What did you do before creating The Gael Gin?
I was a Buyer/ Department Controller (Sainsbury, BAT Industries, The Argyll Group [Morrison’s today]), then built up a wine company with a turnover of in excess of 13 million GBP, and since I have had a foray into the on-trade and now back to the supply side.
What made you decide to create The Gael Gin?
Having seen the continued growth in the gin industry and that we might have one USP we could develop, we had to decide on a style and process that made our gin distinctly different to the majority of the rest of the market and to be able to produce a product of premium quality. Given this background, we decided as an initial step to seek a partner who could distill to our specification and could potentially deliver our aspirations should they start to be achieved. Malted barley was the key.
Can you tell us more about the distillery and distillation?
Our distillery partner has a hybrid still that enables us to distill 5 times to produce a smooth, high quality product, and apart from botanicals that are widely used in gin recipes we also use heather, which apart from the flavour added also gives the gin a slight colour.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
Apart from the challenge of getting a product to market (challenging at best of times) we have had to cope with the current market turmoils and we have made an encouraging start, helped by the recognition of a bronze in the IWSC20. Meeting old trade acquaintances and meeting new ones has been a good source of continued inspiration.
How would you describe The Gael Gin in 3 words?
Distinctly Scottish Notes.
What is your favourite way to serve your gin?
Personally, with tonic water, preferably a Scottish one like Love Tonic, or as along drink with ice, cream soda & garnished with ruby grapefruit when weather permits, or on its own with a lump of ice. It depends on the moment.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf (apart from The Gael of course!)?
Apart from ours, we have a shelf full and more for comparative purposes, however I use Gordon’s Gin as a benchmark, Sipsmith’s Gin, Ophir Gin and Rock Rose Gin.
What's next for you and The Gael Gin?
To continue to build on our initial base in Scotland and to move into the whole of the UK, whilst continuing to build upon a very small export base.
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