Ullapool gin distillery makes international splash

The Ullapool-based Highland Liquor Company is celebrating after securing the first international orders of their acclaimed Seven Crofts gin to Canada and Eastern Europe. The new contracts will see around 4,000 bottles of gin sent, with the prospect of further orders later in the year. The news comes less than two years after the company’s first spirit, Seven Crofts, was launched.

Commenting on the latest developments, Robert Hicks, co-founder of the Highland Liquor Company, said: “It’s a dream come true to see demand emerging from premier brand distributors overseas, something we always hoped for but has happened far quicker than expected. It’s testament to the hard work of our team, particularly over what has been such a difficult time for the industry.”

Our base here in Ullapool goes to the heart of our what we do: in terms of flavours, brand and overall approach. Given the village’s history and it’s links with East Europe in the past through fishing, and Canada through emigration it’s fitting these are our first overseas markets.”

Based in the small fishing town of Ullapool in the Northwest Highlands, each small batch of Seven Crofts gin is handcrafted. Inspired by the surrounding landscape, Seven Crofts is named after the original seven private dwellings which formed Ullapool in 1791, including a boat builder, a rope maker, a cooper, a blacksmith, a fish curer, and a mason. The gin itself is a delightful blend of seven botanicals including juniper, coriander, pink peppercorns, cubebs, cardamom, angelica, and fresh lemon peel. The Highland Liquor Company works carefully with traditional botanicals to ensure they have the time to release their optimal aromas and flavours. Some of these are steeped for a period of time; others require a more prudent approach and are steamed to preserve their delicate character. The gins are distilled in two small copper alembic stills - affectionately nicknamed Little Ella and Little Ruthie - over a period of three days.

In their search for a distinctive bottle which would reflect the local landscape, the distillery worked closely with Glasgow-based design company D8. The Highland Liquor Company's identity is built around a system of geometric symbols, each one representing a feature of the local landscape. Seven Crofts builds on this system, using seven striped blocks (representing farmland) on it's label, while the green ombre effect on the bottle is symbolic of the land meeting the sea. The design won the Best New Launch Design at the World Gin Awards 2020 for originality, whilst the gin itself won Best Newcomer at the Scottish Gin Awards. A 'Fisherman's Strength' version accompanies the original Seven Crofts, and continues the system, presented in a blue ombre bottle with a symbol comprised of seven fish to signify the brand's links to the sea.

Seven Crofts Gin retails at £40 for 70cl bottle and is available online at www.highlandliquorcompany.com as well as in selected specialist retailers and bars.

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