Our First Blog Post

Uig, Isle of Lewis with the heather in bloom and hills in the background

Fàilte!

Our very first blog post!


We have had a really busy 6 months since launching the Isle of Lewis Gin and we have learned A LOT to say the least… 


Iain’s background is in healthcare - he worked in theatre for the NHS for over 15 years. This was one of the reasons we wanted to move to the island as it was time for a big change. We wanted a better work / life balance as the majority of Iain’s shifts in Glasgow were nightshifts and it was taking its toll. When we were offered the opportunity to move to the Isle of Lewis, close to Iain’s family and live by the beach we couldn't say no and we haven't looked back since. 


We launched the Isle of Lewis gin in November 2023 and it was one of the most nerve wracking things we have ever done. We put so much of ourselves into this and we wanted it to represent the Western Isles that we love so much and the amazing people who live here. 


Our gin recipe takes inspiration from the Outer Hebrides and the beautiful flowers that grow on the machair at the height of summer. We took a walk at the machair at Reef beach in Uig when it was in full bloom. There really is nothing quite like it! We took pictures of all the plants and flowers, researched what they were, if they were edible and if so, did they have a nice flavour. This is where we found wild Thyme - one of our signature botanicals. We have mint growing on the machair just beside where we live in Cliff and took inspiration from that as it's another of our signature botanicals. Those alongside heather, rhubarb root, lemon, juniper and a few other botanicals make up our recipe. We ship water from the island to the distillery which we use to delicately blend our gin.  


Since the start of 2024 we have secured a premises that we’re working on turning into a distillery. You wouldn't believe the volume of paperwork that comes with setting up a distillery! Iain had to complete his distillers qualification which meant an exam (yuck!) but he passed with flying colours and its another huge step towards our goal! We have been so lucky to have been offered a grant from Business Gateway to help purchase some of our equipment. We have been able to buy bottling and labelling equipment and most importantly a still! Its currently getting made and we’re expecting it here in the next 8 weeks. 


Our plans were always to have a distillery here on the island, its really important to us that we can bring the whole process here and hopefully create jobs and be able to give back to the island and community. As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work and expense (eek), especially as we are doing this on our own. The only viable way for us to be able to set this up was to start by distilling off island and gradually bring the process over. With thanks to the people of Lewis for supporting us in this and buying our gin as we’ve been able to start that process much quicker than we thought! We will forever be grateful and we hope we can give back very soon.


We will be posting updates on social media about our new distillery and some behind the scenes when we get it up and running soon. 


Keep an eye out for our next blog post… 


Tioraidh an-dràsta,

Laura & Iain 

xx

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