An Introduction To… Our Head Distiller

An Introduction To… Our Head Distiller

My name is Oli Stokes, I’m 24, and I’ve been distilling the world’s best gin for just over 12 months.

It all started with a phone call from one local business to another in search of an extra pair of hands in the run up to Christmas. My Dad, being on the receiving end of this phone call and the proprietor of Farndon Fields Farm Shop (a proud Warner Edwards stockist), offered my services.

I graduated from University with a 1st class Medical Sciences degree in 2013, but like many of my classmates, didn’t actually know what I wanted to do with it. This naturally led me back into the family business as an opportunity to do something while I figured out what my true calling was. Various roles and several months later I was thoroughly fed up and no closer to finding the answer. It was at this time that Sion presented the opportunity to get involved at Warner Edwards.

I started off corking, wax-sealing, hand labelling, and packaging bottles for hours on end just feet from the still while all the time gazing at it and scrutinizing the intricate pipework and genius German engineering. This was accompanied by a persistent flow of questions from me to Sion about every aspect of the beautiful copper machine and how it worked. I quickly gained a working knowledge of distilling, and coupled with a nerd-like enthusiasm, Sion entrusted me with the duty of crafting this magical juniper spirit.

Approximately 92 distillations, 37704 litres, and 53864 bottles later I’m starting to get to know Curiosity pretty well and have developed a healthy passion for my craft. What excites me the most is the almost endless possibilities of ingredients and flavour combinations that can go into what we call gin. This opens the door for crazy ideas and an ample source of flavour experiments to stimulate a naturally ingrained scientific curiosity…and you can drink the results! This unique combination of art and science really does make being a distiller a truly exciting challenge and I look forward to creating many more interesting and appealing interpretations of this classic spirit for the world to enjoy.

By Oli Stokes, Head Distiller

More News

Seed Gathering Season

Date Added: 23/09/2018

As the temperature drops & the winds start to pick up we’re starting to see those long summer days turning into autumn and the glorious changing colours that come with it…the farm really does look epic at this time of year! The hedgerows have a large amount of fruit & seed, much to our delight! We’ve been busy harvesting sloe berries around the farm & have been asking our fans to do the same! On Sunday 30th September, between 11am & 5pm, we want our fans to come to Falls Farm for our annual Sloe Swap (and get the chance to take a look around the distillery!). All you need to do is bring your frozen sloe berry harvest to the farm on the day & we’ll give you some of our fruity Harrington Sloe Gin in return! Find out more information here.

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Sloe Swap FAQ's

Date Added: 21/09/2018

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Sustainability Sunday - It's foraging time!

Date Added: 09/09/2018

Gin Fans, it’s foraging time! Autumn hedgerow fruits are now ripening in late summer ahead of schedule.

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#NationalAllotmentsWeek

Date Added: 19/08/2018

Gin Fans! Our Botanical Garden here at Warner Edwards Distillery is a source of inspiration, ingredients and garnish and we’d love you to have a little slice of Falls Farm at home. Whether you have access to an allotment or only have space for a small window box, this #NationalAllotmentsWeek we’ll show you quick and easy ways to grow your own…and enjoy a few G&T’s in the process!

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#SustainabilitySunday - Reducing paper wastage

Date Added: 10/08/2018

In the UK we use over 12.5million tonnes of paper and cardboard every year, and when it takes ONE tree to make 230 average sized newspapers/magazines, that’s a lot of trees! Global estimates suggest 4 billion trees are chopped down every year for paper and card production. Thankfully in the UK the majority of timber is sourced through sustainable timber production: silviculture. However, this is not always the case elsewhere.

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Sustainability Sunday

Date Added: 28/07/2018

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#SustainabilitySundays

Date Added: 21/07/2018

Meet Jonny, our Conservation and Sustainability Manager (and all-round legend)! At Warner Edwards, we respect and rely on nature to create our awesome craft gins, and we want to do our bit to give back. That’s why we’re starting #SustainabilitySundays, bringing you the latest updates on our conservation initiatives, and top tips on how you can help us to protect nature.

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Don't step on a bee day

Date Added: 10/07/2018

In support of Don't Step on a Bee Day, we have included some ways that we can all help our bees

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Junipalooza 2018 Competiton: Terms & Conditions

Date Added: 05/05/2018

Head over to our Facebook page to enter this competition.   Full Terms & Conditions 1. This Promotion is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 and over, excluding employees, directors and agents of Warner Edwards, their partner companies, their family members, or anyone...

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Chelsea Flower Show VIP 2018: Terms & Conditions

Date Added: 24/04/2018

Head over to our Facebook page to enter this competiiton.   Full Terms & Conditions 1. This Promotion is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 and over, excluding employees, directors and agents of Warner Edwards, their partner companies, their family members, or anyone...

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Recipe Boozeberry Sauce

Date Added: 12/12/2017

Check out our Boozeberry Sauce recipe! This is our spin on a classic cranberry sauce, with a warming splash of our award-winning Harrington Sloe Gin. Perfect for bringing you a little extra Christmas Spirit this festive season.  Ingredients: 250g fresh or frozen...

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Sloe Harvest Tips Rules

Date Added: 15/09/2017

HOW TO HARVEST You will need: Walking stick Umbrella Gloves Bucket Put on your gloves. Hold your umbrella upside down underneath a sloe bush. Hook your walking stick around a branch and pull it down towards you. Gently pluck the individual ripe sloes with your fingers, allowing...

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Awards Galore With The Global Distillery Masters 2017

Date Added: 20/01/2017

Here we are once again welcoming in the New Year, and what a great year it’s been! And to kick off 2017 in true style we are proud as punch to announce that we’ve won two awards with the Spirits Business Global Distillery Masters 2017, for our ‘Consumer Experience’ on the...

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Melissa Lemon Balm Gin Launch

Date Added: 28/09/2016

BOOM! Our Botanical Garden has finally come to life. Months of blood, sweat and tears have paid off as our distillery played host to the launch of our Botanical Garden and Limited Edition Melissa Lemon Balm Gin! As would be expected at any kind of party hosted by us, there were plenty of...

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A brief history of Gin in London:

Date Added: 13/12/2015

London's relationship with Gin can be traced all the way back to 1688 when William of Orange (a Dutch Monarch) made himself comfy on the English Throne. Although he'd come from the country widely recognised as the creators of Genever (the fore-runner to Gin) there are no records to suggest he was...

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Clare’s Blog Nov 2015

Date Added: 07/12/2015

All I want for Christmas...Nestled deep in the heart of the Northamptonshire countryside the team at Warner Edwards are beginning to witness the festive season come into full force with Christmas orders flying out the distillery doors and the gentle whisper of ‘All I want for Christmas' by...

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