From the ocean. For The ocean Named after the Portuguese word for whale, Baleia Gin is distilled overlooking the never-ending Atlantic Ocean on the island of São Miguel. Every bottle sold helps to support whale conservation projects. Baleia Gin has partnered with the World Cetacean Alliance to support the designation of the first internationally recognised Whale Heritage Site in The Azores. This highlights the international importance of the archipelago to our understanding, preservation and conservation of these majestic creatures of the deep blue ocean.
Baleia Gin blends traditional botanicals such as juniper, rosemary and cardamon with seaweed sourced from the waters around the islands. The gin has an exceptionally smooth flavour, mixing a touch of sweetness with the saltiness of the ocean.
The story behind the creation of Baleia The inspiration for Baleia started over 14 years ago, in 2006, on the island of Faial. Caroline and I travelled to a little known place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean to go whale watching while on honeymoon.
On the last day, I passed a small shop and noticed a wooden whale in the corner, dusty and mostly ignored. Upon asking about it I was told that it was the last one of its kind to be carved by a local whaler using bone from the final whale to be caught and brought ashore to the island many years previously. He had created each whale as a reminder of the journies he and his brothers would make as they sailed out into the waters of the Atlantic for days at a time. Memories of brothers and neighbours lost to the ocean and time, children born and fed, communities built from the whaling industry. As commercial whaling was stopped, a new industry arose from the ashes and brought new life to the community. It was not hunting, but watching whales. So this simple wooden statue left the Azores, travelling to London, then Hong Kong. In 2018 it returned to the Azores, now displayed in The Gin Library. This whale is the inspiration behind Baleia Gin.
Ali Bullock São Miguel based gin expert Ali Bullock, owner of the world-renowned Gin Library bar, conceptualised and created Baleia Gin in partnership with Azorean producer Lima & Quental. Artwork drawn by local artist Catarina Limão. Made in extremely small scale batches. You are welcome to enjoy this very special gin at The Gin Library or take part in a masterclass on gin here.
See more about Baleia Gin here.