North-east craft distiller Lost Loch Spirits is looking forward to diversifying the business and introducing live events within its grounds.
Aboyne-based Loch Lost has seen the popularity of its touring tastings and spirit school grow since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The next step for the business, created by Peter Dignan and Richard Pierce, is the introduction of Lost Loch Live, which kicks off on October 9.
The free live music event will feature local fiddler Paul Anderson, plus other guests, and is already sold out.
But plans are under way to hold the evening every three months, with comedy and open mic nights being considered.
Live outdoor events
Lost Loch tourism and hospitality manager Jan Leatham said: “We are starting with our live music event with traditional musicians.
“The popularity so far has been fantastic, with it selling out.
“The plan is to make it quarterly from then on – whether it be comedy or open mic nights.
“It’s about raising the profile of the distillery and to help put it on the map for people who wouldn’t come and do a tour.”
Lost Loch launched its own spirit school in October 2019 but it only lasted seven months until Covid-19 hit.
Since the distillery reopened its doors to the public in May it has proved a huge success, drawing in visitors from throughout the UK for the touring tastings and spirit school.
Those taking part in its classes have access to copper alembic stills – an ancient method of distilling – to make their own gin, absinthe or botanical spirit.
Each tasting session lasts 90 minutes, with visitors getting a sample of Lost Loch products including Haroosh, a whisky-based liqueur, eeNoo gin and the firm’s Murmichan absinthe.
Visitors from across Britain
Ms Leatham, who joined the team in November, said: “They have gone down really well. We’ve had probably at least 200 people through the doors since the end of May.
“We had loads of people from all across the UK and that’s what was really nice about this year.
“People have been enjoying what’s on offer in their own country for holidays and getting to know their own area.”
Lost Loch Distillery is currently taking part in Provenance Festival, with a “botanical identification walk” on offer to those taking part in its tasting sessions.
The 10-day Opportunity North East-led event, which runs until October 3, is focused on food tourism, and educating people about the farm to fork journey.
Ms Leatham said: “I’ve a reasonable knowledge of plants and with the rise in foraging I thought it would be good to add a botanical identification walk to the tastings – just beside the distillery.
“It’s lovely countryside and I’ll be showing visitors things that can be used in gin.
“The walk allows visitors to see what grows around the distillery, and if it’s a success I hope to be able to offer it to visitors from May to September next year.
“The Provenance Festival really is a great initiative.”
Full details about the Provenance Festival are online at www.visitabdn.com/cp/provenance-festival/