Our Story

Some of our barrels, including original 1992 Springbank

Some of our barrels, including original 1992 Springbank

Our mission is to produce only top quality spirits at an honest price. We started distilling in the autumn of 2012 at Glynhynod Farm in Ceredigion but our story starts many years before that.

Way back in 1992 John Savage-Onstwedder, one of the founders of the renowned Teifi Farmhouse Cheese and an organic farmer, commissioned the world famous Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown, Scotland to produce the world’s first organic whisky of the modern era to commemorate the eagerly anticipated new millennium. Dà Mhìle (pronounced da-vee-lay) is Gaelic for 2000. 

Springbank made 15 hogsheads (barrels) out of the 11 tonnes of organic barley John delivered to the distillery, of these 15 hogsheads five remain. They celebrated their 23nd birthday in the summer of 2015 and are now highly sought after by collectors.

Bottle number 1000 was gifted to HRH Prince Charles

Bottle number 1000 was gifted to HRH Prince Charles

In 2010, John applied for a distiller’s license to run a 350 litre state-of-the-art copper pot-still, even though the law at the time stated that the smallest pot-still for which a license could be granted could be 1500 litres. Nonetheless, he was encouraged to apply by a sympathetic HMRC officer who said: “Those guidelines were written when custom’s officers were still roaming the hills with muskets to flush out the illegal stills, so as to make it more difficult to hide them. Put in your application and see what happens.” Lo and behold a few months later HMRC issued John what was most likely the first distiller’s license issued for a 350 litre still in UK history. After three more years of building and license applications we were finally able to start distilling.

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones opened the distillery

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones opened the distillery

Our distillery is run by John’s eldest son, John-James, who was trained at Kilchoman distillery in Scotland and studied under Dr. Klaus Hagmann who has a PhD in distilling and designed our still. His first product, an organic orange liqueur called Dà Mhìle Orange 33, won a True Taste Award for its first batch!

His second product, Dà Mhìle Botanical Farmhouse Gin was enthusiastically received by gin drinkers. And on St. David's Day 2014 he released our popular Seaweed Gin, which is made with a selection of organic seaweed from the Newquay coast of West Wales and the West coast of Ireland.

Dà Mhìle Distillery continues its legacy of making great organic whisky and gin while exploring new spirits like Apple Brandy and Sloe Gin. We are committed to producing high quality organic spirits that will make Wales proud.