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Our People

Meet some of the team at Lost Loch Spirits Distillery.

Published: 13th July 2021

Located just a short drive from the Cairngorm National Park on Royal Deeside, Lost Loch Spirits Distillery is one of a number of distilleries that are helping put Aberdeenshire on the global distilling map. Producing a range of award-winning gins, including their signature eeNoo Scottish Gin, and supporting a number of Scottish Gin brands through their distillation services, the distillery is responsible for making gin, vodka, rum and even produced Scotland’s first Absinthe; the distillery is ever anything but quiet.

Established by friends and co-founders Peter Dignan and Richard Pierce in 2017, with the launch of their first product in February 2018, the business has continued to grow over the last three and a half years. With the addition of a spirits school in 2019, visitors can try their hand at distilling and good spirits are always close at hand.

We recently caught up with some of the Lost Loch team to learn more about each of their roles and responsibilities in the business, what a typical day looks like and more.

Peter Dignan, Co-Owner & Director

Responsibilities

Everything Rich does not want to do and everything I remember to do! Day to day running of distillery operations.

What does a typical day look like?

Catching elephants and making sure the cats stay herded. In for 06:30, empty the still and get it cleaned for the next run. This involves getting wet feet and wet juniper berries in my shoes. On bad days, the still drain gets blocked. Unblocking it usually involves getting completed soaked, with juniper finding its way into all the cracks. Once the still is on, the next 30 minutes are spent drying out in front of the jet heater. The rest of the day is a blur of cutting spirits from still strength to bottling strength, playing Tetris with tanks and pallets, running R&D recipes on the mini stills, getting things ready for the next day’s run, remembering how much I hate liqueurs and the mess they make, replying to emails and explaining to the man who keeps phoning that we do not need double glazing or a new conservatory at the distillery. Sometimes I just shut the doors, sit back and enjoy a few drinks and wait to get a lift home from Rich.

What’s the best part of your job? 

I still pinch myself sometimes and cannot believe that Rich and myself have built and now own a distillery. Having your own business is hard work but it’s good fun. I love creating drinks, researching old books, and making recipes that probably haven’t been made for years. I love working with contract clients who come to us with a vision then helping them to put that vision into a liquid. I find this one of the most rewarding parts of the job and it’s very satisfying to see their finished product make it to market and even better when they win a medal.

What is unique about your place of work?

It’s ours and that makes it unique. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. We are surrounded by beautiful scenery and history and this spills into what we do and who we are as a business. Unlike other distilleries, we also have no limit on tasting samples for visitors, which always goes down well. 

Richard Pierce, Co-Owner & Director

Responsibilities 

Everything Pete doesn’t want to do or manages to persuade me I need to do.

What does a typical day look like? 

Juggling elephants and herding cats! I’m still busy with my day job and squeezing in time to support Pete with the Distillery Operations. Generally I manage the back end boring stuff, from company finances and business proposals to warehousing bureaucracies. I may find myself mending a hot plate, digging trenches or building a gin school… and occasionally cleaning the still with the odd run or two in between.

What’s the best part of your job? 

Never a dull day and brings a rewarding alternative to the day job, nurturing a growing operation where apparently nothing ‘spirit related’ is off the cards, finding solutions to realise our ambitions.

What is unique about your place of work?

…How many people can say they own a distillery!? Privileged to be working in a beautiful part of the world that’s on the doorstep and a far cry from the mundane “CV-19 Home” office environment.

Jay Buckingham, Marketing, Promotion & Advertising

Responsibilities

All things marketing. From social media, developing content, newsletters, award entries, working on ideas – always scheming and dreaming.

What does a typical day look like?

Whether it’s developing a colour coordinating cocktail for a virtual album launch (a Murmichan fuelled “Acid Croft” if you wondered), promoting an Opera taking place in the distillery, or receiving a message from an international Sword Swallower that turned into a mega brand collaboration, it’s fair to say I don’t have a typical day per se. You will however always find me behind the scenes at Lost Loch, whether that’s answering enquires on social media or sending out a newsletter – I’m one of the people behind “Team Lost Loch”.

What’s the best part of your job?

A few years ago I remember drinking one of Pete’s concoctions, made from a family recipe, at Christmas time. It was pretty special seeing that drink develop into Haroosh, finding it on the shelves of shops and now seeing people tag Lost Loch on social media when they’re enjoying it. Watching the Lost Loch brand develop and grow year-on-year is amazing and I’m proud to be part of that journey. Oh! And a definite bonus is when I’m in the distillery and get to try out some R&D products.

What is unique about your place of work?

Unlike the rest of Team Lost Loch, I work virtually. Sometimes a social post may go out when I’m walking in the woods or I’ll be replying to an enquiry when I’m in a café for example. That’s the beauty of digital marketing – your office can be anywhere. Right now though you’ll mostly find me working from home amongst the chaos of young children. 

Jan Leatham, Spirits School, Tours & Tastings Coordinator 

Responsibilities

I’m the new (kid) on the block, having come on board late 2020 to promote and manage the micro-tours and tastings, as well as our fabulous Spirit School.

What does a typical day look like?

At the moment I’m learning the ropes, it can be anything from dragging people into the distillery to practice my tour spiel on, to getting in touch with prospective customers, to helping out with social media. Oh and learning how to make gin of course…

What’s the best part of your job?

Definitely getting to work in a small and vibrant local business with a great team. The subject matter helps of course and it’s fascinating to learn all about the story of how the distillery began and the history and the journey behind each of our unique products. It’s great to get back to tours and getting real people into the distillery!

What is unique about your place of work?

It’s a distillery set in glorious Royal Deeside, just up from a waterfall and across the field from a lost loch (I’ll tell you about it if you come on a tour). Because it’s a working space and we’re a small team, anyone can get involved in anything and we frequently do, it means no day is ever the same.

You can learn more about Lost Loch Spirits here.

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