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Dunnet gin listed as 'a cool brand' by prestigious panel of judges


By Gordon Calder

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A CAITHNESS gin has been officially listed as "a cool brand" by a prestigious panel comprising prominent names from the world of entertainment, fashion, and music.

They selected Rock Rose Gin, which is produced at the Dunnet Bay Distillery, as one of the brands for their 2021/22 roster. Brands are shortlisted by invitation only and selected by the 49 judges.

Their inclusion on the list was described as "truly an honour" by Martin Murray who founded the company with his wife Claire in 2014.

Martin and Claire Murray started the company seven years ago.
Martin and Claire Murray started the company seven years ago.

He said: "CoolBrands is more than just another award. It recognises our brand’s strengths in their entirety. The company is sustainable through and through and, unusually for a small business, this year we appointed a dedicated environment manager to further improve our already eco-friendly approach to business. From ploughing used botanicals back into the land, to sustainably foraging for or growing our own plants where possible, to using solar panels and carefully managing water, supporting a range of charities, and taking good care of our dedicated team of colleagues, we are proud of our record to date."

The company, which has a turnover of £1.5 million, uses local botanicals including rowan berries, sea buckthorn, and Rhodiola rosea (a rose in the rocks), after which the Rock Rose brand is named. It also produces its Holy Grass Vodka and sells its products in twenty-four countries, including the UK.

The company was named Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year at the Scottish Gin Awards 2019 and Rock Rose gin has won numerous other national and international awards including a medal in the recent Spirits Business Gin Masters. This year, it won the Chairman’s Award in the SCDI Highlands and Islands Business Excellence Awards. Martin Murray was recently named Innovator of the Year by the Institute of Directors Scotland.

Many of the 15-strong team have worked with the company since inception. The on-site Distillery Tasting Room, featuring Covid-safe ‘boat house’ booths, is a much-loved feature of visitors on the North Coast 500 route.


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