A limited edition bottle featuring a watercolour design of the falls has also been launched, as the brand celebrates 20 years of ownership of the Falls of Dochart Inn.
On the banks of the River Dochart, which leads to Loch Tay at Killin, sits the Falls of Dochart Smokehouse which is well-known in the area for its popular smoked salmon.
But earlier this year, as lockdown restrictions started easing and hospitality and tourism hotspots began reopening, the team at the smokehouse, who also own the nearby inn of the same name, decided to launch their own gin, to mark 20 years of ownership by its founder Ross Anderson.
Patrick Baines, sales and marketing manager for the smokehouse, says that since launching the drink it has become a great addition to their products and has proven very popular with locals.
He says: “Since reopening the smokehouse and inn about eight weeks ago, the gin has proved really popular. We still have a lot of it and it’s become quite an addition to the smokehouse.
“We stock a range of locally-made artisan Scottish produce in our smokehouse shop, such as award-winning honey, marmalade, and chocolate from the Highland Chocolatier near us, though we predominantly sell our own smoked salmon.”
With promoting local products the main aim of their smokehouse shop, and many tourists regularly visiting the area, Patrick and the team felt there was an opportunity to sell something more than just salmon, that was a bit easier to transport.
He adds: “Gin was always an idea we were looking at, really. We have a lot of customers who come in and sometimes they are on their way back down to England after a holiday, or they’re flying abroad, though not at the moment, and faced with the prospect of taking some smoked salmon home really isn’t the wisest idea.
“We wanted to introduce a product that our customers could enjoy both when they are here and at home. It’s a nice reminder, I think, of their holidays and people seem to be loving the gin!”
In an effort to maximise on the beauty of the area, a Glasgow-based artist was commissioned to create a design for the bottle that depicted the spectacular falls.
“We wanted to make the bottle really stand out so we commissioned a Scottish landscape artist called Daniel Campbell, who is based in Glasgow, to paint a lovely watercolour for the label,” continued Patrick.
“We’ve got two bottle designs – the premium gin where the label is on the front, and a limited edition bottle which is a really special one where the label is placed at the back.
“It is a lovely watercolour painting of the Falls of Dochart itself, with the bridge and the banks and the lovely trees and the hills in the background. On the limited edition one you can see these through the bottle, which is quite special.
“For the limited edition bottle, we only have a few hundred of them and people seem to love them, especially people who have maybe come up to Killin on their holidays or have been coming up this direction their whole life.
“I’ve had a few customers say they love the gin but they’ve finished it and kept the bottle, which they’ve filled with something else. Obviously, the watercolour picture on the bottle will last, regardless of what is in it.”
The gin has been proving popular since launching in April with almost 500 being sold in the first six weeks since its release.
Patrick said: “We’ve sold just over 500 bottles, with the majority of those being sold in the first six weeks of launching it, through both the smokehouse shop itself and online. We’re really surprised but equally delighted with how popular it has been.
“I think gin in the last few years has become a really trendy alcohol and we have a lot of people who will maybe buy a bottle for themselves but also one for upcoming birthdays or as other gifts. It’s something that we’re really happy with.
We’ve sold just over 500 bottles, with the majority of those being sold in the first six weeks of launching it, through both the smokehouse shop itself and online.
“Around 80% of the bottles we are currently selling are through our smokehouse, so customers can pop in if they are in the area and buy the gin off the shelves. We are also offering free delivery to any customer buying the gin through our website and we’ve been sending it to all corners of the UK!
“We like to keep things very local to us. We are a family-run business and the distillery we use to distil the gin is a small, independent Scottish distillery.”
With the main flavours of the gin being reflected through the notes of the Tayberry, which grows wild along the banks of the Tay, even the taste of the spirit has a local link.
Patrick added: “The main flavour of the gin is the Tayberry, which is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry. We’ve had a wet climate so you often find the Tayberries growing in the wild alongside rivers, and we find them alongside the River Tay, which is a nice selling point for the gin.
“We experimented with a few flavours but the Tayberry was the one that really caught our eye, or our tastebuds I should say. I think it’s also a bit of a niche berry and it’s nice to explain to customers the difference between the Tayberry and the raspberry etc.”
To purchase the gin, which is priced at £45 for the 70cl limited edition bottle or £36 for the normal 70cl bottle, visit the website here.