A 15-Year Journey

2005, On a dull, cloudy day in London, we were just another young couple travelling on the tube towards Earl’s Court and the convention center. Caroline had seen an advert for a show all about Portugal. This seemed like a good place to look for honeymoon destinations. As we walked around, skipping all the cliched spots, including “The Canaries,” and “The maldives, we stumbled upon a lone photographer who had a stand showcasing his whale photos and the island of Faial, one of the islands that makes up the Azores. A conversation was started, one about a place neither of us had heard of, and we were taken by the photos of the whales and so a honeymoon was booked. In June of 2006 the first journey was made to the Azores to see the majestic whales of the Atlantic ocean. This was a place, remote, beautiful and one that we fell in love with. As we boarded the plane to return home, we spoke of returning. Life changed that idea, and it would be another 12 years until we would travel back to the Azores.

“As we boarded the plane we said we would return that winter. But fate had other ideas. We would not return to the Azores for another 12 years. But this time it would be for good.”

– Ali Bullock, creator Baleia Gin


2018, we decided the Azores would be our new home. And in 2020 Baleia was created. The first step was to look at what we wanted to create and how the gin should taste. With a notebook of ideas, and a head full of botanicals I came up with the ocean as the theme and seaweed as a base flavour. With our history of whales and the Azores a theme started to emerge and so Baleia was born. The first step involved creating test batches in The Gin Library and then working with our partners at lima Quiential to create commercial batches. After a lot of trials, and some kind friends who helped us test each one, we came up with the final version in early 2021. Baleia aims to reflect the ocean on the palette with a slight salty taste, mixed gently with citrus, mint and juniper. This is a gin proudly made in the Azores, from the ocean, for the ocean with a donation being made from each bottle sold to the Ocean Azores Foundation.

“Our partnership with the Ocean Azores Foundation, helps to support marine conservation projects here in this he Azores. We aim to ensure that the whales in these waters are protected for generations to come.”

– Ali Bullock, creator Baleia Gin

Baleia Gin can be enjoyed at the best and sustainably minded bars on Sáo Migel and you are welcome to purchase or take a bottle home from sales points which can be found here.