Let the SWI’s new season be-’gin’
A spirited speaker got Bellochantuy Scottish Women’s Institute’s (SWI) new season off to a flying start. The 2018-2019 year began with a dinner at the Argyll Hotel, Campbeltown, last month, where members raised their glasses to Beinn an Tuirc Distillery and its gin. A spokesperson said it was a ‘delight’ to welcome speaker Emma Macalister Hall to the annual get together where news was exchanged and an ‘excellent’ meal was enjoyed. Mrs Macalister Hall explained some of the history of Torrisdale Castle and how she and her husband Niall made it their home. She described their subsequent decision to put Kintyre firmly on the map by opening a gin distillery. With head distiller Su Black, who joined the team from Edinburgh, Mrs Macalister Hall initiated the members into the intricacies of getting the correct balance of botanicals to ensure the consistent flavour of their gin. The spokesperson said: ‘Sampling the gins without the addition of a mixer really brought out the difference that certain combinations of botanicals make. After an initial sip though, we quickly added the said mixer.’ As well as a miniature copper still sitting on the table, there was a large beautiful pewter boar given to the distillery – an appropriate symbol, as the distillery name, Beinn an Tuirc, translates as ‘hill of the boar’. Mrs Macalister Hall judged the following competitions: photography, autumn: Lois Fell, gold, and Margaret McKinnon, silver. Fun: A glass: Margaret Campbell, gold, and Lois Fell, gold. The group’s next meeting will be on Monday November 19 at 7.30pm in Glenbarr Hall when the speaker will be Pat McPherson from Kintyre Preserves.