Our question was this: "In a world of big look-alike spirit companies, wouldn't it be great if we could make some very special smaller brands famous - without selling out?" Brands made by people who cared, who wanted to bring the world different perspectives and tastes.
What if there were a company that could help the best craft brands reach their potential? What if there were a company that could combine the ethos of independent craft with the resources of larger companies? What if we could bring together a portfolio of great brands that people would want to talk about and that would deservedly become famous?
VISION & VALUES
The "&" in Samson & Surrey matters.
The "&" actually matters. It stands for togetherness, and for a partnership based on profound respect for craft. It's the idea of "&" that links us to each brand that we curate and partner with, providing liquid artists with the space they need to perfect their craft, experiment with new products, and continue to make some of the most extraordinary spirits on the market today.
Above all, we value those who try. The artisans who use the "&" to combine new ideas, people, products, drinkers, grains, and botanicals. We admire those in the arena, but don't just take our word for it.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
We like to think about craft brands as human-scale brands, each with a strong personality and character all their own.
So what is craft really? For us, craft is all about the Human Touch.
Craft means for us human intervention, experimentation, & influence. It means we love the founders and creators, what they do and why they do it. We like knowing the rule breakers and new-land-stakers. We like seeing them in the arena and savoring what they bring when the day is done.
It means we love all the human interaction in our industry.
The friendships, the relationships, the stories. What could be more human than telling each other stories over a good drink? Stories about our lives and those around us, and stories about the brands we like and why we like them.
Craft products carry this thread of humanity in how they came to be and how they are enjoyed. That's the essence of craft to us.
Great craft brands tell great stories. Here's a glimpse inside our portfolio.
Bluecoat is a pioneer of the American revolution in Gin, whose organic botanicals and citrus flavor profile produce superior cocktails.
FEW is a bareknuckle fancy Bourbon, Rye and Malt; Born in the heart of the Midwest, it is decidedly not your typical American Whiskey.
Brenne Whisky is expertly crafted from seed-to-spirit by a 3rd generation master distiller and an American female entrepreneur in the heart of Cognac, France.
Some say it was the destiny. But I prefer to say it was my passion for spirits and alcohol beverages in general. I grew up surrounded by vineyards. My family comes from a wine region south of Barcelona, called Penedes. As the eldest of all cousins in a large Spanish family, my grandfather put me in charge of picking the sparkling wine from the cava on Sundays. He produced sparkling wine for friends and family. Sunday lunch was his favorite time of the week, the time to catch up with family and friends. I learnt very early that some of the best moments in life tend to happen around a table, sharing a meal, good wine and, of course, spirits.
After wine, came beer when I worked for one of the leading brewers in Spain. As some would say, it was a natural progression into spirits that became not only my job, but also my passion for the last 20 some years.
If you ask me what I do for living, I would say that I help to curate some of the best spirits that contribute (I hope) to many fantastic moments in our consumers' lives. In a world that is so rapidly changing, I believe in a humane and artisanal approach to the craft of the spirit with the aim of not only making a best possible liquid with highest quality, but ensuring a great experience by producing something different, exciting and new.
When looking for a company name, I could only go back and choose a place close to my heart, the name of a town in the Spanish Pyrenees, Samson, not far from the French border.
Drinking was always on the cards. My father spent a bit of time as a Spitfire pilot from 1941-44, but was rudely interrupted in 1943 when he was shot down and had to be hidden by the French resistance in a bar in Clichy, Paris for 5 happy months. There he developed an appreciation for fine spirits and, after the war, joined the venerable Saccone & Speed distributors of fine spirits from Sicily to Stockholm.
Although once tempted into cigarette smuggling, he decided that higher profits were no match for the very real occupational risk of being shot at and returned to his day job. From my father I learnt to appreciate from a (too) young age some of the finer things in life and liquor. That's why I am so proud to be part of Samson & Surrey today bringing that same appreciation to a new generation. My father's family of gentleman farmers is originally from Surrey, England and part of our name is therefore homage to a family history of enjoying great spirits in all sorts of circumstances!