The creation of the most northerly distillery on mainland Britain is moving forward as work is due to begin at Dunnet in Caithness.
Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd are building a new micro gin distillery, using botanicals which will showcase and promote the heritage and provenance of Caithness and the Highlands. Construction is due to begin in January.
Husband and wife Martin and Claire Murray, who live in Dunnet, set up the company which aims to have the first gin samples ready by summer 2014 and begin distilling soon after.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are assisting the project with funding of £83,990.
Martin is currently studying an MSc in Brewing and Distilling through the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University. During this time he has worked with the Centre on a number of research products to assist with product development, with additional product and process development projects supported by funding from Interface.
Claire has been working with a number of experts in Caithness to research local botanicals which can be used to flavour the new hand distilled gin.
Martin commented: "We are absolutely delighted at reaching another significant milestone for our project. We couldn't have achieved this without the support from HIE, who have been fantastic right from the first time we approached them."
Laura Gunn from HIE, commented: “We are extremely excited to have the most northerly distillery in mainland Scotland opening in Caithness. Martin and Claire have put a huge amount of time and effort into ensuring the product they are creating is of an extremely high quality. Recent research by Mintel suggests that consumers are moving further towards premium drinks from craft distilleries using local ingredients, with 15% of all white spirits sold considered ‘premium’ and this expected to rise. The focus on a hand-distilled, high quality product which is inspired by Caithness and uses local ingredients is a welcome addition to the county.”
For more information, the new website for Dunnet Bay Distillers can be found at www.rockrosegin.co.uk