Dà Mhìle Distillery and why organic spirits can be a thing.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get out of Cardiff (no offence Cardiff but it’s been a while) and take a trip down to West Wales, Ceredigion to be precise. Nestled in a little valley is Glynhynod Farm, it’s down a little country lane and is pretty idyllic to be honest. When I parked up and got out of the car, I was greeted firstly by a little grey farm cat and secondly, by one of the co-founders of the business, Paula. It’s fair to say that Paula has a knack for disarming you. As soon as she saw me, she came over for a chat, all smiles and bright eyes. It makes a person feel very welcome when such warmth is evident in someone from the get-go.

 

Originally from Holland Paula, John and Patrice moved to Wales and set up the organic farm in 1981. Over the next ten years the farm's reputation for cheese and organic farming grew. Patrice’s Caws Teifi cheese had picked up a strong following and reputation for high quality and it’s safe to say that’s still the case today. However, as much as I love cheese, I was here for something quite different…Gin and Rum!

         The Dà Mhìle Team

So why did I get in the car and drive 2 hours to visit an organic farm that specialises in Cheese to talk booze? Basically, these guys also make a range of superb organic spirits. In fact, these guys were the first on the planet to make an organic whisky. Back in 1992, after John realised such a thing didn’t exist, they commissioned Springbank distillery in the West of Scotland to make one for them. Anyone that knows whisky, knows Springbank. It’s one of the few remaining Campbeltown distilleries and has a strong reputation for strong tradition and high-quality single malt whiskies. This collaboration was the birth of Dà Mhìle and organic whisky. In 2000 a further batch of organic whisky was commissioned with the Loch Lomond distillery and in 2012 the first spirits made directly at the farm started to be produced. So that leads me up to last weekend and my little visit.


I had tried Dà Mhìle gin before, specifically their organic seaweed gin. A couple of years ago I showed it at a gin tasting I had organised, and it went down an actual storm. In fact, it was the gin of the tasting and surprised everyone. With this in mind it was obvious to me that as soon as we decided to stock spirits the first had to be from Dà Mhìle. The distillery ticked all the boxes for me: Organic, Local, Innovative and exceptional quality spirits. I was also over the moon when I discovered they had made their own Welsh rum. HAPPY DAYS!
So after a friendly little chat and a quick tour of the distillery I left with three cases, one of the organic gin, one of the organic seaweed gin and one of the organic rum. It’s a small amount but it’s a start, and over time I’ll be adding more from their distillery ((they do an amazingly smooth apple brandy, a wonderful orange liqueur and a bunch of other spirits which all need to be tried).
Have a little read below to find out some more about the two gins and rum that I bought back with me, all three are on sale as I type of course:

  

Dà Mhìle Organic Gin 

17 different botanicals make up this very refreshing and complex gin.
It has hints of mint and liquorice along with more floral notes but still, and importantly, with a good juniper core. You can drink it neat over ice as it has the complexity to show well on its own, but if you want it with tonic then try it with a non-flavoured tonic or a Mediterranean flavoured example like Fever Tree.  
As for a garnish try elderflower, if you can get it...if not go lime over lemon.

 

Dà Mhìle Organic Seaweed Gin 

Designed with seafood in mind this is a true sipping gin. It was originally conceived after a collaboration with a local chef.

Beautiful aromas of garden herbs, mint and a slight salty edge. The palate is smooth and complex, works really well over ice with nothing else needed.

If you want it as a G&T then go with simple natural tonic and garnish with a garden herb like rosemary or thyme.

 

 Dà Mhìle Organic Rum 

This new edition to the Dà Mhìle range is a beautiful spirit, easy to drink straight or with a mixer. It has a warm sweetness on the nose, notes of molasses and raisin on the palate, finishing with hints of oak and vanilla.

Originally a limited edition, it’s become so popular that they have added it to their core range.

For a mixer, try Fever-Tree Madagascan Cola or ginger beer and a slice of lime.

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