What did you do before creating Tommys Gin?
The distillery existed for more than 200 years and is a family business that has been passed through generations until now. I joined the team in 2019 in the marketing department and project management, when the distillery decided to create the gin brand, Tommys Gin. Before I was working as civil engineer and suddenly I ended up working as the project manager of the Tommys Gin brand project along other projects. It's a decision I will never regret, but definitely a huge challenge when compared to my academic background.
I cannot be more glad of such a great experience and also working together with so many nice people. I would like to highlight the great efforts and talent of our distiller Andreas Kascha and the whole Fallstein Destillerie team, without them this project won't be even possible.
What's the inspiration and story behind Tommys Gin?
Fallstein Distillery of course has had a lot of ups and downs throughout its history, but it has been always a family business dedicated to producing spirits as family tradition, hobby and local business. Then eleven years ago, the distillery team and the family decided to make their spirits available for sale across all of Germany and not just locally.
When the family decided to make their 4 main spirits more widely available, they wanted to link them with past and present family member’s names. The Whisky was the leading spirit, named Carls Whisky after the founder of Fallstein Distillery over 200 years ago, followed by Tommys Gin, Theos Korn and Lucas Vodka. These are the actual names of the three sons of the present owner and currently the last members of the family tradition. In this way we assure that we are still 100% committed to our distillery and our products.
Can you tell us more about the distillery and distillation process?
The distillery itself is located in Aue-Fallstein in the Harz region in Germany. Besides the production of our gin and spirits, we also produce liquors and marmalades, since a lot of our ingredients come from our own bio-farms. The distillery works based on sustainable principles and using organic ingredients, consequently producing 100% certified organic products. Our distillation process gives us a dry gin, coming from 4 days of macerations and then distillation with an aroma basket that holds all our citruses. We call this process our 'dry and wet' process.
Can you tell us more about the botanicals in Tommys Gin?
For our Tommys Craft Gin we use a total amount of 10 organic botanicals. There is a clear lead of juniper together with the citrus of orange and lemon peels, and small touches of apple and cucumber. Last but not least, botanicals like pepper, coriander seeds, elder and orange mint are also part of our recipe. We can appreciate that you don’t need to go crazy on the number of botanicals to produce a delicious and enjoyable gin.
What can people expect and experience if they visit the distillery for a tour/tasting?
When you visit our distillery, you will travel through time in a modern and renovated distillery. We have a small museum where we show our tools from 200 years ago through to the present time. Our staff and also our owners and founders will show you around our installations and all the processes involved in the distillation of our spirits. Simultaneously you will receive a lot of historical facts about our distillery. It is a unique and friendly experience, where you will feel how committed we are to our products. If you are taking a longer trip, you can stay in our Guest House, enjoy a meal and have a proper a rest after some tastings!
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
The biggest challenge that we have experienced was to find the right recipe, as we use our own alcohol base in most of our spirits. The distillation of our alcohol base made from wheat was really invasive in our gins, so it was a challenge to neutralise our alcohol base and make it fit to our gin distillation. It was also a hard process finding a space for our gin within the 600 gin brands in Germany, with so many of them being really good. We wanted to assure that we weren't just one more gin brand in the market, but a unique and special gin brand instead. Now we can gladly say that our gin has met the expectations of a lot people. In the end everything is matter of personal taste. But for us, the percentage of acceptance was more than enough to fit the market and make our business sustainable in long term. We learned how to make a balance between being unique but also satisfying our customers.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Unique, pure, refreshing.
What's your favourite way to drink Tommys gin?
My favourite way to drink our gin is with dry tonic and orange peel. The perfect serve is with Mediterranean Fever-Tree followed by Schweppes Dry tonic. As mainstream as it sounds, the orange peel plays a key role to raise our citrus and orange notes, giving the gin and tonic this refreshing note that is really enjoyable. Another Gin and Tonic serving that is worth trying is with apple and mint, or just cucumber.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf, as well as Tommys Gin of course!?
This is a really hard question to answer as there are so many good gins out there. But for me and for a lot of us it is clear that Monkey 47 is a gin that you should always have on your shelf.
What's next for Fallstein Distillery and Tommy Gin - any exciting plans?
Currently we are working really hard to expand our brand. Our next move will probably be to approach the market in Latin America, starting in Panama, as it is my homeland. It is a huge challenge but nothing is impossible when you make everything in the right way, with commitment and care.
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