Dunnet Bay Distillers
Producer: Dunnet Bay Distillers, Caithness
Product: Rock Rose Gin
Category: From the earth, artisan
What they do:
Dunnet Bay Distillers is named after the bay it overlooks in Caithness, near Lands End. Rock Rose Gin gets its name from one of the key botanicals (plant-based ingredients used to flavour gin) called Rhodiola rosea – rose in the rocks – which has been harvested on the wild and craggy cliffs since Viking times and is used in Rock Rose gin.
Engineer Martin Murray set up the distillery in 2000 and in doing so united his love of gin with local ingredients and lore. The gin is distilled in a copper pot still named Elizabeth, using the roots of Rhodiola rosea as well as a handful of other botanicals native to the remote Scottish distillery including sea buckthorn; and, while the essential juniper berries hail from Bulgaria and Italy at the moment, Martin and his wife Claire are working closely with a local biodiversity group to restore juniper trees to Caithness. Delicately floral, slightly spicy with a unique rose aroma, the resulting spirit is poured into their signature white ceramic bottles, hand-waxed, batch numbered and signed upon leaving the distillery.
What the judges said:
The judges were impressed by the innovation and passion behind Dunnet Bay Distillers, particularly their uses of local botanicals. Their commitment to restoring juniper to the area was also regarded as worthy of praise.
Visit the website:Dunnet Bay Distillers