Our People

Meet some of the team at Port of Leith Distillery, makers of Lind & Lime Gin.

Published: 28th September 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 Port of Leith Distillery. The distillery launched its first spirit in May 2018, Olorso Sherry, which was produced in Spain by Bodegas Baron. November 2018 saw the launch of their Lind & Lime Gin, developed and distilled in Leith at their Tower Street Still House. Both products were met with critical acclaim, for flavour and in particular Lind & Lime Gin, for it’s award-winning bottle and packaging. Although the Tower Street Still House is a temporary home until construction of the Port of Leith Distillery is completed, which will be home to both gin and whisky production, the team at Port of Leith Distillery have resurrected Leith’s reputation as a hub for distillation and spirit making. We caught up with the team recently to learn more about life inside Leith’s new generation of distilleries.

Name

Ian Stirling: Founder, Sales, Marketing & Product Development

Responsibilities

I currently manage all of our sales, marketing, events and social media – although that’s going to change soon as we recruit more people and I can focus more again on product development. We’re also about to start building a big whisky distillery, which will need a bit of attention!

What does a typical day look like?

I’m normally at my desk at 7am when the phone doesn’t ring and I can catch up on emails. I will then work through trade and online orders, which generally need to be packed ready for dispatch in the early afternoon. We’re focused on developing exports right now so that’s become part of the sales work. Then I can deal with various projects which are going on at any one time. This might be preparing for an upcoming fair, conducting job interviews, meeting with designers, investors or clients, putting together new sales materials, taking new marketing images or creating new graphics. We also have regular team meetings so that Andy can update us on any production issues, and Vicky keeps us up to date on her whisky experiments. No two days are the same but I generally leave at 5pm sharp so that I can get home to dinner and bedtime with my children.

What’s the best part of your job?

The people I work with – including James from Electric Spirit Co who shares our still house. It’s a very fun place to work.

What is unique about your place of work?

We all sit in a bluey-greeny shed (which recently replaced the even smaller orange shed) with the heater permanently cranked up to the max because it is freezing in the winter and only slightly less freezing in the summer. Living the dream.

Name

Victoria Muir Taylor: Whisky Development

Responsibilities

I am the KTP Associate Distiller looking into the influence of yeast strain on new make spirit aroma and flavour. We are looking to see what’s out there and which strain or strains we want to use for the production of our whisky.

What does a typical day look like?

I tend to spend the first part of the week in the labs at Heriot-Watt setting up experiments before heading down to the still house later on in the week. A typical day, depending on whether I am at the university or the still house, can involve anything from setting up fermentations and conducting small scale whisky distillations, to bottling, fork-lifting, attending design team meetings and now, more recently, gin distillations.

What’s the best part of your job?

Working with an awesome distillery team and the fact that the project constantly reveals interesting new questions and things to explore in Scotch Whisky.

What is unique about your place of work?

The shed of course. But also our pint-sized copper pot stills that we use for our trials. They’re much smaller stills than I’m normally used to running but just as fun.

Name

Andy Colman: Head of Production

Responsibilities

My primary role is producing Lind and Lime Ginm from procuring the raw materials up to the point that it is in the bottle ready to be shipped out the door. I have also been advising the design team on production aspects of our new distillery.

What does a typical day look like?

Most of my week is focused on keeping up with the, seemingly ever growing, demand for our gin: prepping the botanicals and spirit charge for the next distillation, running the still, then cleaning it out ready for the next run and keeping on top of all the paperwork. There is also the constant game of Tetris involved with trying to manage the space in the still house whilst leaving room to manoeuvre the forklift truck without demolishing the shed!

I also try to make some time to work on new product development and attend the occasional gin fair or host a trade event.

What’s the best part of your job?

The sheer variety of the work that comes from being involved in a new company, with ambitious plans, from such an early stage. I’m also lucky to work with a great group of people.

What is unique about your place of work?

I’m not aware of any other distilleries where more than one company is producing on the same still yet no one is contract distilling, as we do with Electric Spirit Co. here at Tower Street Still House.  Oh, and we are building a pretty striking new whisky distillery on the quay of the Port of Leith! 

Name

Hannah Mitchell: Sales & Marketing Executive – or more informally Brand Ambassador!

Responsibilities

I am the Sales and Marketing Executive for The Port of Leith Distillery. My main responsibility is handling our local accounts in and around Edinburgh. This includes bars, restaurants, independent drinks shops and events throughout the city. I also deal with all our online orders and requests through social media.

What does a typical day look like?

I normally start my day fulfilling orders and getting the stock ready to ship out. From there, I could be doing anything; prepping for tours of our Tower Street still house, researching possible areas where our brand will do well or attending on-trade events such as new product or bar/restaurant launches.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best thing about my job is that every day is different.

What is unique about your place of work?

This job was really the perfect fit for me. I’m originally from Leith and I lived in the area until my late teens. I never thought I’d come back to the area, let alone get the best job possible. It’s so exciting to have the opportunity to work with such a fantastic team, all driven and passionate people. The most exciting part is that we are building a whisky distillery on the port. The structure is insane and it’s going to do amazing things for the area. I’m so fortunate I can now contribute to my home and I’m really proud of what we’re doing.

You can learn more about Port of Leith Distillery, makers of Lind & Lime Gin here.

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