A master joiner by trade, he brings his legendary attention to detail to the running of the distillery but his real passion is cycling, kayaking and rock climbing.
Rock climbing on the cliffs of Latheronwheel found the first juniper bushes and what else can you associate with Juniper but GIN.
The Forse and District climbing club have become willing batch samplers and testers of all things gin. All we have to do now is get them to pick juniper every time they go out climbing. Stephen is the practical hands on one of the team who inevitably gets landed with fixing things and sorting the things that we break on a regular basis.
He is also the sensible one to keep our feet on the ground and curb the worst of the fanciful, blue skies crazy ideas like the Ginbus and the Ice Bar.
Worked in the University sector resulted in travelling to many beautiful places such as Chile, Canada, Norway, Spain, Portugal and Iceland, but there’s nothing like coming home to the strath.
Being brought up on a croft gives you a sense of the place and the importance of having roots and heritage and a deep love of the land that sustained us growing up. There are so many fantastic natural products on our doorstep, many of which we use in our spirits to impart a special and unique flavour.
The provenance of Ice and Fire spirits comes from the land and the water surrounding us.
Jacquie’s main job seems to be managing the paperwork side of things and writing the business plan which was viewed by the others as “far reaching”. The ginbus was probably where Stephen had to step in and curb the excesses.
Iain Black Impoverished crofter, gamekeeper, tree surgeon , fencer, lamber, full time husband and dad, and general stretcher of truths.
A proper Jack of all trades, but master of none until now... Since becoming a master distiller at Ice and Fire Distillery, Iain has found his true calling, carefully weighing out the botanicals for each batch and ensuring Monty, our pot bellied still runs flat out to keep up with demand.
General tasting and quality control of all batches has come quite easily and has been embraced with enthusiasm from Iain and his friends, all of whom seem more than willing to rate the free samples.
Eilidh is a full time mother, wife, crofter, lamber, painter and now recipe developer with Iain.
She is the one to tame the mad scientist in him and keep the recipes on track, testing them from the female perspective and trying to find a balance that all customers will like.
Eilidh also has an eye for design and has been instrumental in finding our label and bottle designs.
Designs for special edition bottles will be her job and with one of the children having just completed a Vikings project, the ideas for Caithness Raiders Rum are abound. Eilidh is also our queen of social media and will keep you all up to date with our exploits, new recipes, new designs and where you can see us next.
Our Environmental guru has a love of all things plants and botanicals.
Her lovely garden and bursting at the seams polytunnel meant she was the immediate expert on the gin ingredients.
She is fantastic at crafts and cooking and is a beautiful painter so has already been earmarked for follow on products such as chocolates, marmalades and gin candles. Her chilli jam is just scrumptious.
Her eye for detail and art means she will be responsible for designing our bags and packaging as well.
ALAN and INNES
The next generation of Ice & Fire Distillery employees are already making inroads into the business... Alan and Innes excitedly decided that sledging with Monty the Still would be a good introduction and ended up “dinging” the side of it so Monty is now well and truly part of the family.
Alan thinks anything that grows is now an eligible botanical for making gin and also thinks that we can flavour all cooking with the gin.
Alan has already announced that he is a second generation distiller (at nine years of age...) Innes being younger is not so hands on yet but one day arrived with a towable “cartie” full of willow leaves as he thought we could make a batch from it. Sam the Collie is our faithful mascot and never seems to be far away from the action.
LORNA & BRIAN CORMACK
With their legendary love of Gin and running regular Caithness Gin evenings and tutorials, who else could Ice & Fire Distillery get to hold our hands through the Testing and sampling stages.
Lorna first began drinking gin in her early twenties; her favourite tipple being the very fashionable Gordon’s and Schweppes Bitter Lemon, nowadays such a concoction would never pass her lips!!
She moved on from gin to spiced rum which remained her beverage until around 10 years ago when she discovered Bombay Sapphire and Hendricks.
She converted her husband, Brian, to gin too after giving him a wee taste of Caoruun Gin with some red apple and fever tree, he was hooked and their passion (for gin) grew. After converting Brian’s marine fish tank room to a gin bar the gin collection has amassed from 3 to over 170 bottles (and growing!!).
Sam The Dog
Sam the Collie is our faithful mascot and never seems to be too far away from the action.