© sagredophotography | Ocean Azores Foundation

Designing Baleia

“As we boarded the plane we said we would return that winter. But fate had other ideas. We would not return to the Azores for another 12 years. But this time it would be for good.”

– Ali Bullock, creator Baleia Gin


On a dull, cloudy day in London, we were just another young couple travelling on the tube towards Earl’s Court and the convention center. Caroline had seen an advert for a show all about Portugal. This seemed like a good place to look for honeymoon destinations.

As we walked around, we stumbled upon a lone photographer who had a stand showcasing his whale photos and the island of Faial, one of the islands that makes up the Azores. We were taken by the photos of the whales and we booked our honeymoon.



In June of 2006 we made our first journey to the Azores to see the majestic whales of the Atlantic ocean. Remote, beautiful and one that we fell in love with.

As we boarded the plane to return home, we spoke of returning soon. 12 years later we returned to the the Azores to make it our home.

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The inspiration

This iconic photo of a whale diving below the ocean was taken in 2006 by Ali on that trip. It would become the inspiration behind the design of Baleia.

Whale Azores - Ali Bullock


In March of 2020 dark times descended as COVID took over the world and stopped travel. But with a notebook of ideas, and a head full of botanicals Ali came up with the ocean as the theme and seaweed as a base flavour.

After numerous trials, and some kind friends who helped us test each one, we came up with the final version in early 2021. Baleia aims to reflect the ocean on the palette with a slight salty taste, mixed gently with citrus, mint and juniper. This is a gin proudly made in the Azores.


The design

The design of the bottle aims to reflect the image taken in 2006. With the addition of an octopus. To hear about how the octopus came to be on the bottle you will have to visit The Gin Library and meet us in person for a Baleia & Tonic.


“Through donations to the Ocean Azores Foundation, sales of Baleia Gin help to support marine conservation projects here in this the Azores. We aim to ensure that the whales in these waters are protected for generations to come.”

– Ali Bullock, creator Baleia Gin