The Gin Journey – interview

The Gin Journey run a series of gin tours in cities across the world. Their tour guides all have a love for gin that converts to giving customers an experience to remember – just check out their Trip Advisor reviews!!

 

Wether you are wanting to get a little more info about gin, just starting to get into it or already have a thirst for the juniper spirit, it can be hard knowing where to go to sample the best.  Distilleries are the best option but most are a little remote and not so easy to travel to. A great gin bar is a wondrous thing but it can be hard knowing which one is worth going to.  That’s where The Gin Journey come in.

 

Run and owned by Leon Dalloway, what he doesn’t know about a gin cocktail isn’t worth knowing, and looking at the company he created you can see he has put his knowledge to good use.  I spoke to him recently and he agreed to a little interview.

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Q. Leon, when did you decide to make gin your sole focus?

A.  I think after about a year, we were running Rum Rambles and had some ideas of other Journeys. But I knew my heart lay in gin, I believed going forward with the Gin Journey being the sole focus was the best thing for the company and changing the website to ginjourney.com was the move that needed to be made. The term ‘be master of one art not a jack of all traits’ kept on popping into my head so I wanted to create the best gin tour possible and recreate in cities around the world.

 

Q. Are there any cities you would like to see added to your calander in the future?  It mentions in your story that you had brought the Gin Journey to Edinburgh but I can’t see that on your list now? (The Scottish contingent needs you!)

A.  We’d love to come back to Edinburgh and we definitely plan to soon!   Bristol, Birmingham, Chester and Brighton are launching this summer.  Then the other cities I’m keen on globally are Dublin, Hong Kong, Auckland, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, San Fransisco and LA. My dream is for our Saturday’s to start at 2pm in New Zealand and finish at 6.40pm in San Francisco.

Q.  Talk me through a typical tour? What do you want people to take away? Your guides seem really knowledgeable so do you target your tours depending on audience?

A. Simple, we want to learn about gin, drink tasty drinks, visit banging bars and have a lovely time. If we do that on every tour I’m a happy man. We take people where we like to go ourselves, those venues serve fancy drinks and a cool setting. Our guests are the kind of people that like to go to these bars. 

 

Q.  Your tours definitely seem geared towards true gin aficionados and people keen to learn rather than the “booze cruise” culture. It would have been so easy to sell it down that route what has been your thinking in regard to your business model?

A. We have been very lucky that the Gin Journeys appeal to a lovely crowd. We say no to hen parties and stag dos as they’re a bit loud and kind of take over the tour so it was a decision I felt benefited our product and was important for people to see.

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Q. What was your background before The Gin Journey?

A.  I was a bar tender at 18 and then a gin brand ambassador, which is where my passion for gin really grew. I entered cocktail comps where I presented my drinks to judges and loved the theatre and pressure of it and wanted to translate that to the Gin Journey. My favourite moment as a bar tender was when the guests came in, sat at my bar and wanted to learn. This is why I love the company we have so much.

 

Q.  If you were to recommend a good starting for people looking to get into gin what would your advice be?

A. Try a Bramble, Tom Collins or a Clover Club and have a taste of the gin alongside. Then experiment with cocktails. Go sit at a good bar and talk to the bartender. Best way to learn about drinks (apart from the Gin Journey obs).

 

Q.  What’s your favourite distillery to visit?

A.  I am happy every time I visit the East London Liquor Co or St George in San Fransisco if we are going further afield.

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Q.  What’s your favourite gin fact?

A. Created by the Dutch, made infamous by Londoners.

 

Q.  What gins are you desperate to try or distilleries you are keen to visit next?

A. Anything Aussie and Japanese. Aussies create unique gins because of their native plants. Dead excited about what the Japanese gins have up their sleeve. I’m visiting Ki NO Bi in Kyoto in October. Bring it on.

 

So I’ve been actively writing about the gin industry for about a year now.  The thing that made me start up my blog was the genuine warmth of the people in the business.  I really enjoy meeting people within this world and am always keen to give recommendations.

 

The gin community are fantastic, with their passion and friendliness really taking me by surprise. Brand ambassadors, distillers and gin enthusiasts all support one another and are eager to share and swap their knowledge.  This is how I first encountered Leon Dalloway, AKA The Gin Boss.

 

His passion for the world of gin shines out of him and that is directly placed into his business.  I like the fact that The Gin Journey promotes responsible drinking and puts emphasis on quality and laughs above all else.  If you are looking for a fun activity, a chance to explore the best drinking haunts of  a new city or just want to rediscover a place nearby then check out the locations that The Gin Journey service.

 

The Gin Journey run tours in a number of cities in the UK and worldwide. Tours include 5 samples of gin, 5 cocktails and chauffeur driven gin carriage between bars. You can find out more about The Gin Journey here – The Gin Journey

 

Just to state this piece is NOT AND AD. I received no incentive or financial gain for writing this, I am just a lover of gin and enjoy sharing info and tips as I go!

 

Let me know if you’ve experienced a gin tour before and what you made of it?

Thanks again to Leon for his time and chat!

Pam

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