What did you do before creating Arcturus Gin?
I run The Torridon Resort in the NW Highlands of Scotland. The demand for gin in our renowned whisky bar made us think that we should be looking at gin as an opportunity to get involved and produce something that was complementary to The Torridon brand and was locally sourced and made. We wanted to get the brand design right and let it reflect the creation of the gin complementing our natural landscape.
What's the inspiration behind Arcturus Gin and its botanicals?
The inspiration came from the landscape around us. The idea of creating a gin that was locally foraged using materials naturally found in our landscape was what led us to creating Arcturus. We wanted a name that was synonymous with our surroundings and different. Arcturus is among the brightest stars that can be seen from earth and is related to our very own red deer stag. They are lustful animals and it is said that the hinds can only conceive at the rising of the star Arcturus.
How did you get from the idea to the finished product?
We started with a concept of what we wanted to create and how it would complement the Torridon brand. We wanted to use locally foraged botanicals that were different to those found in other gins. We wanted the botanicals to reflect the mountains, loch and land around us.
Working with Dunnet Bay Distillers we came up with a number of profiles of taste and nosing that we compared and narrowed down. Dunnet Bay created a number of samples that we tasted and we mixed and blended to create a gin that we thought would work. Martin Murray at Dunnet Bay then took this profile and created a number of gins that we then tasted and mixed with different tonics and garnishes until we found one that stood out. Arcturus Gin was then created.
Can you tell us about the distillation & botanicals?
The gin was conceived from the botanicals that we could find locally that would complement each other and produce a delightful and traditional gin with unusual notes. The kelp adds a deep herbal and salty note in the gin. Rowan berries provide light berry notes and brings a cool fresh flavour to our gin which makes the mouth feel very clean. Bilberries harvested from the Torridon mountains bring a lovely sweet flavour while the real gem is Scots lovage with fennel-like properties that bring liquorice notes to the gin with a hint of parsley on the nose
How would you describe Arcturus Gin in 3 words?
What makes your Arcturus Gin different?
It is a small batch gin that reflects the wonderful landscape that is Torridon, made from botanicals sourced less than a mile from the resort. It is Torridon in a bottle.
What's your favourite way to drink your Arcturus Gin?
We have created a number of seasonal garnishes so that we can offer Arcturus Gin in different ways at different times. Arcturus Gin is best served in a large glass with orange peel and a good tonic. Arcturus Gin tastes best when looking out over Loch Torridon towards the Mountains! In Autumn and Winter we recommend a garnish of orange peel, rosemary in Spring, and bilberries in Summer.
What's next for Acturus Gin - any exciting plans?
Perhaps our very own distillery, brewery and mineral water.
Find our more about Arcturus Gin and read the thoughts of The Gin Guide's Editor, Paul Jackson - Arcturus Gin Review