Bhagath Reddy: 44°N Gin founder meets DI

10 June, 2019

Angel Brown caught up with 44°N Gin founder and CEO Bhagath Reddy. 

What inspired you to create 44°N Gin?

44°N is just the start of a wider business called the Comte de Grasse project. It all began with my curiosity on whether luxury spirits could be made in a completely new way – a way that was more in tune with its environment. Now, we have created a pioneering method for producing luxury spirits in a more sustainable manner than the vast majority of others. However, we’re just starting out and there is so much more work to be done on this front.

I had always dreamed of building a distillery. So after much research and planning I decided to pursue this dream in Grasse for a wide variety of reasons.

44°N was particularly inspired from the town of Grasse itself. Being the capital of perfumery we have a lot of botanicals to learn from and play with. Additionally, the town itself has an exceptional technical know-how for aroma and flavour extraction, a magnificent array of raw materials and a community eager to explore a new chapter in their local culture and economy.

Where do you see 44 North Gin in relation to other gins?

44°N is distilled in such an innovative way using a variety of methods that have never been seen under one roof before. It challenges the conventional thinking of flavour creation in the gin category, as well as the world of luxury drinks.

In terms of our brand ethos, I see 44°N in the same playing field with HYKE Gin, The One Gin and Fair. Looking outside the category, we can be compared with the likes of Simple Vodka and Four Leaf Spirits from the States, who are also making noise and raising awareness of sustainability in the drinks industry.

Are you looking to steal share from competitor gin brands or are you looking for new consumers in the category?

The category is growing fast, but at the luxury level, there is a gap ripe for exploring. As well as being an interesting space to work in, the conscientiousness that goes into making 44°N and the cost of production in working with such diverse group of suppliers and high-tech, we have to play in this space. If it’s the right thing to do in terms of our environment and terroir, we believe we should be doing it, not cutting corners. Of course, we need to market the product effectively too, hence the drive to present 44°N in such a beautiful way to appeal to the target audience.

Which market 44° North Gin best performing?

Since launching in November last year, our home market of France – not a traditional market for gin – has been our main focus, with great adulation from key influencers in the gastronomic and bar worlds.

Do you have international ambitions? If so which markets?

We have begun seeding the product in the UK and people are really taking notice. Further European markets, Australia and USA are the next steps.

I can see you have plans to further your spirits offering, can you give me any information on which direction this might go in?

We are planning to scale up our innovative distilling process next year and release further luxury spirit brands, all following to the same Comte de Grasse principles as 44°N. The abundance of natural produce in this region gives us the opportunity to explore a wide range of spirits including rum and agave - but the one I’m personally most excited about is a Comte de Grasse whisky, although this will likely be the last to hit the shelves for obvious reasons.

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