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Meet the Maker: Ginologist, where science meets good taste

Ginologist is a scientifically distilled gin that has made waves in the gin community in spite of its relatively short time on the shelves. A classical looking gin that appeals to all demographics, their three flavours range from citrus, floral to of course spiced, which also happens to be the very first gin that founding members Matt van Wyk and Richard Colby began work on.

Then and now

What started out as a hobby 15 months ago, led to the procurement of a still which in turn required a large home. From there, Ginologist was born and went on to become the award-winning gin that it is today.

"We are so full, we are bursting out of our seams!" says Pieter Carter who is in charge of operations.

So full in fact, that a large move to a more central Johannesburg-based location is in the books for the Ginologist team which will hopefully mean gin tastings, distillery tours and then some. Keep a watchful eye on this renowned brand because come September, it’s not just spring we have to look forward to!

Tricks up their sleeves

As if they weren’t already knocking it out of the ballpark on every level, the Ginologist team have one-upped themselves with the recent acquirement of a secret weapon. The now not so secret distilling agent, who is none other than Van Wyk’s own son – Albert will be bringing to the business years of distilling experience.

The passionate team

Their marketing manager, Nick Taliakis says that every person in the company is full of love and passion for the brand: "Our members are so dedicated and they all love being here, experimenting and preparing for events. The Ginologist team are hands on that when you attend an event or festival, the people involved on a day-to-day basis are the very same people who are serving you gin. This is ideal because it allows consumers to ask real questions and get real answers."

With the core values of connecting and sharing, it’s no wonder they are so involved.

"We want to bring enjoyment and happiness to gatherings," says Taliakis. "We want to source, distill and bottle our passion," which is exactly what they have done.


Ginologist uses only the highest quality local and international ingredients ensuring a premium product. From the 40-year gold medal-winning alcohol, Macedonian and Italian juniper and British coriander, their botanicals are all sourced from regions that are renowned as experts in those particular botanicals. They do try to source responsibly and locally as well. The rose geranium comes from a BEE farm in KwaZulu-Natal and the fruit from the Johannesburg fresh produce market.

All of these premium botanicals, the high quality equipment and unique recipes all lead to Ginologist’s superior quality, making it an incredibly versatile gin. You can individualise it to suit your own taste, rather than stick to the perfect serve or anyone else’s suggestion.

Looking at the gin

Ginologist gin is infused with as much flavour as possible meaning that you needn’t pour more than a single shot to experience those incredible profiles. Using only maceration and the infusing process, the distillers add flavours strictly before and during distillation, with no additions afterwards. Their scientific distillation is the source of their purist beliefs that the addition of flavours after the process cannot be tolerated, meaning that the distillation run has to be perfect every single time.

Scientists at work

What is scientifically distilled you may ask?

It is the scientific process following a specific set of rules on how to distill precisely. Even the development is trial and error, as they run two or three sample distillations after every new flavour addition in order to be 100% sure that the flavour profiles are exactly as they should be. The spiced gin alone took 16 attempts before they were happy enough to take it to market.

With all of their success, Ginologist are not resting on their laurels. They have begun experimentation with several new gins that I was lucky enough to taste but cannot yet disclose.

Stay tuned as the Ginologist brand has much more lined up for us happy consumers. For more info on where to buy Ginologist products, check out their website.

Read the original Meet the Maker on SamSamButDifferent.
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About Samantha Snedorf

Snedorf is a qualified journalist and full-time blogger. She is obsessed with gin and is trying to bring light to the enormous number of gins and talented crafters that we have in South Africa. She films weekly videos where she samples different gins and focuses on their different botanicals. In the near future, she would love to host gin tastings and sell the handcrafted botanical bags she creates. She adores travel and wants to explore the world whilst drinking gin and taking beautiful photos.