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Rum, gin and whisky launched by MacMillan Spirits ahead of Benbecula Distillery opening

A new independent bottler has released a range of spirits.

Published: January 24, 2023

MacMillan Spirits has launched its inaugural trio of spirits inspired by its home in the Outer Hebrides.

The new independent bottler, owned by Uist locals and father and son, Angus A MacMillan and Angus E MacMillan, celebrates the Scottish islands, its community and heritage. 

The duo are also behind Benbecula Distillery which is currently under construction on the Island and looks to pay homage to the island’s rich maritime heritage.

Angus A Macmillan has spent his life at the centre of the Outer Hebrides community and is one of the founding directors behind the historic community buyout in 2006.

MacMillan Spirits

Macmillan spirits

The liquids include Wheelhouse Whisky, an eight year old single cask single malt produced on Islay;  Machair Gin, a herbaceous, aromatic gin which contains heather and wild angelica botanicals which are harvested on Angus’ Uist croft; and Molucca Rum, an eight year old golden rum.

Each liquid was carefully selected by Angus and his team for their flavourful characteristics representing aspects of Uist.

Angus A MacMillan, Managing Director of MacMillan Spirits, said: “As a proud islander, I wanted to bring together flavours and stories inspired by the Outer Hebrides to MacMillan Spirits.

"Wheelhouse Whisky, Machair Gin and Molucca Rum each have their own story but Molucca Rum is my personal favourite. 

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“It’s inspired by Martin Martin’s 1703 book A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland, which talks about finding Molucca beans, sometimes known as sea hearts, on the Western Isles.

"Molucca Beans are smooth seeds from the warri tree, which wash up on our Hebridean beaches having been carried on the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean.

"We find these heart-shaped seeds hidden in the sand and tangled in the seaweed: a smooth, shiny seed the size of your palm – like a heart-shaped pebble but light as a husk. It’s such a special link with Scotland and the Caribbean.

“This initial collection is just the beginning of our plans for creating a family of spirits that embodies our small island home and celebrates our slow, natural craft.”

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Jamie MacDonald, Business Development Manager for MacMillan Spirits, added: “We’ve created a series of signature serves for Wheelhouse Whisky, Machair Gin and Molucca Rum which allow drinkers to fully explore the depth of favour in each unique liquid.

"For our Machair Gin, we’ve created our own version of the classic Martini inspired by its name.

"Machair is a strip of low-lying fertile land that is cultivated and grazed by cattle and sheep belonging to the Hebridean crofter.

"It’s an entirely unique habitat that clings to the Hebridean coastline and is home to beautiful and rare flowers which are used in the gin.

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“In our Martini we use Penja Pepper Berry Cordial, Vermouth and garnish with candied angelica to reflect the foraged botanicals, wild angelica root and island heathers used in the gin.”

Each label features original, specially commissioned artwork by Minneapolis-based artist, Nick Dahlen.

To find out more about the spirits, and buy, visit the MacMillan Spirits website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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