public in 2017.
Four organic farms close to Oxford supply the distillery with rye, wheat, and barley. The distillery uses ancient species of grains.

The largest still at the distillery is nicknamed "Nautilus" and has a capacity of 2,400 litres, with a column of 42 plates in two parts. A smaller still with a 500-litre capacity is known as "Nemo". The stills are named after the submarine and its captain in the Jules Verne 1870 science fiction novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. Both were built by South Devon Railway Engineering and are in a steampunk style, made of copper.

TOAD's gin has been judged among the top hundred available. The distillery is a craft gin maker. Early in 2020, Dave Smith took over as chairman from Neil Brown. Later in 2020, the distillery attained organic certification. The distillery was shortlisted for the Sustainable Use of Raw Materials Award in the 2019 Footprint Drinks Sustainability Awards. The distillery's products were judged as among the best food and drink from Oxfordshire in 2020.

The distillery produces its own Oxford Rye Organic Dry Gin and Oxford Rye Organic Vodka. The distillery also uses its dry gin to produce a Dam Sloe Gin made from wild damsons and sloe. In 2018, the distillery launched its Oxford Physic Gin in collaboration with the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, using ingredients grown in the garden, and sold at the garden. Later in 2018, an Ashmolean Dry Gin was launed in collection with the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, featuring spices from the Middle East and Asia to reflect the museums collections. Early in 2020, the distillery started to produce a pink gin liqueur. With the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, the distillery also started to produce its own hand sanitiser in 2020. Also in 2020, the distillery started to produce an organic gin for Prince Charles, using herbs from his garden at Highgrove House, stocked at Fortnum & Mason in London. In Spring 2021, the distillery launched its rye whisky, produced by the Portuguese master distiller, Chico Rosa.

The distillery includes a Grade II listed barn building, listed in 1972 and now used as a bar and tasting room serving the distillery's products.
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The Oxford Artisan Distillery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
312 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The tour was excellent. The service at the bar was wonderful too. The surroundings are beautiful. These are the best gin and tonic and vodka that I've ever tried. But the best thing of all is the... 
    The tour was excellent. The service at the bar was wonderful too. The surroundings are beautiful. These are the best gin and tonic and vodka that I've ever tried. But the best thing of all is the...  more »
  • Visited for a drink prior to going out for a meal. The service was poor there was none of their own gin available to drink or purchase. Waited 15 minutes after ordering for the drinks to be brought... 
    Visited for a drink prior to going out for a meal. The service was poor there was none of their own gin available to drink or purchase. Waited 15 minutes after ordering for the drinks to be brought...  more »
Google
  • Went here for a birthday and was a one of a kind experience! Alisha was Incredibly knowledgeable and even turned a typically boring subject, such as farming, interesting! We had an amazing time and have already recommended to many friends and family. The Gin was phenomenal! A definite must see! Would maybe suggest taking the bus instead of driving!
  • Had a distillery tour, hosted by the very knowledgeable Sarah. Really interesting to learn about the grain to glass process. Great to get up close and personal with Nautilus and Nemo! Despite the stills being off and there being a shortage of steam.. Leading to a shortage of gin, still really enjoyable. Lots of drinks to try, and as a non whisky drinker to come away with some rye whisky is quite something! Would highly recommend and may well come back again!

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