EDEN Mill distillery has declared it is on course to double turnover to £9 million in its current financial year after securing a series of lucrative listings and attracting a huge increase in visitor numbers to its St Andrews home.

The gin and whisky distiller, launched by Scottish drinks industry veteran Paul Miller with private backing in 2012, is toasting a new distribution deal with Dufry, the Swiss-based travel retail operator.

That has seen Eden Mill’s Original Gin and Love Gin gift pack take their bows in the duty free shops of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports. Listings are set to follow in Dufry’s other UK travel retail outlets.

Mr Miller said the Dufry deal highlights the status gin now has as a luxury product in the eyes of consumers.

Its Original Gin has become the best-selling premium gin in Glasgow and Edinburgh airports within six weeks of going on sale.

Mr Miller said: “The interesting thing is that, while premium malt whisky has been something that has traditionally sold well for gifts in duty free, gin is increasingly becoming something that can occupy that space as gifts, instead of just being picked off the shelf as something there is a cost saving on.”

He added: “We are looking forward to moving national within duty free in the next few months. It’s a bullseye target for us with the gin consumer. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Mr Miller said several other national and international distribution agreements are “in the pipeline” for Eden Mill, which is on course to release its inaugural single malt whisky in November.

Plans are also being developed which would radically expand the capacity of its distillery at Guardbridge, whose links to the industry stretch back to 1810 when the Haig family began making whisky at the site.

The expansion comes amid strong organic growth at Eden Mill, driven by key listings with high-end retailers such as John Lewis and Harvey Nichols. It is also growing its international presence, having launched its gin in the US in the second half of last year after securing a deal with Imp Ex Distribution. That has given the product access to the key markets of Florida, California, New York and Texas.

The distiller meanwhile is reaping the benefits from a series of investments in sport sponsorship agreements.

Eden Mill is the official gin sponsor of Scottish Rugby, Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby, and has just struck similar deals with Durham Cricket Club, chaired by Ian Botham, and the Henley Regatta. Mr Miller, whose firm is also the official gin and whisky partner of Celtic Football Club, said such deals are crucial to the brand’s push to drive sales south of the Border.

“It gives us a good base,” he said of the Durham contract. “It’s a great venue, Chester-le-Street in Durham, it’s a test match venue. With that we get a lot of rights for exposure, and a lot of opportunities to engage with consumers around Durham, Newcastle and Sunderland.”

Mr Miller added: “It’s about trying to stretch the brand outside of our heartland of Scotland. For us, the aspiration is to have the brand in broader distribution throughout England and Wales, where there is clearly a demand. That is a key priority.”

Alongside bar and retail sales, Eden Mill flagged its growing online business, which is on track to deliver revenue of more than £1 million this year. And Mr Miller, who has held senior roles with Molson Coors and Glenmorangie, emphasised the growing importance of its visitor centre, as gin tourism becomes an increasingly important draw for visitors to the country.

Eden Mill is now one of the leading tourism attractions in the St Andrews area, having been named the “number one thing to do in Fife” on TripAdvisor.

Mr Miller forecasts that as many as 20,000 visitors will walk through its doors this year, up from 12,000 last year, and by the time expansion plans come to fruition he hopes to be able to accommodate 35,000 visitors per annum.

The company currently employs 40 staff on a full-time equivalent basis, with numbers rising during the peak tourism season, he said.