Sam Galsworthy, Co-founder, Sipsmith
Q: What do you make?
Q: Where do you work?
A: Leafy west London (Chiswick) in arguably the best office place. It’s great to be able to work where you produce.
Q: How long have you worked on the brand and how did you start?
A: We first conceived the idea about four years before we launched, and we launched nearly 11 years ago.
The idea came about after I was recruited by Fullers brewery and move to the USA. It was here, whilst I was running around representing them, that I saw this exciting, seismic movement of consumers seeking answers to questions they wanted to know about their brands.
That was the stimulant to what we know and love as being craft. It was understanding who was behind a brand; where it was made; how it was made; with what it was made, and how inspiring that can be. This was of great importance to both maker and consumer.
Fairfax (co-founder) and I were great friends growing up. We thought how exciting it would be to reignite the gin industry – and that’s exactly what we did.
We saw an opportunity in London. There were two distilleries at the time. One, a single brand with a distillery you couldn’t access, and the other a multi-brand distillery.
The opportunity was there for a single-brand gin with an authentic story that had access, transparency, and a beautiful liquid at its heart.
Q: Describe the production process.
A: When we started, it was all about making a gin the way it used to be made, the way we believe a gin should be made.
It was Jared (master distiller) who championed this. He chose a classic, old-school set of botanicals that told the story of gin better than any other.
There’s an undertone of solid, confident juniper running through the spectrum to notes of citrus, and everything in between.
The equipment, we thought, was vital.
We took a long time working with designers to create these extraordinary stills, the first being Prudence who was first of her kind in London for 200 years.
We believe small-batch is how gin should be made.
We leave the botanicals in for 24 hours on an English wheat spirit and distill using the one- shot methodology.
At the time, it was a relatively distinctive methodology because all the bigger companies didn’t make it this way.
There is a distinct difference in quality when you use this method vs concentration when you dilute and stretch the heart-cut with un-copper distilled spirit.
Q: What’s a typical working day like?
A: The beauty of the position I hold at Sipsmith is that I am a generalist now.
I get to be involved in lots of sectors of this wonderful brand, whether it be global, regional, innovations, production, commercial…
I could never transcribe my classic daily routine as it differs every day.
I’d always try to encourage everyone to vary up their day and truly believe people are the better for it.
My day will always involve people, that’s the one common factor.
Q: Please provide brief tasting notes for your product.
A: A quintessential, classic and smooth gin with nothing that could possibly rival it.
Q: What would you say sets your product apart?
A: I think what people take away from us is the movement we started.
We feel a great sense of responsibility to continue that journey of pioneering and craftsmanship.
We are humbled to be ranked alongside some of the brands that have gone before us and are coming along after us.
Gin as a category has great influence.
We have always aspired to be a brand that has soul, real personality and character.
It is the soul that gives depth of meaning, saliency and resonance to a brand, and has a lasting effect.
It is hard to measure; I think you just know as a consumer when you’ve experienced a brand that has heart and soul.
This, I will always believe, is the distinctive feature of our legacy.
Q: What’s your favourite way to drink your brand?
A: Martini. For me, it’s the pinnacle. You can’t hide in a Martini.
Q: How do you relax outside of work?
A: I am usually with my children outside of work, and there’s no relaxation to be found in that space. Eating, exercise and reading are my three.
Q: If you could invite anyone for a drink who would you ask, where would you go and what would you drink?
A: A Dukes Martini with Sean Connnery.