What did you do before creating your gin/distillery?
I served in the military and completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was training alongside the SAS to work in the Afghanistan Police Mentoring Team when I received an injury that led to my medical discharge.
Around the same time my property was flooded and I was left facing homelessness. The military charities helped me get back on my feet and with their support I turned my life around. I was inspired to give back to the charities and help fellow veterans and I decided to turn my passion for spirits making into a business.
What made you decide to create your gin/distillery, and what's the inspiration behind your gin?
Having successfully created an award-winning British vodka I wanted to expand our product range. I was fascinated with gin – there are so many ways to use the botanicals to create a really unique flavour. At the same time, we were getting lots of requests from our customers to bring out a gin so when the RAF Benevolent Fund approached me looking to create a spirit to mark RAF 100, it seemed like the perfect opportunity!
I spent a lot of time researching production methods and ingredients and spent time with a gin producer who has been crowned as the world’s best. It was essential we produced a spirit that represented the qualities of the Royal Air Force. I think we have succeeded in creating a gin that like the RAF is second to none!
What's the distillery like and can you tell us about the distillation process and/or botanicals?
Each of the 11 specially selected botanicals are distilled individually before being blended together. It’s a time consuming and costly process but this attention to detail means that we can guarantee a fantastically bold gin bursting with flavour.
We were helped to pick the botanicals by gin lovers from the RAF Benevolent Fund, we held lots of taste testings until we found the perfect combination.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story so far?
Lord Trenchard Gin is named after the founder of the Royal Air Force, I was thrilled to meet his grandson, the current Lord Trenchard and see his support for our gin.
The biggest challenge was ensuring that every element of the gin from the spirit itself to the packaging was of a high enough quality to commemorate the RAF. This is a once in a lifetime product and it was essential we got it right.
How would you describe your gin/s in 3 words?
No ordinary gin!
What's your favourite way to drink your gin/s?
I keep it simple with a classic G&T, a splash of a good quality tonic and a slice of lime really bring out the flavours of the botanicals.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!) / any favourites at the moment?
I am enjoying trying out flavoured variants such as Whitley Neill Quince Gin.
What's next / any exciting plans?
We’re listening to our customers and some new products are in development. As well as this we are planning on building a distillery that will be staffed by injured veterans, we’re excited about what the future holds – watch this space!