Distiller reaches for the sky

SCOTLAND’S most southerly distillery, The Dark Art Distillery in Kirkcudbright, has bottled its first spirit.

Sky Garden Gin is described as a classic dry gin and contains 18 botanicals, including lavender and calamint, along with some grown in a local nursery a mile from the distillery.

Andrew Clark-Hutchison began developing the distillery in part of a redeveloped 19th century school building after winning the Guy & Co Creation Award in 2018 with PR support from Beeline PR and financial advice from French Duncan among the prizes.

He had previously worked in banking and with a number of drinks and hospitality companies.

On the bottling of his first gin, Clark-Hutchison said: “It’s incredibly exciting to open the distillery and see my dream come true.”

The distillery’s Visitor Centre hosts regular tours and gin tastings and features artworks reflecting the area’s artistic reputation, including Kirkcudbright Gin Alley, a piece by Scottish artist Carol del Angel and a large scale wall mural by French, London-based street artist, Zabou.

The distillery has recruited two members of staff to host tours and gin tastings and Clark-Hutchison said he hopes that as interest in the distillery and visitor centre grows up to five new jobs will be created.