Dream job alert for whisky fans as charming Highland distillery searches for staff

An independent distillery in the Highlands is looking for staff.

Published 18th Jun 2024
Updated 18 th Jun 2024

If you’re a whisky fan with experience in distilling then this may be your dream job. Dornoch distillery in Sutherland are recruiting for a distiller to join their team at the historic micro distillery located at the Dornoch Castle Hotel.

The job description, which has been posted on the social media of the business, reads: “Are you passionate about whisky and gin? Have hands-on experience in small-scale distillation? Look no further! Dornoch Distillery Company is seeking a dedicated Distiller to join our  growing team in Dornoch, Scotland.

“About us. Born from a successful crowdfunding campaign, Dornoch Distillery was founded by brothers Phil and Simon Thompson. We bring old-style distillation techniques back to life, crafting award-winning spirits since 2017. Our Organic Mediterranean Gin and independently bottled whiskies, rums, and brandies are enjoyed in over 12 countries.”

The distiller role is an essential one for the distillery’s daily operations and duties include: hands-on production: mashing, distillation, casking, blending, warehousing; ensuring top-quality standards; innovating with new production techniques; occasionally engaging with visitors during distillery tours; collaborating with the small, dedicated team.

whisky job Highlands
Dornoch Castle Hotel situated opposite Dornoch Cathedral in Dornoch, Sutherland. Picture: Contributed

The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree in brewing/distilling or relevant experience; a passion for whisky and innovative production methods. Customer facing skills are preferred and as is a team player.

Benefits include a competitive salary; a 20 per cent staff discount across the distillery, hotel and whisky bar; the rare opportunity to work in a growing distillery and company; the chance to be part of Dornoch’s whisky legacy; to be involved in the planning of the innovative, carbon neutral, off-grid capable new distillery located close to the current site.

To apply, follow this link to Indeed for more information.

The distillery is located in the old fire house, part of Dornoch Castle hotel, and was built in 1881.

The brothers originally considered turning it into a spa or a house, but eventually decided that it would be the perfect location for their distillery.

The idea of producing their own whisky was originally planted in their minds around 2013 - as the family hotel already has a reputation in the area for its outstanding collection of whiskies.

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Now the distillery site is growing, as planning permission was granted in late 2023 at a former gasworks, which is now derelict.

Adjacent to this, on unused land, there is space for a main production building (housing distillery operations, offices, bottling hall and logistics facilities), two warehouses and a ground-based solar farm, whose aim is to generate enough energy to power the entire distillery. 

Writing about this project, the brothers said: “Our aim for the new distillery on Dornoch South would be to create a distillery which focuses on the environmental impact of whisky distilling and aims of becoming carbon neutral in plant and process. 

“We have spent years researching the most economical options for all areas of the Distillery. Simon has taken great pleasure in bringing these ideas to life, talking with copious amounts of people whose jobs range from fellow distillers to water analysts to solar energy experts.”

You can find out more about the plans on the Thompson Brothers Distillers website.

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Dornoch Castle Hotel - Whisky Bar & Dining, Castle Street, Dornoch, UK
Dornoch Castle Hotel - Whisky Bar & Dining, Castle Street, Dornoch, UK, IV25 3SD
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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