The cat is out of the bag regarding our next exciting venture. Never one to rest on his laurels, Niall needed another project to get stressed about now the hydro scheme is up and running.
Last year he came up with the brilliant idea of making gin as it appears to be a booming industry and as yet there are no gin distilleries in Kintyre. Keen to be the first, we met up with gin genius (ginius?) Leon Webb, one of the masterminds behind the phenomenally successful Harris Gin. He has spent time with us at Torrisdale, exploring the estate for suitable botanicals which he then took back to his lab at Heriot Watt University. We are keen to exploit our coastal positioning but also want embrace the hills above us and the fertile plains around us. We plan to include at least one botanical from each location and Leon is close to finalising our recipe.
We decided to name the distillery after the highest point in Kintyre which is conveniently located just behind the estate. Beinn an Tuirc translates as, ‘Hill of the Wild Boar’ and has been brilliantly incorporated into our branding by Niall’s brother, Kenny, who is coming on board as our creative director.
We have earmarked a dilapidated farm building to be the actual distillery which is located beside Lephincorrach Farmhouse, a current holiday let. This would allow us to create a visitor centre from which we would offer gin tasting tours and also pop-up dining opportunities. The farm building is a short distance from the Torrisdale Hydro turbine house which means we can supply the still with sustainable power generated on site. This will add unique eco credentials to our brand and compliments our environmentally friendly ethos for the whole estate which we have been developing through the biomass boiler and tree-planting scheme, among other things.
To help with the all important research process, Niall came up with the brilliant plan of joining a craft gin club. This means we are treated to a monthly bottle of beautiful gin from anywhere in the world. It’s a hard task but I am happy to do my bit and I think I’m becoming quite the connoisseur, if I do say so myself. It’s inspiring to see all the many different bottles and branding and what surprised me most was the vast differences in flavour, having previously been quite skeptical that they all taste the same (don’t tell Niall I said that). There is nothing nicer than finishing a hectic day with a glass of g&t on ice and an optional slice (we ALWAYS run out of lemons) and it will be immeasurably satisfying to pour out our very own brand some time in the not to distant future.
Keep up to date with our progress via our facebook page – www.facebook.com/kintyregin or on twitter – www.twitter.com/kintyregin. You can also register interest on our Bienn an Turic website by filling in the form on the holding page – www.kintyregin.com