Dornoch distillers seeking investors

Expansion on the cards for Highland gin and whisky maker

The Thompsons say their operation has outgrown its current home.

THE brothers behind the gin and whisky-producing Dornoch Distillery are on the lookout for investors as they aim to expand production.

Phil and Simon Thompson, who also run the whisky bar at the adjacent Dornoch Castle Hotel, launched the distillery in 2016 after securing investment from 250 whisky enthusiasts in exchange for casks of new make spirit.

They have now launched a second crowdfunding drive in order to secure the distillery’s long-term future at a new local site,  which will enable them to expand whisky production and meet rising demand for their Thompson Bros Organic Highland Gin.

Phil said: “We never anticipated just how much demand there would be, not only for casks of our whisky, but for our Organic Highland Gin as well.

“The expansion means we can meet that demand while still maintaining our ruthless dedication to old-style production methods and quality levels.”

Crowdfunding began on August 6, and there are 250 casks of new make spirit available for new investors.

In addition to increasing production capacity, the investment will allow the brothers to open a new retail space and tasting room and recruit a number of staff.

Whisky production at Dornoch Distillery is said to hark back to traditional methods, incorporating direct gas firing and the use of heritage varieties of barley. And the Thompsons said that will remain at the heart of the expanded operation, producing a style of spirit said to be reminiscent of whisky produced in the 1960s and earlier.

“The demand for this older style – more focused on distillate character, mouthfeel and tropical fruits – is massive these days,” said Simon.

“No one else is making this style of whisky anymore so we wanted to really push the envelope and see if we could create a whisky which harks back to these extinct Scotch whisky characteristics.”