New Caithness distillery just the tonic for 2014


Photograph of New Caithness distillery just the tonic for 2014

The creation of the most northerly distillery on mainland Britain is moving forward as work is due to begin at Dunnet in Caithness. Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd are building a new micro gin distillery, using botanicals which will showcase and promote the heritage and provenance of Caithness and the Highlands. Construction is due to begin in January.

Husband and wife Martin and Claire Murray, who live in Dunnet, set up the company which aims to have the first gin samples ready by summer 2014 and begin distilling soon after. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are assisting the project with funding of 83,990. Martin is currently studying an MSc in Brewing and Distilling through the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University.

During this time he has worked with the Centre on a number of research products to assist with product development, with additional product and process development projects supported by funding from Interface. Claire has been working with a number of experts in Caithness to research local botanicals which can be used to flavour the new hand distilled gin. Martin commented: “We are absolutely delighted at reaching another significant milestone for our project.

We couldn’t have achieved this without the support from HIE, who have been fantastic right from the first time we approached them.” Laura Gunn from HIE, commented: We are extremely excited to have the most northerly distillery in mainland Scotland opening in Caithness. Martin and Claire have put a huge amount of time and effort into ensuring the product they are creating is of an extremely high quality.

Recent research by Mintel suggests that consumers are moving further towards premium drinks from craft distilleries using local ingredients, with 15% of all white spirits sold considered premium and this expected to rise.

The focus on a hand-distilled, high quality product which is inspired by Caithness and uses local ingredients is a welcome addition to the county.

For more information, the new website for Dunnet Bay Distillers can be found at www.rockrosegin.co.uk

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Protecting shellfish production


Scotland first country in UK to ensure continued protection of shellfish waters. New legislation comes into force today to ensure the continued protection of Scottish shellfish growing waters. The measures the first of their kind in the UK have been introduced to replace the European Shellfish Waters Directive which has been repealed today.

To continue support for the expansion of Scotland s shellfish sector towards the industry s 2020 targets and beyond, and ensure a good quality product which is safe for human consumption, 84 shellfish water protected areas (SWPAs) have been identified. Steps will be taken to prevent the deterioration of water quality in these areas, and where necessary to improve water quality to a high standard. Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: The aquaculture and freshwater fisheries sectors are significant contributors to Scotland s economy as a whole as well as critical to the economies of many coastal and rural communities.

“We want to ensure both sectors have a successful and sustainable future and ensuring Scotland s precious marine environment is protected is a key part of that. Shellfish production is important for our rural and coastal communities and we recognise the need for clean water in these areas to ensure a high quality product which is safe for human consumption. It s important that we maintain the current high standards of water quality, but also protect against and reduce pollution in shellfish waters.

These new measures not only do that, but also significantly expand the area of water protected to enhance support for shellfish life and increase the number of high class edible shellfish products. I am delighted that these are the next steps in our distinctive Scottish approach towards the achievement of a sustainable water environment. More information on the Shellfish Water Protected Areas: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/Water/15561/ShellfishWaters

Consultation responses: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/2843



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