Pictured: Claire and Martin Murray at Castletown Mill
Stannergill Whisky is neither a name nor a spirit that is on everyone’s lips. Not yet. Dunnet Bay Distillers, the eco-friendly Caithness-based Scottish Distillery which has until now made only gin and vodka, has revealed details of its new whisky distillery. The brand name and identity Stannergill Whisky has been unveiled. It is so named as it reflects the place on the most northerly coast of the UK where the whisky is to be distilled.
The company has revealed early bird investment opportunities in this prestigious £4million development project and is launching three exciting prospects for people to engage with the new venture.
Pre-order a Cask of Whisky
Investors can pre-order a 250-litre cask of Stannergill Whisky for GBP £4,750. These will be sold by the Whisky Hammer in a sale that goes live at 12 noon on 7th November 2022 GMT. With only 200 casks available, the sellers expect this international sale to attract buyers very quickly.
In future years, there will be a limited number of 200 litre casks sold at a higher price. Pre-ordered casks will rest for up to 10 years in the cool dunnage warehouse. The fresh sea air blowing from Dunnet Bay will contribute to the creation of a smooth, mellow spirit.
Join The 1818 Society
Stannergill Whisky is launching a virtual club. People can join The 1818 Society, reflecting the year the original Mill building was constructed. Price of individual membership: GBP £750. The 1818 Society is for whisky and history lovers, who also want to be a part of the unique project to revitalise this nationally important grain mill into a state-of-the-art craft whisky distillery and world-class visitor experience. ‘The 1818’ – the first release of Stannergill Whisky – will be exclusively sent to 1818 Society members, bearing their personal membership number. The StoneScape artwork for this exclusive release has been designed by local artist, Lisa Poulson, using a stone from the mill building. As part of this package, members will also receive their choice of a beautiful brooch or pin, hand-made using stone from the mill by local jewellery designer Lindsey Gallacher.
Raise the Roof – Sponsor a Roof Tile
Most new distilleries are just that: new-build venues. Stannergill Whisky is to be created in a refurbished, historic 200-year-old building, Castletown Mill. This is a unique opportunity to raise the roof by sponsoring a slice of history. The cost of GBP £40 per tile buys not only sponsorship of a roof tile but also a certificate and a beautiful commemorative Caithness flagstone designed in conjunction with local firm, Norse Stone. This makes for a perfect Christmas or Hogmanay gift. When the roof has been restored, buyers receive the co-ordinates of their tile.
Image shows the Stannergill Whisky logo
Martin Murray, co-founder and co-director of Dunnet Bay Distillers, said: “We have long travelled past the beautiful but dilapidated mill with thoughts to one day being able to restore it. We even know one person, now in her 90s, who was born there. However, it has been disused for over 30 years. Our dream became reality when we took ownership of this iconic building and then attained planning permission to refurbish it as a destination distillery and visitor centre. The project will see a wonderful new-style Scottish whisky being launched after the distillery is commissioned in Summer 2024. The project will bring more jobs to the area.”
Claire Murray, fellow founder and director, said: “We are excited to launch these early opportunities for people not only locally but across the world to get involved by buying a stake in the new whisky – whether that be sponsorship of a tile; joining our new 1818 Club; or investing in a cask.”
Sustainable Principles with Local Provenance
Like the sister brands, Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka, Stannergill Whisky will be made to sustainable principles with local provenance at the heart of the brand.
The company is working with local farmers to decide on the cultivation of a specially commissioned heritage barley offering price stability to the farmers for this crop.
There will be a specially designed still made to the company’s specification. Bourbon casks from the US and sherry casks from Spain will be employed to mature the spirit. Biodiversity is a key part of the plans. The old Castletown Mill Pond is being relined and water diverted from the local burns, as it used to be, to supply cooling water and to help with wildlife in the area. Local sourcing will be used where possible. The distillery will be powered by green electricity, in line with the eco-friendly ethos of the business as a whole.
The whisky style will be light and fruitier than many traditional Scottish whiskies. The taste profile will reflect the distinctive coastal location of the distillery, where Claire and Martin Murray both grew up. Pricing has yet to be revealed but it is expected to be a super-premium or ultra-premium whisky.
The building has baronial features such as crow-stepped gables, small windows, and prominent chimneys and is an iconic and much-loved vernacular building locally. The architects are Organic Architects who are creating a contemporary space whilst respecting the historic features of the place. The interior design consultant for the project is Supertonic.