What did you do before working in the gin industry and how did you get into gin?
I started my career in Corporate Finance, based in the US, before venturing into the exciting world of spirits. I decided to move to the UK and pursue an MSc degree in Brewing & Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. I held various technical and strategic roles at Heineken before joining Edrington Group as a Whisky maker for The Macallan. I left Edrington in the later part of 2016 to join The Lakes Distillery where I am responsible for all things whisky, gin and vodka.
I discovered Gin after I moved to the UK and it has been a fascinating journey to see how this spirit can be shaped and given a distinctive identity by using the botanicals in different proportions. There is so much room for creative expression!
What is the inspiration behind Lakes Gin?
We are first and foremost a whisky distillery but the decision to make Gin was on the plan from day one. The majestic surroundings and the rugged landscape is the inspiration behind our classic gins.
How did you get from the ideas to the finished products?
The Lake District is the inspiration behind all our products and we wanted to create something that encompasses the different moods of this beautiful location. Based on this, we set out to create two styles of London Dry gins – one that is fresh and vibrant and the other which is intense and full of flavour.
The classic Lakes Gin is fresh and fruity with notes of orange peel and lemon citrus. The Lakes Gin Explorer is bold and intense with notes of orange citrus, earl grey tea and cracked black pepper.
What is The Lakes Distillery like and can you tell us about the distillation process?
The distillery (photo below) is located in the Lake District surrounded by majestic landscapes. We source our water directly from river Derwent that flows next to the distillery. We use a traditional hand-beaten copper pot still, which we believe, gives a fuller flavour and a smoother mouthfeel. We also steep our unique recipe of botanicals overnight and start the distillation process the following day. This process allows us to slowly extract the essential oils and achieve the distinctive flavour profile that people love about our Gin.
How would you describe Lakes Gin in 3 words?
Juniper-led, balanced and smooth.
What makes Lakes Gin different?
We are the only distillery in The Lake District National Park and make a classic London Dry gin in traditional copper pot stills, inspired by our surroundings and natural beauty.
What’s your favourite way to drink Lakes Gin?
I enjoy my gin with a big ice cube, premium tonic water and a slice of pink grapefruit. I highly recommend it on a hot summer’s day!
What's next for The Lakes Distillery - any exciting plans?
We are constantly evolving our existing products and perfecting them but there are a few trials underway, so watch this space!