Our People

Meet some of the team at Kinrara Distillery.

Published: 17th August 2019

For The Gin Cooperative, great Scottish Gin is in equal measure about the people as it is the actual gin. Our exclusive ‘Our People’ editorial feature series finds out what life is like working for a Scottish Gin business. The distiller, the brand ambassador, the social media manager, the office admin, the handyman, the cooper, the shop assistant, the delivery driver and more. It’s these dedicated, passionate and hardworking people we will meet over the course of the series that will hopefully give you a little insight into what working for a Scottish Gin business is really like.

Next in the series features some of the team from the Kinrara Distillery. Established in 2018, Kinrara’s Highland distillery is nestled in 12,000 acres of Cairngorm National Park, just outside Aviemore. The centuries old Cairngorm estate was founded by Lady Jane Gordon, beautiful socialite and co-creator of the famous Gordon Highlanders. It was in her drawing room that Rabbie Burns first read his poetry to Edinburgh society.

David Wilson, Distiller

Responsibilities

We are a small team at Kinrara, so there is a certain amount of flexibility. However, as Distiller my primary role revolves around production and recipe development. Although I do also enjoy the time I get out and about; talking about the distillery and sharing our gin with people.

What does a typical day look like? 

If we are distilling then the first part of my day is focused on preparing botanicals and charging the stills. A distillation for us takes about four and a half hours, and over that period I stay close at hand; making the cut points, monitoring the flow rate and temperature, and most importantly emptying the buckets of spirit into our bulk container (it’s a very hands-on process!)

What is the best part of your job? 

Nothing compares to the feeling of seeing a gin you’ve designed on the shelf of a store or being enjoyed by someone at a bar.

What is unique about your place of work? 

The location of the distillery is breathtaking. I often tell people I have the best office in the world, the view from the still window is pretty much identical to the one on the front of our bottle. 

Jade Fletcher, Marketing & Events Manager

Responsibilities

My role as Marketing & Events Manager means that I’m the one responsible for social media and making sure that events run smoothly. I also look after the website and deal with any customer enquiries that come in, along with being the face that everyone sees at most events. We’re a very small team so we all pitch in and help each other out wherever we can, whether that’s events, bottling or shipping. 

What does a typical day look like?

I’m very fortunate in that everyday is different. I could be based at the Distillery helping to bottle, I could be based in Glasgow, I could be out taking photographs or I could be at an event. Every morning, however, starts with a cup of tea and a look at our Social Media to see what’s been happening overnight. I’ll then post on Kinrara’s Facebook and Instagram first thing before I do anything else.

What is the best part of your job?

The Distillery is my Dad and my Uncle’s business, so I think the satisfaction for me is seeing how the Distillery has grown from an idea to a fully fledged company in less than 2 years. There is also no better feeling than walking into your favourite bar, seeing your gin on the shelf and ordering it. Nothing beats that.

What is unique about your place of work?

The location! Based on the Kinrara Estate, we are surrounded by 10,000 acres comprising of the Cairngorms National Park and the Monadhliath Mountains. We are hugely fortunate to work in such a beautiful part of the world. 

Lisa Duffus, Bottling & Finishing 

Responsibilities

In charge of our bottles being filled, waxed, batched and dispatched to your door!

What does a typical day look like?

I work closely with our distiller David, so my day will generally start with an informal catch up. I’ll then check for any new online orders before heading down to the distillery to prepare these for dispatch. I will then move on to bottling and finishing. As our bottles are all filled and finished by hand, this is a lengthy process but a very satisfying one!

What is the best part of your job?

Seeing our bottles of gin behind a bar or on a shop shelf makes me very proud. I also really enjoy getting out and about, representing our distillery and receiving positive feedback from the general public. Also receiving pictures from family members, “look what I saw today”!

What is unique about your place of work?

Our team! Our individual enthusiasm, commitment and hard work is what makes our team work but most importantly we can have a laugh and share a joke or two!

Luke Fenton, Commercial Manager

Responsibilities

Business management, sales, customer relations, account management, procurement, new product development.

What does a typical day look like? 

Not sure I have a typical day! I work on the road or out and about, spending my day catching up with customers, making new friends and selling gin to lovely wee establishments. I also work very closely with the guys at the distillery making sure that we have everything we need to make sure our customers get their gin!

What is the best part of your job? 

The best part of my job has to be the people I get to meet and work with. Working in a small business means we’re all in the same boat, we help each other out to make our businesses work for us.

What is unique about your place of work?

My place of work is all over the place! The amazing venues, distilleries, shops, bars, restaurants and pubs I get to work in are just fantastic.

You can learn more about Kinrara Distillery here.

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