A Place On The Shelf


We host a range of premium spirits that have earned ‘A place on the Saddlers Shelf’ status. The criteria for this sort after placement are simple.

The good news is that in order to be true to this offering, we have to visit (and sample) lots of wonderful products from micro distilleries and Brewery’s across the country, and some of these producers are really tucked away off the beaten track so we also get to explore our beautiful countryside.

Blink, and you will miss the discreet gravel lane in the pretty Wiltshire village of Downton, which leads you to the self-titled Downton Distillery. It’s here that business partners Charles Andrews, Hugh Anderson and Bramble the dog, have honed a vibrant recipe for their delicious debut offering, ‘Explorers Gin’. The Distillery barn and surrounding buildings are steeped in the history and provenance of its former notable resident, English explorer, writer, and favourite courtier of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh.

With so much history at their fingertips for inspiration, Charles and Hugh set out on their own journey of discovery, and over the course of about a year, a heady refinement of botanicals were selected. These flavours would not only provide an amazing taste experience but also pay reverence to the colourful history of the buildings in which they would craft their product.  Hugh described the process of distillation and botanical infusion, just as you would expect any passionate craftsman to do, with knowledge and technical knowhow. But, what really stood out during our visit was the evident pride and confidence in this product.  He took us on a journey of the senses with potent crushed spices, zesty flora and rich aromas from across the globe. Choosing the right botanicals for a good Gin is a personal journey for any distiller but these guys have really hit the mark on both a historical level and a taste sensation. Its a new favourite of ours and deserves a well earned ‘Place on the Saddlers Shelf’

Lela Robinson