Dr Kit Carruthers is transforming disused sheds at his family home on the Dormont Estate into Ninefold Distillery, putting Dalton, which al- ready houses a gin distillery, rmly on the alcohol lover’s map.
Believing rum to be the next ‘it’ drink, Dr Carruthers, 37, said: “I’ve had a soft spot for rum since visit- ing Jamaica several years ago, but mostly I believed that the craft rum market was on the cusp of being ‘the next gin’, and wanted to get into that emerging market.”
The Edinburgh University gradu- ate and PhD holder is a distillery novice but has been given a leg-up with investment help from his father, Jamie, £4750 from Beyond Chapelcross, a £5000 ByDesign grant from Scottish Enterprise, and £50,000 from the Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Local Action Group, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural De- velopment.
Initially he plans to employ one person as a distiller, while he serves as managing director and a white rum will be his rst venture.
He said: “The rst product will be a white rum, perfect for cock- tails and mixers, think mojitos and daquiris.
“But rum will also be casked and aged under bond to eventually pro- duce a selection of golden rums. I might do a spiced rum, but only if I can grow all of the ingredients my- self, or source locally.”
And discussing his plans for the future, Dr Carruthers said: “I’m hoping that we will be distilling by spring or early summer next year, aiming to be profitable within two years, and tripling our capacity within five.
“Initially I’m only looking to the Scottish market, but break- ing into the wider UK market within a few years.”
But unlike his gin serving neighbours, Dr Carruthers has no plans to open a bar.
He said: “The distillery will be a small manufacturing facility and bond only to begin with. There are no plans initially to have a visitor experience, how-
ever I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of private tours, tast- ings and rum making experien- ces in the future.”
And he has visions of running Ninefold completely from renew- able energy in the future.
He said: “The distillery will aim to be as environmentally be- nign as possible.
“There is a large carbon foot- print associated with importing the molasses that will be our base ingredient, so I want the rest of the business to be as low energy and environmentally friendly as possible.
“I will avoid plastic packaging wherever possible, source in- gredients as locally as possible and I’m aiming to eventually run the whole distillery from renew- able energy.”