What did you do before creating Gothic Gin?
I’ve been a technology geek since I was a young child… before the Internet… I have been in technology sales and consulting for over 25 years. I’ve worked for F-50 companies consulting with other F-50 companies on optimising their operations and strategies with technology.
Have you always been interested in spirits?
I’ve studied viticulture and distillation as a hobby and passion ever since I was a sauté chef in my early university days. I moved to San Francisco 16 years ago and continued my education in wine and spirits.
What made you decide to create your gin, and what's the inspiration behind it?
For the last ten plus years of my professional career I have been a Global Business Manager which required annual travel of up to 300k miles. This took its toll on me and in 2017 I was rushed to hospital as the left side of my body was becoming paralysed.
I was diagnosed as having a degenerative spinal cord in parts my neck. I went on medical leave and attempted recovery. After a lack of progress the doctors gave me 3 epidurals to the affected area. When these had no effect on me, I was told the next step was a major spinal cord surgery. I was not a fan of this plan. I postponed any further procedures and went on a bucket list trip to the northern Mediterranean.
I went directly to Barcelona, one of my favourite places in this world. It was there that I found a school offering classes on making Gin. Being an American with a lack of access to high quality gin, frankly I was not a big gin fan at that time. I was however curious to learn how to make this spirit even if just to know why I didn’t care for it so much.
What happened at that gin making class?
To my delight, gratitude and pleasure, I discovered what an amazing spirit gin is and can be. At the end of the class we did a blind tasting. When my gin won hands down, I was approached by the two professional distillers taking the class. They complimented me on a great new Gin and one of them enthusiastically asked me, “What’s the name of your Gin?” I was befuddled that I had actually created a gin but answered him right away. Being that the laboratory was sitting in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, I said “Well, it’s Gothic Gin of course!”
What is the meaning of the motto on the neck of the bottle?
The motto for Gothic Gin is “Per Divinitatem Lumen” which means “enlightenment through divinity."
Can you tell us more about the distillery and distillation process?
Gothic Gin is made on a 1,000 litre Carl Pot Still. We use high quality botanicals seeking out organically grown and sustainably supplied ingredients. Our generic neutral spirit begins as a 190 proof Corn-based, Kosher-certified ethanol. We follow a London Dry Gin methodology and differentiate in the inclusion and processes around Eucalyptus and Valencia Orange peel.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements?
The entire process of going from creating a recipe, to a brand and then coming to market from scratch has been enlightening, educational, dumbfounding and gruelling. I think every distiller and brand owner will tell you universally, there is no way to understand what it takes to bring a spirit to market until you do it. It can be so painful and depressing yet invigorating and rewarding at the same time.
There have already been so many great stories… My favourite thing has been the people. The friends and colleagues who stepped up to help me in this quest. The community of Gin makers and enthusiasts who’ve been so gracious and welcoming.
How would you describe your Gothic Gin in 3 words?
Smooth, Crisp, Nostalgic
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
I always have been a fan of Monkey 47 Gin, and you have to have Herno Gin from Sweden. I love what the folks at Gray Whale Gin are doing especially their story and values.
What's next for Gothic Gin - any exciting plans?
Growth. We are taking on more distributors, getting more recognition and going through those early stages of getting to scale. We have some exciting announcements coming soon….