New Kintyre gin provides perfect rural tonic for jobs
GIN produced at Torrisdale is set to add six full-time jobs to the Kintyre economy.
Beinn an Tuirc distillery, based in renovated outbuildings, at the estate near Carradale is nearing completion and the fully-flavoured spirit should be on sale next month.
Estate owner Niall Macalister Hall secured £24,276 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and hopes to create jobs in distilling, sales, operations and tour guides.
He has already recruited Su Black as distillery manager. Su is a graduate under the Scot-Grad scheme, operated by HIE. She formerly worked in the oil industry and has just completed a master’s degree in brewing and distilling.
Su said: ‘The gin is hand- crafted from start to finish with 12 botanicals including sheep sorel and Icelandic moss which are unique to the Kintyre product.
‘The still can make 250 70cl bottles per batch and we are aiming for 12,000 bottles in the first year of production.’
The gin will be sold in bottles bought from northern France and initially 5,000 have been ordered.
Mr Macalister Hall said: ‘It is important the bottle feels as good as the product inside.’
It is truly a family affair, as his brother Kenny, who runs Offshoot Design in Glasgow, has created the labelling which is screen-printed onto the bottles.
On Monday, a second temporary employee started. Eilidh Maxwell, who is studying international business and modern languages, has come to Kintyre Gin on a 12-week placement to help with marketing.
Mr Macalister Hall said: ‘We are really excited about the impending launch of the gin.
‘We have planning consent for a shop and cafe which will be a great add-on to the distillery.
‘It has taken a lot of hard work to get this far, and we wouldn’t be where we are without the advice, training and funding from HIE, as well as its support with the export market. We can’t wait to get started.’
The distillery, which will include a viewing area and tasting facility, will add to Kintyre’s tourism offering, which is supported by the nearby Kintyre Way.
Beinn an Tuirc, the summit above Torrisdale, meaning hill of the boar, will be the first distillery of its kind to be powered by an onsite hydroelectric scheme, which was completed last February. The company plans to use a percentage of its profits to create a new charitable foundation.
This will award funds to individuals or organisations based in Kintyre for projects particularly focused on new business start-ups.
Liza Moran, business growth account manager with HIE, said: ‘Argyll and the Islands is renowned for its food and drink, as well as tourism offerings. We expect Beinn an Tuirc distillery to be a significant contributor to this growth sector.
‘By creating valuable rural employment opportunities the company will also help strengthen resilience among local communities.’
Neil Macalister Hall, Su Black and Eilidh Maxwell with the German Muller still.