By Karen Peattie

AN Aberdeenshire whisky shop owner has launched has taken his interest in the drinks business a step further with the creation of Foghouse Spirits, a new business that has launched its first product, a gin inspired by Mediterranean flavours.

Mike Stuart, who founded the Inverurie Whisky Shop in 2015, has collaborated with the award-winning Lost Loch Spirits company in Royal Deeside to create the small batch Foghouse gin in micro copper stills.

As gin evolves and the global market continues to grow with a record number of bottles sold last year, Mr Stuart’s aim was to “create something that would really stand out from the crowd, not just in flavour profile but with the bottle itself”.

Explaining how the company’s name derives from the manmade foghouses found across many of Scotland’s estates where “lairds of the past would entertain guests and escape the ordinary”, Mr Stuart said: “We discovered the most beautiful foghouse at Bennachie in Aberdeenshire that overlooks a waterfall.

“It’s tricky to locate but worth it when you find it. It inspired us to craft flavours that would be instrumental in evoking a memory and transporting you to a special place, as a reminder of what makes you happy. We call it a little bit of escapism in a glass.”

Noting that there has already been interest in Foghouse gin from “pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants around the UK that want to stock it”, Mr Stuart added: “The plan is to cement Foghouse gin into the market and start working on creating the rest of the range next.”

Mr Stuart, who has been working on the Foghouse project since 2019 and has extensive experience of the drinks industry, said that the business would evolve in time to include a single cask whisky range and rum.

Foghouse gin combines nine botanicals including wormwood which is prized for its distinctive aroma. The bottle features a matt finish designed to appeal to gin-lovers who like to retain and reuse bottles.