Illicit distilling great-great grandmother inspired top University of the Highlands and Islands prize winner from Ardgay

Ciara Bow with her UHI awards.
Ciara Bow with her UHI awards.

A craft distiller inspired by her great-great grandmother – one of Ardgay’s past illicit distillers – won the UHI enterprise competition.

Ciara Bow (23), founder of Gledfield Distillery, took the award immediately after impressing the judges with her passion to carry craft distilling back again to Sutherland with her family’s age-aged botanical spirit recipe.

Ciara, who studied fabrication and welding and executing engineering operations, would like to resurrect her ancestors’ craft by producing a botanical spirit.

She reported: “My ambition is to provide craft distilling back again to existence in my dwelling in the Kyle of Sutherland. I will resurrect my family’s age-outdated botanical spirit recipe with a modern day twist, build employment alternatives, bring in tourism to the region by way of excursions and tastings and give again to my community with a donation to a regional charity with each individual bottle offered.

“My inspiration is driven by passion and heritage. My fantastic, great grandmother Marjorie Macbeath was a single of the previous illicit distillers in Ardgay in the 1800s. When the excise adult males arrived on horse and cart to get rid of her pot however, she hid it underneath her petticoats in the burn up. She lived on a croft and distilled her spirit employing botanicals which she had access to. Women of all ages ended up distilling prolonged right before adult men and it’s a tale not celebrated enough.

“Taking aspect in this competitors has been an incredible experience. It was a fantastic chance to community with other gurus and acquire a must have feedback which I am amazingly grateful for. The support I have received has been phenomenal, throughout and since the party. I appreciate telling my story and I’m usually so grateful when folks give their time to listen, it suggests so considerably that the judges had been really literally invested in my story and organized to aid me in my journey.

“My upcoming target is to finalise recipe enhancement and secure a premises, we are very just about there! I am so very fortunate to be living my dream. If you have an concept, a passion, just go for it! It does not subject if you are only in a position to get little measures, you are nevertheless building development. Talk to people today, to any person that will pay attention, I have uncovered so a lot assistance from many others in diverse stages of the journey and hearing their tales has genuinely served, encouraged, and pushed me. By no means give up. If you cannot forecast the long term, develop your own.”

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