New Kin­tyre gin pro­vides per­fect ru­ral tonic for jobs

The Oban Times - - News - MARK DAVEY edi­tor@oban­

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.

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