Experience Scottish GinAt Beinn an Tuirc, home to Kintyre Gin.
Published: 3rd October 2019
Our Experience Scottish Gin feature series discovers Scotland’s gin makers who offer a Scottish Gin experience. As the popularity of Scottish Gin continues to grow and numbers of visitors to Scotland grows year on year, there’s never been a better time to experience Scottish Gin for yourself. From distillery tours and gin and food pairing experiences to gin making and distillation schools, the number of experiences is diverse guaranteeing there’s a Scottish Gin experience out there for you to discover and enjoy.
Beinn an Tuirc translates from Gaelic as ‘The Hill of the Wild Boar’ and is the highest point in Kintyre, located above the Beinn an Tuirc Distillery on the Torrisdale Castle Estate. Hence their logo and brand mascot, the wild boar, which is proudly displayed on the Kintyre Gin bottles and throughout the distillery. Torrisdale Castle Estate has been in the ownership of the Macalister Hall family since 1872 and over the years has benefited from innovative diversification. Beinn an Tuirc Distillery marks an exciting new chapter in Torrisdale’s diverse history and the family continue to look to the future with sustainable distillery practices and exciting plans for expansion in 2020.
Where is your Scottish Gin experience based?
Our distillery is located in farm buildings on Torrisdale Castle Estate, east Kintyre, just a few miles from the village of Carradale. We are remote but worth the journey, which takes in some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery. Kintyre is definitely one of Scotland’s hidden gems and is less known than the often crowded highlands.
What does your Scottish Gin experience consist of?
Tour guests are treated to a brief history of the family estate in the tasting room, which puts the gin business in a wider context. They learn about the highs and lows of owning an estate and living in a castle and the many changes that have happened at Torrisdale over the centuries.
Visitors then walk round to the distillery building where they gather round the gin still and learn about our production process and the botanicals used for each product. We hand out tasting samples and pepper the talk with snippets about the history of gin production in the UK. We also stress our commitment to sustainability – from the renewable hydro energy which powers our gin still, to our tree plantation where we plant oak saplings to offset any carbon used in our production.
The tour ends with a G&T of their choice back in the tasting room and more informal chat and questions. Drivers are offered a soft drink and a 5cl miniature to enjoy later.
How long does your Scottish Gin experience last?
The tour lasts between 1 and 1.5 hours and if it’s a warm, sunny day, visitors often enjoy their g&t in our garden, which boasts stunning views over to the isle of Arran.
What are some of the best bits of your the Scottish Gin experience?
We would assume it’s the tastings of course but visitors love hearing about life in the castle and the history of the family. Depending on who’s taking the tour, family secrets may be divulged!
How many people can take part in your Scottish Gin experience?
Officially we take a maximum of 10 people as space is limited but we are happy to accommodate extras if they are only in the area briefly.
What’s the feedback from visitors?
We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from visitors who have found the Kintyre Gin Tour to be a unique experience. They love our honest approach, the fact that we are very much a family business and our stunning location. As soon as they enter the tasting room, visitors are immediately wowed by the quality and design of the space and their expectations are matched by our products.
How can visitors make a booking?
We take bookings on our website here or by phone on 01583 431528.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your Scottish Gin experience?
We encourage distillery visitors to take a walk around the estate after the tour if they have time. There is a short route which takes in many of the things discussed on the tour such as the castle (although not open to the public it is a stunning building to look at), the walled garden and the graveyard. And we offer the guests of our holiday cottages (www.torrisdalecastle.com) discounted tours.
Do think Scottish Gin experiences are an important part of the story of Scottish Gin?
Absolutely – the Scottish Gin boom is a well known phenomenon and tours are a fantastic way for distilleries to engage directly with gin enthusiasts. Everyone has their own unique story or USP, which makes every experience very different. It’s wonderful to be able to shout about the provenance of a product that is made exactly where the label says and to have the means to show people exactly where and how our gin is made.
What are some of the other attractions in your local area that you would recommend visitors check out?
We have several stunning beaches on our doorstep where otters, seals and dolphins are regularly spotted. Saddell Bay, just a few miles away, boasts an Anthony Gormley sculpture on the rocks and is a lovely picnic spot before or after a visit to our distillery.
You can learn more about Beinn an Tuirc here.