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Interviews

Know Your Distillers: Vikas Ghule

With a 17-year distilling experience, Distiller Vikas Ghule of East Side Distillery Ltd joins us for an exclusive interview. He shares his knowledge about spirits allowing us to learn about the industry's issues, philosophy, and trends.

Meet Vikas Ghule, a distiller with over 17 years of expertise who is currently contributing to East Side Distillery Ltd., which specializes in gin production, blending, and liquid innovation for various spirits. In his recent interview with us for our 'Know Your Distiller' series, Vikas provides useful insights into the industry's issues, highlighting the significance of understanding how components affect flavor characteristics. The interview discusses Vikas's role in driving marketing and sales, the art of blending, and the issues presented by growing raw material costs.

Tell us a little about your background and journey into distilling.

Over 17 + years of experience and presently working with East Side Distillery Ltd. Distiller and Production. Experienced in R&D, Liquid innovation, Pot Distillation, Blending, Quality control, and Oak barrel maturation of Whisky, Gin, Tequila, Wine, Spice Rum, Brandy, and ENA.

Your current role and what does your day look like?

I have been working in ESD as A Gin distiller and Production. its pivotal role where I delved into Distillation, Blending, production, and Liquid innovation. The job responsibility is diverse with an immense scope of learning and building a great path.

What inspired you to become a distiller?

From Scratch, in my career, I had experience running pot distillation for various spirits such as Brandy, ENA, Malt whisky, and Gin. In these spirits, I felt different types of aromas and flavors come at different temp. Afterward, I was eager to learn about different types of spirits and their aroma and flavor Changes during Distillation.

Image: Vikas Ghule

What are some of the most important skills for a distiller?

Gin - Knowledge and deep understanding of the impact of each spice, herb, and fruit root on a gin flavor.

Whisky - understanding the Raw materials such as Grain, Corn, and Malt alongside fermentation and distillation Processes.

Brandy - Selection of Grapes, Yeast, and control temp of Grapes fermentation as well as grapes spirit Distillation, blending, and oak Barrel selection for Maturation.

How do you think a distiller can help in driving marketing and sales personally?

A distiller can work with their marketing and sales peers to create awareness of our brands.

Define a good distiller.

To create the best new versions of spirits as per consumer demands and launch more products across various categories by implementing product and process Innovative approaches.

What is the hardest part of a distiller's job?

Working on a small medium to large distillery that makes a variety of spirits has numerous production challenges trouble shooting them daily is a key aspect of being a hands-on distiller.

What's your elevator pitch to a bartender when pitching your brand?

About Doja I will explain aromas with a bold flavour profile, herbal note of our Doja gin.

What are the current challenges the spirits industry is facing according to you?

In my view, the current challenges the spirits industry faces are surging Raw materials costs such as NGA, Botanicals, and Packing materials. This leads to manufacturing costs always going to the higher side. Despite the bottle price being stationary.

What is your idea of a good life?

Enjoy life every day everywhere…!!!

Which is your go-to drink and what is the perfect setting you enjoy it in?

I love a Scotch as well as Gin with signature cocktails. I can see myself savoring it by the riverside in a village.

What are your favorite 2-3 distilling or spirits books?

Here is my favorite distilling part of Gin - 1) Malt whisky pot distillation to make malt whisky 2) Grapes spirit pot distillation to make Brandy 3) Neutral spirit distillation (ENA/NGA).

What do you look for in a supplier when sourcing bulk spirits / NGS if you do?

The base spirit should be Clean with a neutral flavor. That neutral spirit allows the distilled flavors and aromas of the botanicals to come through.

Take us through your process of blending.

Blending is a simple process of adding high-strength spirits to de-mineralized water to reduce the strength of spirits for human consumption.

How do you take care of production waste?

We have been implementing SOP for all stages such as Distillation, Blending, and Packing materials from that SOP we have been able to take care of production waste.

How do you create complexity in the fermentation stage?

In the fermentation stage FAN (free amino acid) small peptides and Temperature are the most important factors for Yeast metabolism and they convert simple sugar into alcohol as well as create flavor and aroma profiles during fermentation.

What trends do you anticipate in the beverage industry in the coming months? Where do you see the domestic craft distilling scene going? What's next for the industry?

Now in Asia Produce premium Quality Spirits as well as send them to overseas markets.

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