Learn About Us and How It All Began!
Tayport Distillery is a family owned distillery established to create premium spirits using local produce from the farms in our local surroundings. Kecia McDougall is the founding member and now the rest of the family have joined in to help. Making great spirits was a hobby which was to become something much bigger. Kecia completed various practical courses and certifications to learn all about the processes. The rest was trial and error over many years to perfect the spirits we produce.
Mary, Kecia’a daughter, previously studied as a singer before joining Kecia in 2018 to help grow the business, self-teaching herself about sales and marketing. Alasdair, Kecia’s son, has alway taken an interest in flavour and science and after leaving university, he naturally fell into the role of Production Manager where he could create to his heart content . Lastly, Kecia’s husband, Duncan joined as chief taster but it was quickly realised with his 35 years + experience in business he had a few other skills he could bring to the table.
After travelling around the world and researching various types of spirit production we noticed the trends for provenance and how farmers would make amazing fruit and grains available to artisan distilleries and wine producers for the highest quality drinks to be made. We take pride in being authentic and using real fruit for our spirits. Quite different to the many products and brands promoting real fruit flavours but simply adding industrially produced ‘natural’ flavourings.
Located in Fife we are blessed with a microclimate and fertile soils, allowing the finest fruits and berries to be grown. By arranging to collect from local farms we get the ripest and most flavoursome ingredients for our spirits. At the same time, going direct to the producer reduces our carbon footprint and helps our sustainability mission. We also return our waste to a local biogas plant and this is processed into gas which feeds back into the local community.
Our first spirit created was an Eau de Vie using local fruit. Eau de Vie is traditionally shared as an aperitif and is better known in Europe particularly in the alpine regions of France. In 2018, we developed our first liqueur - a Blackcurrant Liqueur, also known as ‘creme de cassis’, once again using local fruit. This was quickly followed by our Raspberry Liqueur, better known as creme de framboise.
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced us to diversify and launch into the Gin market. This is when we created our first gin - Wild Rose Gin - which is a traditional London Dry style gin with citrus and floral notes. Towards the end of the first year, we developed our second gin - Scots Pine Gin - which has more spiciness and warm notes. We took inspiration from our local surroundings where we spent a lot of time during lockdowns, Tentsmuir Forest and the banks of the Tay River.
From the start, we had also been creating our own base spirit using Malt Barley and our brand ambassador suggested that we should produce our own vodka as the barley and grain notes came through very well. We perfected the recipe and it has become our signature product, winning several awards and being named one of the top 10 vodkas in the world by Forbes. A very proud moment.
From the seeds Kecia planted in 2017, our little distillery grew roots in a town filled with so much history and was surrounded by amazing local produce. Those roots have now grown, with a family tree at the heart of it and five products to showcase the excellence of our local produce. We have always aspired to become more grounded in our community and we hope that this next chapter of our journey will reflect that.
The feedback and support from our customers keeps us going and is so important to everything we do. The local community has been so encouraging and our brand will adopt more of the local theme with a prominent landmark, the Larick Beacon showing on our label. This local landmark is of special significance to the community and we are proud to be a part of it.
It goes without saying that we would love to be able to support as many charities as we could. As a small business we have decided to focus our charitable efforts on the local community and raising awareness and funds for Motor Neurone Disease.
Tayport Distillery have been a sponsor for the Tayport Football Club for just over two years now, donating Man of The Match Bottles and money to help support the local club. We have also supported local community and support groups within Tayport, donating raffle prizes and tour experiences.
Lastly, Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rare condition that progressively damages parts of the nervous system. We have had a close family member pass away from the disease and have endeavoured to do as much as we can to help charities find a cure. This year, Mary will be running the Edinburgh Marathon and raising awareness and fundraising for ‘My Name’5 Doddie’. Duncan, Kecia and Mary have been completing Doddie Aid during January and February to help raise awareness and funds. Our charity efforts will not stop there, as the business grows we are committed to continually support fundraising efforts in whatever way we can until more progress has been made to find a cure.