Regarded Caithness business leader Martin Murray of Dunnet Bay Distillers has been recognised by the Gin Cooperative as the recipient of its inaugural Outstanding Contribution to Scottish Gin Award. The prestigious accolade recognises an individual, business or organisation’s positive contribution to the Scottish Gin Industry.

For Martin and his wife Claire, the Dunnet Bay Distillers journey can trace its beginnings back to their university days when they would talk of one day returning to Caithness to set up their own business together. Turning their dream into reality the award-winning distillery has gone from strength to strength, creating significant employment opportunities, establishing a five-star visitor experience and launching an array of artisan spirits, inspired by Caithness and its unique cultural and natural heritage. With the distillery widely praised for its innovation and commitment to sustainability and quality, it’s clear why Martin was the perfect choice to be the first person ever to receive this new award, Natalie from The Gin Cooperative explained:

“We’re delighted and thrilled to award the very first Outstanding Contribution to Scottish Gin Award to Martin Murray. Over the last five years, one name has come up in conversation a lot. And in a really positive way. We have lost count of the number of times we’ve heard how Martin has helped others by providing distilling insight or guidance around HRMC regulations, email exchanges about where to find the best Negroni in a certain city or just a general chat about the Scottish Gin category.

As the co-founder of one of the early Highland-based gin brands, Martin Murray along with his wife and co-founder Claire, acted as a great example of what a remote Scottish distillery could achieve. Often leading the way with new export deals and distribution opportunities for the Rock Rose Scottish Gin brand, Martin has been at the forefront of the true craft distilling revolution that’s taken shape in Scotland over the last decade.

Humble and hard-working, whilst balancing family life and growing an international Scottish Gin brand is no mean feat at the best of times. But to always leave the door open for advice and helping others in the industry so everyone benefits, really does go above and beyond in business and in life. We have benefited from his help, guidance, generosity, kindness and support whenever we’ve needed to pick his brains.”

Looking to the future, with ambitions to enter the craft whisky market, the duo has started work on their latest project with a £4 million restoration of Castletown Mill underway. Martin and Claire are proud to have been entrusted with the custody of the mill and are working to conserve and