Isle of Barra Distillers unveil new Ada still - here's what that means for their Barra Atlantic Gin

The island distillery has started a new chapter in its businesses, by investing in a new, larger still.

Published 9th Dec 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The family owned distillers on the Isle of Barra, home of Barra Atlantic Gin, has welcomed a new addition to the distillery - a 300-litre copper still.

The new still, named Ada after the latest arrival to the distillery family, was custom built by Forsyths is Rothes, and is the first still in the Outer Hebrides to be built by the Scottish company.

Launched in 2017, the island distillery initially contract distilled their spirit in London before opening Barra's first legal distillery in May 2019.

The Barra Atlantic gin was so popular that the original small still was worked hard to produce the spirit that is made with 17 handpicked botanicals, foraged from the island.

The team at the distillery explain why the new still was an important milestone, saying: "Since our first launch in August 2017, the Isle of Barra Distillers has grown from strength to strength.

"Starting off by contract distilling our island spirit down in London to finally opening Scotland’s most westerly distillery and the first legal distillery on the Isle of Barra in May 2019, we have worked toward this exact moment of having our copper still made by Forsyths be the very first to be located in the Western Isles of Scotland as of November 2020.

"Whilst our original small still worked tirelessly inside our distillery, we could not keep up with the demand and had to have a second still temporarily installed to enable us a larger production of gin.

"Our small still which kick-started our journey of distilling on the edge came to the end of it’s era as we welcomed our stunning new 300 litre copper still, named Ada after owners Michael and Katie Morrison’s daughter who was born right at the beginning of lockdown."

What does this mean for the gin recipe?

barra gin

Firstly, the packaging will have a limited edition nod to the new still, as the label has changed to welcome Ada.

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Barra Gin's bottle and label is up there with some of the most attractive and eye-catching on the market, making this an ideal gift for a gin fan.

Speaking of the gin recipe, the team said: "Whilst all botanicals remain the same in our gin, we have worked tirelessly in distilling a bigger and better version.

"We have ensured the bold presence of our key botanical Carrageen seaweed remains throughout the taste and scent and have worked on providing an even smoother flavour that our Barra Atlantic Gin was most famous for.

"Of course, distilling in our new still has resulted in it’s own unique addition to the overall outcome of our Barra Atlantic Gin in a positive direction."

Barra Altantic gin is extremely smooth, so much so, that it's very easy to drink over ice. But if a G&T is more your thing, fans of juniper-led gins will love its fresh taste.

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The Carrageen seaweed gives the gin a minerality and seaside flavour while the citrus notes ensure there is a juicy quality to the gin.

Served with a premium tonic and a slice of grapefruit orange, it's a very refreshing G&T.

To find out more about Barra Atlantic Gin or to purchase a bottle or Christmas gift, please visit their website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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