Get high on this distillery tour in South Goa

Tickle your nose buds at Doja Gin’s East Side Distillery as globally-known distiller, Victor De Benito, shows you around
KNOW YOUR GIN: Learn about the meticulous and well-proven recipes that create Doja's unique flavour profile.
KNOW YOUR GIN: Learn about the meticulous and well-proven recipes that create Doja's unique flavour profile.Photo: Katia Goes

For the longest time, our nose has been our guide. One of the most sensitive, the sense of smell can transport you to a memory that you could swear you never even remembered taking place. 

“I don’t know what this is, but I know it!” is a common phrase that we’ve all heard. Just like the scent of a freshly-baked cake will mentally transport you to the time your mother would bake your favourite carrot cake, or the scent of a particular flower that would fill the air in the evenings when you were ten and riding your cycle at the side of the road. 

KNOW YOUR GIN: Learn about the meticulous and well-proven recipes that create Doja's unique flavour profile.
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The power of scent has always been a powerful tool – deeply rooted and intertwined with memory, it is your guide to the familiar and the chance to get to know the unfamiliar. 

If you are in Goa and wish to tickle your nose buds, then head to Margao Industrial Estate’s East Side Distillery, which is one of the many homes for the renowned Doja Gin.  

HOUSE THAT: An exterior view of the East Side Distillery in Margao.
HOUSE THAT: An exterior view of the East Side Distillery in Margao. Photo: Katia Goes

Awaken your olfactory bulb and educate yourself with the distillery secrets that go into the Doja Gin bottles that you see standing in a bar or a liquor store and a chance to learn from the best, when you say hello to the distillery chief, Victor De Benito.

Global head distiller at East Side Distillery, Victor, is the man who crafts and creates the recipes and is responsible for the alcoholic goodness that goes into the bottles, labelled Doja Gin which is an Indo-Japanese Gin, Portal Gin, a London Dry Gin and Nomad Dark Spiced Rum.

HI VICTOR! Victor is the perfect guide to walk you through the distillery, and he does it with all the passion he has.
HI VICTOR! Victor is the perfect guide to walk you through the distillery, and he does it with all the passion he has. Photo: Katia Goes

“One of the aims of this tour is to change certain perception or a preconception that people come with and let them leave with a different conception,” begins Victor, who says, that for him, Goa is a home away from home. 

Priced at Rs 950, the Doja Indo-Japanese Gin Masterclass & Distillery Tour presents the opportunity to learn from the expert as Victor takes you on a journey through the senses of smell and tasting while explaining how gin is made from scratch. 

SPICED UP: Want to figure out what goes into making Gin?
SPICED UP: Want to figure out what goes into making Gin? Photo: Katia Goes

“At the end of the day, we all have associations based on what we know, and this tour will help you slowly taste all individual ingredients that go into making your drink,” he smiles as he crushes the spices between his palms.

A duration of 1.5 hours, walk the talk as Victor takes you through the history of gin, teaches you to touch, smell and taste the different Indian and Japanese botanicals, learn the process of how gin is made and how to nose and taste and also a closer view at the Holstein Still and barrels used to age rum before it is bottled.

HOLSTEIN STILL: Where the magic happens.
HOLSTEIN STILL: Where the magic happens.Photo: Katia Goes

Leaving no room for doubt and an open floor for questions, Victor is the perfect example of a patient teacher, who, unconventionally, will teach you all that you need to know about how gin goes from a spirit form to a 48.2 percent alcoholic concoction in a bottle. 

If there’s one thing for sure, it is that the contents of the same glass that you smelt when you first arrived won’t smell the same once you’ve learnt about the ingredients used to make it. And if nothing changes, then going home with a bottle of gin signed by the distiller himself is always a great present to take back home. 

THE STORY: Get to know the story of Doja Gin at the East Side Distillery.
THE STORY: Get to know the story of Doja Gin at the East Side Distillery. Photo: Katia Goes

So, come and enjoy an experience that will leave you sensitised to the many elements that go into your drink, the next time you visit a bar or have a drink with a friend. 

DETAILS

AGE: 21+

WHERE: East Side Distillery, Sao Jose de Areal Industrial Estate 

WHAT: Doja Gin Masterclass & Distillery Visit by Victor De Benito

FEE: Rs 950

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