The team at Sutors, which is based at Balinroich near Tain, say they are one of a small band of distilleries in the UK which makes its own spirit, using ingredients grown on its own doorstep.
Founded by IT specialist Stuart Wells and agronomist Ed Scaman, the distillery takes barley and wheat from neighbouring farms, malts it and makes its own spirit from scratch.
Ed and Stuart’s fully equipped distillery near North Sutor is in a coach house and has taken almost three years to set up. The project was supported by crowdfunding and members of the Sutors 500 Club who are now claiming the first bottles in return for their investment.
The botanicals – including the juniper – are hand-picked in the rich lands around them on the Sutors, the headlands which guard the entrance to the Cromarty Firth.
Founders Ed and Stuart say the bounty from the hills and shoreline means there is local botanicals including bog myrtle and sea buckthorn in Sutors Gin.
Determined to have only the best local ingredients, Ed shepherded the grain from
planting and checked to ensure its quality with the farmer right up until harvest.
To ensure that grain has been malted to the highest standard, Ed and Stuart decided
to build one of Scotland's smallest malt houses to malt it in just the way they wanted. From there they craft their gin using a bespoke G-Still reflux still.
The resulting London Dry-style gin is described as "warm and earthy" with notes of "pine and citrus".
Stuart Wells stated that he is thrilled to share their new gin, he said: “It has been a long road to create this very special product. When we set out to bring our dream to life, we wanted to be true to our vision of creating a gin rooted in our own landscape.
“This takes time as we made sure every detail of our distilling process makes the very best of our area’s natural resources. We think the result is an authentic Scottish gin which is fine enough to sip with ice or dilute with tonic. Sutors Gin really is the Highlands distilled.”