Banchory based Twin River Distillery has appointed a Head Distiller to join its expanding team and lead the growth of the distillery’s small batch spirit production.
Liam Pennycook joins the distillery from Strathearn Distillery, where he was Head of Distilling and responsible for all spirit production including whisky, gin and rum.
Earlier this year, Liam was recognised for his industry knowledge and innovative approach at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, where he won the Young Talent category.
Twin River is passionate about the provenance of its products and produces its own raw spirit for the basis of its gin – one of few of Scottish gin producers to do so.
Of his appointment, Liam said: “Twin River is a fantastic example of a true Scottish spirit producer. There are so many opportunities to experiment onsite with almost endless possibilities. This is what really attracted me to join the team; their passion about the provenance of their products is refreshing and I’m looking forward to being part of the journey.”
Ryan Rhodes, Twin River’s brand director, added: “We are delighted to have Liam join us. Liam is a true ‘rising star’ in the distilling sector and will enhance our combined expertise as we look to push the boundaries of spirit production.”
Due to the capacities of the distillery (the team has the ability to make batches of gin ranging from 100 – 2000 litres), Twin River has plans in place to contract distil for other spirit producers. The team is in discussion with several interested parties, and has already secured a contract with an up and coming local distillery.
Ryan continued: “We’re disappointed by the number of ‘Scottish craft gins’ that are actually made out with Scotland and hope that our contract distilling offering will be an option for those that outsource the production of their gin. Scottish food and drink has a fantastic reputation globally, and we’re keen to protect the value placed on the provenance of all Scottish branded gins.”
“As the popularity of gin continues to increase, it can be challenging for distilleries to fulfil orders, and we’re keen to support. Contract distilling may also appeal to those looking to launch a new product, but don’t yet want to invest in expensive equipment.
“Liam worked with many other gin producers during his time at Strathearn, and is joining Twin River at an apt time. We are also currently working on a number of gin prototypes, experimenting with flavours and laying down more 55L virgin charred American oak whisky casks.”
Earlier this year, Twin River invested £200k in its distillery to accommodate the production of its spirits, with plans for new premises in 2018. It is hoped that a further £1.4million will be invested into a new brewery, distillery and visitor centre in Banchory with the money raised through private investment and crowdfunding.