Hand-crafted gin will soon be on sale at one of Scotland’s most unusual micro-distilleries.
The Fairytale Distillery at Ardelve near Dornie has created seven varieties of gin, the first three of which it will launch to visitors at its forthcoming Easter Fayre.
The distillery is the latest offering in Thomas Gottwald and Manuela Kohne-Gottwald’s whimsical complex of Hansel and Gretel style buildings housing a bakery and a pizza maker.
Highland councillors have granted the business a provisional licence for on and off sales of their products.
The licence is an important leap forward for Mr Gottwald, a carpenter to trade, who only learned the art of distilling two years ago in his native Germany.
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He bought a schnapps still, named Tinkerbelle, from Austria and with his neighbour and gin connoisseur Roger Knight, began sampling his way around the world of gin.
Mr Gottwald said: “Roger and I sampled all gins and began to develop our ideas from the basic London Dry. We tried things like spices, citrus and herbs including local meadowsweet.
“Then we turned to two botanists in Stuttgart, Martin Wünsche and Stefan Lipka, to create the final products.”
Mr Knight learned about gin from his uncle, who was chief steward in first class on the QE2.
He said: “I introduced Thomas to gin and tonic and it went from there. It’s been really enjoyable, we’ve travelled a lot together. Thomas seems to inspire everyone he meets.”
The gins will be presented in black stone bottles, which Mr Gottwald says is in keeping with the fairy tale theme.
They are numbered, rather than named, with the numbers chosen by staff.
Juniper is present in all the products, with angelica, citrus and a range of unusual herbs, fruits and spices defining each product.
The water comes from spring-fed burn Alt Mor Na Dornie.
The distillery joins the family’s other businesses, Manuela’s Wee Bakery founded in 2013 and producing German-style bread created by Mrs Kohne-Gottwald, and a pizza service founded two years ago and run by daughter Joline, who is also the distillery manager.