Nik will oversee production for the brand and will lead its unique distillation process at the, currently under construction, Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Laverstoke Mill, Hampshire, England, due to open later this year.
In addition to crafting the iconic gin and managing its production team, he will be responsible for the quality assurance for Bombay Sapphire gin, meeting the exacting standards of the brand’s well-known flavour profile and consistent quality in each bottle.
Nik’s role will be key to the production of the gin and he will personally oversee all stages, including managing the spirits’ creation through its unique Vapour Infusion distillation process, the preferred method associated with a recipe based on Thomas Dakin’s secret recipe which dates back to 1761.
As Master Distiller, Nik Fordham will join Ivano Tonutti, the unique Master of Botanicals for Bombay Sapphire who hand-selects each of the exotic botanicals from locations around the world. Working together, the two will be responsible for producing the tantalizing, smooth and complex taste of Bombay Sapphire gin.
The delicate distillation process of Vapour Infusion differs from the traditional gin distillation methods as rather than boiling the botanicals directly into the spirit, the botanicals are instead held separately from the spirit in perforated copper baskets.
When the heated vapours rise, the distinctive flavours of the botanicals are captured by the spirit, resulting in a broader more balanced flavour which gives Bombay Sapphire gin its extraordinary versatility.
Even today, Bombay Sapphire gin continues to be made using a Carterhead still purchased by the Dakin family in 1831.
“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity,” said Nik Fordham. “To be involved in the establishment of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with the team to ensure that the values of care, skill and imagination that have made Bombay Sapphire gin famous remain at the very core of the distilling process.”
Emma Johansson, Global Marketing Manager at Bombay Sapphire, adds:
“Nik’s extensive experience and fantastic track record makes him the perfect choice as the Master Distiller for the Bombay Sapphire gin portfolio. With the opening of our distillery Laverstoke Mill later this year, Nik’s appointment is an exciting opportunity for Bombay Sapphire and he will be a valuable part of the team in driving the re-invigoration of the gin category.”
Nik has extensive experience in the industry, and studied at Plymouth University, England, where he graduated with a BSc Combined Honours in Biology and Chemistry.
After leaving university he trained as a Research and Development Scientist working in the production arm at one of the world’s largest FMCG companies, Unilever for more than a decade.
In 2008, Nik looked to combine his passion for business operations with his love for chemistry, and joined Chivas Brothers Ltd. where he took on the all-encompassing position as Distillery Manager for Beefeater gin.
As well as having a day-to-day responsibility for the gin’s production, Nik also implemented processes for improving efficiency and worked to develop the distillery team and ensured they delivered against all business targets.
In 2010, Nik gained the recognised professional qualifications associated with the industry, receiving a diploma in distilling, during which he gained the Gin and Vodka Association award and the following year he went on to achieve the Worshipful Company of Distillers scholarship award for excellence.
Nik Fordham’s role as Master Distiller will complement and add to the quality of Bombay Sapphire gin, as the brand is sold across 120 worldwide markets.
Whilst the overall gin market has remained flat in recent years, the popularity of Bombay Sapphire gin continues to grow year-on-year, nearly tripling in size since it was acquired by Bacardi, the largest privately held spirits company in the world.