The Highland Liquor Company has revealed a seven-fold increase in turnover over the last 12 months, despite turbulent trading conditions.

The company based in Ullapool has hailed strong consumer sales, new product launches and the opening of a new shop.

Run by Robert Hicks and Helen Chalmers, the Highland Liquor Company is best known for its batch distilled Seven Crofts and Fisherman’s Strength gins, and has gained recognition from some of this country’s most high profile bars.

With the onset of the coronavirus and closure of the hospitality industry, it was able to increase its online sales and through stockists like Harvey Nichols and a strong range of distributors.

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In September Highland Liquor Company opened a Bottle Shop on West Argyle Street in Ullapool’s .

Such developments have meant that the company’s employees have doubled from three members of staff in 2019 to six full time equivalent positions.

Ms Chalmers said: “This has been an incredibly challenging year for so many businesses. We really value our work with the on-trade and it has been particularly dreadful to see the closures in what is such a creative and energetic industry. We’re lucky that we’ve been able to maintain and grow consumer sales over this period but most of all, we’re proud that, as one of Scotland’s most remote distilleries, we’ve received incredibly widespread recognition.

"We were thrilled to receive plaudits from the World Gin Awards and then later the Newcomer of the Year at the Scottish Gin Awards. Like so many others, we’re looking forward to 2021 and welcoming back our friends in the hospitality sector.”

HeraldScotland: Image by Paul Campbell.Image by Paul Campbell.

This year the company has also been able to supply hand sanitizer to local front line workers free of charge as well as selling the sanitizer further afield.

The company was founded by Ms Chalmers and Mr Hicks in 2018. Along with head distiller Ben Thompson, over 96 recipes were trialled before perfecting the Seven Crofts recipe. The gin is batch distilled in small, copper alembic stills.

The latest release, Fisherman’s Strength, a navy strength bottling of Seven Crofts gin, was unveiled in October. Both gins celebrate the origins of the traditional fishing community of Ullapool. Seven Crofts gin was awarded Best Newcomer at the Scottish Gin Awards and Best New Launch Design at the World Gin Awards 2020, the only Scottish company to be recognised at the awards.

As well as Seven Crofts and Seven Crofts Fisherman’s Strength, the distillery also produces a limited run of Experimental Gins and The Ullapool Gin, which is only available in the village or through Highland Liquor Company’s online store.

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