We are delighted that our young distiller, Craig Chambers, has won the NFU Mutual’s Inspirational Young Person Award! We nominated Craig for the award as he has done a great job since he has joined us as a distiller. It is a great delight for us to see that he has won!
Craig, a recent Brewing & Distilling graduate, has worked with us since he was a teenager. A local resident, from Thurso, he had worked part-time in various aspects of the business, from bottling to tour guides to sales, whilst he completed his studies.
As part of a full-time graduate placement scheme, Craig returned to work with us as distiller and Martin challenged him to come up with an entirely new gin expression. We are thrilled with the resulting new gin expression and Craig is delighted with his award.
Just as he will be leaving the UK to take up his next training position in South America, the Rock Rose Gin Smoked Orange Edition he created will be launched as part of our core range. Initially, it was released in the summer in just a small batch and was so popular that it sold out almost immediate.
Craig, who gained his degree in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University, said: “I have a passion for smoky, peaty whiskies and so it was a natural development to consider a smoky gin. I opted for Lapsang Souchong tea, making a distillate to introduce the smoky notes, and then experimented with various citrus ingredients. I enhanced sweet citrus notes from dried orange with tangerine sage, pineapple sage, and lemon verbena. These botanicals are grown in the Distillery’s own garden. The gin also contains cassia, liquorice, water-mint, bilberries and contains cold brew tea which is added to the liquid as the finishing touch.”
John Davidson, deputy chief executive and strategy director for Scotland Food and Drink, said: “Scotland’s food and drink industry is full of innovative and talented young people who are going to be driving our sector forward in the coming years. Craig is an excellent example of this and a fantastic ambassador for the sector. His passion for distilling combined with his ability to think outside of the box makes him a deserving winner of this award.”