What did you do before creating your distillery and gins?
I worked in the security industry, lecturing and advising companies about risk.
What made you decide to create Speight's Gin?
I attended a security conference and in the same venue there was a drinks exhibition – I managed to have a look around during the lunch break and I met a chap who was talking about and selling copper stills - I was hooked! So, I decided that it was time to do something different and after going on a number of courses and ‘gin experiences’ it ignited a passion and I have never looked back. Every step has been a learning curve and still is; I’m sure the business will keep us busy for many years to come.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
Our distillery is a former shed in our garden which has been lovingly converted by my son-in-law and head distiller, Danny. It has a glamourous side with a chandelier and woodland scene stained glass windows.
Can you tell us more about the distillation process?
Our distillation process is quite unique as we only use the finest medical grade botanicals and a compounding method - this makes our gin stand out from the crowd. Each gin has its own unique recipe therefore the botanicals are different for every flavour. Our recipes take time to perfect and we are currently developing our Pear edition.
What can people expect and experience if they visit the distillery for a tour and tasting?
Visitors get to meet my wife, Angie, who is the chief taster and she has an unbelievable pallet and understanding of the botanicals. And, Danny who without doubt has become our ‘distillery gin geek’. Visitors also get to meet ‘Barbara’ which is our copper still named after my dear departed Mum who was a massive gin and tonic fan.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
The biggest challenges have been designing our brand, selecting the botanicals / ingredients and developing our recipes. Our biggest achievement ‘without doubt is winning The Gin Guide Awards’
Was has been your favourite story from your journey so far?
My favourite story has to be when we launched – our local village shop, which is owned by a wonderful family, had heard on the grapevine that the village had its very own gin distillery. When I called in to see the owner, Jonny, he asked me if he could display and sell a few bottles. The following day, with much excitement and apprehension, we took him 10 bottles of our Signature Gin. Within a couple of hours he contacted me and said he had ‘sold out’ and could he have some more! It was amazing – Jonny has now sold hundreds of bottles of our gins.
How would you describe your gins in 3 words?
Unique, beautiful, bespoke.
What's your favourite way to drink your gin/s?
We serve Fever-Tree tonics with our gin. Each gin flavour is best suited with different tonic waters. My personal favourite is the Mediterranean tonic which compliments the fruit gins perfectly. My wife Angela is a traditional gin drinker and is the reason we decided to make our own – our Signature Gin is her 'go to' drink, which she drinks with Elderflower tonic and lots of Ice. Danny loves to make gin-based cocktails on a weekend with the family fave being the Aviation.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf, or any current favourites?
We do like Alkkemist & Procera Gin
What's next for Speight's Gin - any exciting plans?
We have been perfecting our latest flavour, Pear, which has taken 9 months to develop so far and is due to be launched in Summer.
The Gin Guide's tasting notes and review of Speight's Signature Gin.