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First Look: Orkney Distilling's new distillery and visitor centre opens in Kirkwall

A Orkney-based distilling company has officially opened its new distillery and visitor centre in Kirkwall this week. 

Published: July 18, 2018
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Creating a major new tourist attraction for the islands, the new facility took two years to complete and represents the realisation of a dream for Orkney Distilling’s husband and wife team, Stephen and Aly Kemp, producers of Kirkjuvagr, Arkh-Angell and Harpa gin.

Creating six jobs for the island community, the two-storey distillery and visitor centre can be found on Kirkwall’s historic harbour front, and features a gin and coffee bar, retail outlet and events venue.

Visitors will be able to tour the production area of the facility to learn more about the distillation process, and the stories behind the company’s gins.

Orkney Distilling managing director, Stephen Kemp said: “We’re incredibly proud of our new home and can’t wait to share it with the local community, and the
many visitors who come to Orkney each year.”

“From the outset it was our intention to create a place where people could relax and enjoy a drink in comfortable surroundings, while learning more about our gins and, indeed, Orkney. We also felt, given the very welcome rise in visitor numbers to Orkney, that there was a need for a new, high quality tourist attraction in the town. Hopefully we’ve filled that gap with a project that does the islands proud.

“Although our gin branding very much reflects the Norse heritage of Orkney, we’ve created a contemporary atmosphere within the distillery and visitor centre,” added Stephen. “That merging of the old and new, blending tradition and innovation, is unmistakably Orcadian in its approach, and something we’ve strived for with our gins too.”

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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