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Designing Baleia

“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

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.

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2006

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.

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The inspiration

This iconic photo of a whale diving below the ocean was taken in 2006 on that trip and this would become the inspiration behind the design of Baleia Gin.

Whale Azores - Ali Bullock

2020

In March of 2020 dark times descended as COVID took over the world and stopped travel. But 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..

After numerous 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.

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The design

The design of the bottle aims to reflect the image taken in 2006. With the addition of an octopus. To hear about how the octopus came to be on the bottle you will have to visit The Gin Library and meet us in person for a Baleia & Tonic.

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“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