What did you do before establishing Spirit of Wales distillery?
I (Daniel) ran a Signage company in Florida and before that was an Exec for a USA-based software company. Both jobs involved heavy travel across Eastern Europe and the America’s. James was Head Distiller for Mallorca Distillery, in Majorca, Spain, and before that a distiller in Chatham, Kent following his Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering.
What made you decide to create your distillery and gins?
After 12 years of being an avid Gin drinker and sampling Gins from across the world (having amassed a personal collection of over 200 Gins), I wanted to create something unique, locally sourced botanicals and inspired by the beautiful Coastline around Wales.
What's the distillery like and can you tell us about the distillation process and botanicals?
The distillery is modern, in a traditional well-maintained industrial unit. We have however built a unique tasting room reminiscent of a 'Speakeasy'. We’re sourcing fully traceable botanicals and we’re using a mix of pot and column stills that we have engineered to maximise the alcohol content we produce, yet maximise the flavours we can infuse to make our spirits fresh and tasty.
What can people expect and experience if they visit the distillery for a tour and tasting?
We are a passionate team and that is demonstrated by our enthusiasm for the spirits we produce and the spirit categories of Vodka, Gin, and Rum. Our tours last around an hour, including a welcome cocktail and various spirits to taste including some of our forthcoming recipes. Our current tour groups are trialling our coffee bean-infused rum and having great fun with it!
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
Ultimately, bringing a new distillery to life under the spectre of Covid and the related restrictions has caused a large number of delays and made sourcing and tracking more difficult than we would want. However, in our first 6 months of operation, such is the quality of the taste that we have won medals in International Spirit Competitions for our Vodkas, Gin and Rum!
How would you describe your Steeltown Gin in 3 words?
Bright, Citrus, and Moreish!
What's your favourite way to drink Steeltown Gin?
With a Mediterranean tonic, and some fresh satsuma segments placed in the glass.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
My favourite outside of our own is Cruxland South African Gin, but I also enjoy a tall Monkey 47 Gin and Thomas Dakin Gin too
What's next for you and Spirit of Wales Distillery - any exciting plans?
We’re looking at some more Tea and plant-based Gin spirits, as well as trialling botanical Rums, it’s a great segway for non-traditional Rum drinkers to move into the Rum category.
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