Meet Aaron: Our Darnley's Gin Distiller!

Aaron Milligan, Darnley's Gin Distiller

Meet Aaron, our resident gin distiller here at Darnley's Gin!⁠

Aaron has been with our distillery since August 2022, taking visitors on tours and assisting with production for our sister brand Kingsbarns Distillery. When an opportunity to become Darnley's gin distiller came up in 2023, we knew Aaron was the right man for the job!⁠

When he's not coming up with innovative new recipes, you'll find him in our gin cottage running our gin school, leading tours and making our visitors smile. We had a quick chat with Aaron to find out a little more about him and his process.

Hi Aaron! How long have you been with us? 

I've been with Wemyss Family Spirits since August 2022, and I've been Darnley's gin distiller since April 2023!

What's your favourite thing about working for Darnley's?

The best thing is being able to get to know and deepen my connection of Fife, the place I'm born and bred (besides 4 years between 2018-2022!). Nothing beats the experience of working on our own botanical garden and finding new foraging spots for future recipes, especially when it occurs on a sunny day! Also, working on new recipes has allowed me to use the creative side of my brain. Something I hadn't been able to do in my previous working life!

Aaron Milligan, Gin Distiller at Darnley's Gin
(Aaron with our gin still, we call her Dorothy!)

Which is your favourite gin from the Darnley's range?

Out of our range, I'd say Darnley's Original as it's easy to drink and reminds me of long summer days - something that is sorely lacking at the moment!

What's your favourite botanical to work with?

My favourite botanical at the moment has to be Sea Buckthorn. The shrub is common along the east coast of Scotland and is becoming more common in Scottish gins and cuisines due to its citrus/tropical fruit flavours. It also doesn't hurt that it has more vitamin C in it than oranges!

Aaron Milligan, Gin Distiller at Darnley's Gin
(Aaron leading our Gin School)

What does a typical day look like for you?

As cliché as this sounds, no 2 days are the same! Working for a small distillery we are all flexible and have to wear many hats. You could find me helping out in the visitor centre or even producing whisky for Kingsbarns. I will never get bored! To come up with recipes for new gins, I blend various single distillates numerous times to create the best recipe. Then I will take the measurements of each single distillate, convert to botanical weights and distil the botanicals together and then sample again! In summary, I am sampling gin on an almost daily basis. It really is a fantastic job!

What would your dream gin recipe be?

That is a tough one. I feel I will give a different answer each day and depending on the weather! As I write this we have just come off the back of yet another storm so I will say my perfect gin recipe will be one that embodies the summer. Something that you can just have fun with while having a laugh with your mates in your garden.

You can keep up to date with Aaron's process and see more behind the scenes content from our distillery over on our social channels!

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