A day in the life of...Peter Dignan, Lost Loch Spirits.
Published: 5th March 2018
Our exclusive ‘A day in the life of’ editorial feature series provides a short and snappy insight into a day in the life of someone who works in the Scottish Gin sector. This might be a distiller, a shop owner, a bar owner, but all play a role in the story of Scottish Gin. For our first ‘A day in the life of’, we asked the obliging Peter Dignan, who is one of the founding partners of Lost Loch Spirits, makers of a number of spirits including Eenoo Gin and the very first ever Scottish Absinthe. Peter gave us a very honest glimpse of what a day in the life of a distiller and distillery owner looks like.
6am – 7am: Wakeup call, normally a toy bounced off the head or shouted at from one or both kids. Porridge on, everyone fed, everyone happier. Chase kids around trying to get them dressed in clothes that are not fancy dress.
7am – 8am: Kids depart for nursery. Once at nursery all is quiet and thought can begin. Option 1 is always to cycle to the distillery (summer months only) – great commute along the abandoned Deeside Railway. If weather is crap it’s a 5 minute drive.
8am – 9am: Arrive at the distillery; heaters on, stills on, and kettle on. Wait for the world to heat up.
9am – 11am: Gin still (HAL) and absinthe still start producing. Make heads cut and start collection of hearts. Drink hot beverage. (If cycling, undertake product sampling as the spirit flows from the still.)
11am – 1pm: Wash bottles and get them on the drying rack. Some more product sampling. Explain to man on phone we don’t require new windows. Eat packed lunch if remembered, if not order cheese, ham and beans Panini from Deeside Activity Park café.
1pm – 3pm: Try and catch up with emails while filling in logs and working out marketing strategy. Call some potential customers and explain I’m not selling windows but am a purveyor of fine alcohol, and would they like to buy some.
3pm – 5pm: Make tails cut. Take overall ABV and volume of product produced. Sample final product. Complete logs. Empty stills (this normally involves burning of skin and being attacked by steam). Tidy up distillery and head for home.
5pm – 7pm: Try and get children into bed which can resemble a blind shepherd attempting to herd cats. Eat; this normally involves something healthy as my wife thinks my lifestyle is not healthy, I disagree but agree and eat.
7pm – 8pm: Emails and admin until my eyes burn.
8pm – 10pm: Trashy TV or a good book (usually about alcohol) until my eyes burn so much I have to close them and go to sleep.
10pm-6am: sleep, occasionally interrupted by the children.
6am – start again!
You learn more about Lost Loch Spirits here.