Meet the Distiller
Meet Dai, Master Distiller
As we look ahead to the opening of Hensol Castle Distillery, we’d like to to introduce you to our Master Distiller, Dai Wakely. Dai’s gin story began as a hobby, following many years’ experience in the hospitality industry and now deciding to follow his passion, is ready to embark on his new role and is looking forward to welcoming you all to try a tipple or two!
What attracted you to work at Hensol Castle Distillery?
I have kept a keen eye on the developments at Hensol Distillery since the project began. When I was offered the opportunity to become part of the Distillery team I was delighted, and am extremely excited to teach and learn about all aspects of the spirits production.
What is your experience in the gin industry?
Having worked in the hospitality industry for almost 20 years, it allowed me to gain valuable experience within the industry including working as a consultant for many different drinks brands, developing cocktail menus and hosting bar training and tastings. After realising my passion was in the making process, I purchased a 5 gallon moonshine still which allowed me to practice making liquids for seven years before turning professional. The last three years I have been able to focus entirely on distilling and I absolutely love the craft!
Can you explain the distillation process and botanicals?
Visit us at Hensol Castle Distillery from September and I’ll show you everything you need to know!
What’s your favourite part of about the distilling process?
Without a doubt its the outcome. There’s no better feeling than tasting a well balanced dry gin from a recipe you’ve developed yourself – as long as it goes to plan!
Where do you see gin going in the next 5 years?
There are often reports of the next spirit to come along and take the top spot in the popularity stakes ahead of gin, but I don’t think it will lose it’s crown for a while yet. The gin scene has risen during the last five years and I’m sure it will continue for the next five too, regardless of what the next craze will be.
What can visitors expect if they visit the distillery for a tour/tasting?
I would say an experience unlike any other! In a nutshell, you’ll be treated to a story-filled guided journey of the distillery from a distiller which is pretty exclusive! Learning about the history and origins of gin, each tour will offer a different flavour as the distilling team will be on hand to answer any gin related questions, with plenty of gin tasting!g!
What is your perfect serve?
A bramble – with a decent gin of course as the base. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like a bramble.
What is your perfect pairing?
Keep it simple – a good gin, with an Indian tonic. In my opinion there’s no need for botanical flavoured tonics when the gin is good.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Tall, Dark, handsome.
Your perfect weekend consists of….?
Family time, great food, friends, the beach.