Independent bottler MacMillan Spirits has launched an inaugural trio of whisky, rum and gin inspired by its home in the Outer Hebrides.

Owned by Uist locals, father and son Angus A MacMillan and Angus E MacMillan, the spirits were selected for their flavourful characteristics representing aspects of the Scottish islands. They include the eight-year old single cask Wheelhouse Whisky produced on Islay; Machair Gin, which contains heather and wild angelica botanicals  harvested on the MacMillan croft in Uist; and Molucca Rum, made with the seeds of the Caribbean warri tree which wash up on the Hebridean beaches. 

The MacMillans are also behind Benbecula Distillery which is currently under construction on Uist and looks to pay homage to the island’s rich maritime heritage.

Angus A Macmillan, one of the founding directors behind the historic community buyout in 2006, said that as a proud islander he wanted to bring together flavours and stories of the Outer Hebrides. His personal favourite, he added, is Molucca Rum.

“It’s inspired by Martin Martin’s 1703 book A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland, which talks about finding Molucca beans, sometimes known as sea hearts, on the Western Isles," he said.

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"Molucca Beans are smooth seeds from the warri tree, which wash up on our Hebridean beaches having been carried on the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean. We find these heart-shaped seeds hidden in the sand and tangled in the seaweed: a smooth, shiny seed the size of your palm – like a heart-shaped pebble but light as a husk. It’s such a special link with Scotland and the Caribbean.

“This initial collection is just the beginning of our plans for creating a family of spirits that embodies our small island home and celebrates our slow, natural craft.”

Jamie MacDonald, business development manager for MacMillan Spirits, added: “We’ve created a series of signature serves for Wheelhouse Whisky, Machair Gin and Molucca Rum which allow drinkers to fully explore the depth of favour in each unique liquid.

"For our Machair Gin, we’ve created our own version of the classic Martini inspired by its name.

"Machair is a strip of low-lying fertile land that is cultivated and grazed ny cattle and sheep belonging to the Hebridian crofter. It’s an entirely unique habitat that clings to the Hebridean coastline and is home to beautiful and rare flowers which are used in the gin.”

Each label features original artwork commissioned from Minneapolis-based artist Nick Dahlen, who is known for his distinctive and vibrant illustrations.

Millions of pounds for Scottish patient monitoring device company

A Scottish company which has developed a device worn on the upper arm that provides a cuffless blood pressure estimation and monitors respiration rate, temperature, oxygen saturation, motion and heart rate, has raised £2 million.

Dunfermline-based Waire Health, launched in 2018, plans to use the funding to scale up its sensor technology, which is designed to “improve remote ward monitoring and reduce hospital readmissions”.

Analysis: Cost fears as 'supposedly enlightened' bottle return scheme approaches

The clock is ticking on what Circularity Scotland chief David Harris has described as “one of the most significant infrastructure projects ever introduced in the UK”, yet the foundations of this country’s forthcoming deposit return scheme (DRS) appear anything but solid.

Those outside the retail, hospitality and drinks manufacturing sectors may only be vaguely aware of DRS, but it will directly impact every person living in this country when it comes into force on August 16. The amount handed over for a jug of milk, a bottle of cola, a can of lager, or a bottle of wine – any beverage in a single-use container from a size of 50ml up to three litres – will increase overnight by 20p that can only be recovered after the empty container is returned to a collection point operated under the scheme.

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