A brand new craft gin distillery is opening near Easter Ross.
Sutors Gin is the work of Agronomist Ed Scaman and IT guru Stuart Wells hope to have the first batch available later this year.
They have been working on the business concept for the past few years, and have managed to recruit a local farmer to grow and supply grain for the gin.
They hope to be one of the rare few Scottish gin makers distilling their own spirit and the only one to make its own spirit and use Scottish juniper in the botanicals.
The gin will be named after the Sutors – a range of hills in Easter Ross near the entrance to the Cromarty Firth – and the distillery will be located near Fearn, Tain.
Each of the bottles, which are produced in France due to a lack of bottle-making facilities in Scotland, features a landscape picture of the hill range.
Ed and Mark say their mission is to produce a gin made using only ingredients grown and foraged in the Sutor hills area. “Scotland produces the best quality grain in the world,” said Mr Scaman. “With this enterprise, we can take a bit of that and turn it into quality gin.”
Although the first official batch of gin is yet to be produced, the duo have been busy experimenting with different botanicals and spirits made using differing ratios of barley to wheat.
Mr Wells said the ratio of barley to wheat in the base alcohol spirit is the key to getting the right “mouth-feel” for the finished product.
The pair were reluctant to reveal all the details of their botanical recipe, but said a key component was locally foraged juniper berries from farms and crofts in the area.
Other ingredients include water mint, bog myrtle and sea buckthorn.