It’s becoming apparent to us that many of the Scottish Gins on the market today, started out with a discussion in a hot tub! This was the case with former IT specialists and keen Harley bikers, Ross and Aly Jamieson, and LinGin was born.
The husband and wife team had a dream to bring spirit-making back to the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, which is steeped in distilling history and so they sold their IT business and started work to realise that dream.
Linlithgow Distillery was established in March 2017 with the aim of producing a gin that Linlithgow could be proud of. With their background in IT and technology, they decided to create a distillery using modern technology and a novel approach to creating the recipe.
Everything about LinGin has been designed around the wonderful town that they love: The unique skyline is visible on the bottle and label design, the botanicals are locally-foraged and uniquely, their recipe has been influenced and honed by a 100+ strong local tasting panel. Truly “crafted with the spirit of Linlithgow”.
Here, Aly talks about their gin journey and what it’s like to run a distillery together.
How did you meet?
Ross and I met at college – Scottish College of Textiles (before it became Heriot Watt) in Galashiels in the Borders. I was 17 and he was 19. I was outside the Halls of Residence under my car trying to fix my gearbox which was broken and Ross walked past and saw a pair of legs sticking out from under a precariously jacked up car (I had jacked it up on bricks!!) and thought to himself “what an absolute idiot!” – so he offered to fix my car for me – that was in 1985 and 34 years later he’s still fixing my cars for me!!!!
How did you begin your Scottish Gin journey together?
Having sold our IT business, we were not ready to retire but wanted to do something where we both had to learn new skills and which was completely different from the IT support business. We have always had a passion for distilling but never took it any further than visiting distilleries and sampling the wares.
So sitting in a hot tub one night, drinking gin, one of us (Ross credits me with saying it but I think it was the other way round) said “Why don’t we make our own gin?” and the other one agreed. 14 months of research and self-learning later, we took delivery of our first gin still – Gleann Iucha.
What’s the best thing about working together?
We have worked together for 22 years to setting up a new business together was nothing new to us but we get to share the excitement of creating a product from scratch. We each get to experience that thrill of seeing our LinGin bottle on the shelf in a shop or a bar. When you have a best friend, you just want to share everything with them, so why not work too?
What do you like to do together when you’re not working?
Ross has a Harley-Davidson motorbike so as members of the local HD club, we have a very active social life involving both bike rides and social events. We also like to travel and can be found driving around the country looking for roads we’ve never been on, just to see where they go.
There isn’t much time to relax when you’re setting up a new Distillery so down-time is very precious and tends to revolve around a hot-tub or visiting the family.
Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day traditions in the Jamieson household involve either a home-cooked 3-course meal, or maybe a movie and popcorn! As daft as that sounds, we love going to the cinema – so this year we will be going to see Mary Queen of Scots as this is such a huge part of our town’s and our Distillery’s heritage.