Dec 112015

Porter's bottleWith thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix

The first bottles of gin to be distilled in Aberdeen for over 100 years are now hitting the shelves.
There is a rich history of whisky distillation around the city and shire, and a UK-wide gin boom, but there were previously no gin brands from the Granite City.

Porter’s was created by a team of licensed trade professionals Ben Iravani, Josh Rennie and Alex Lawrence, and named after Professor Andrew Porter from Aberdeen University, who sourced their distillation equipment.

In spite of being Aberdeen’s only gin in living memory, the team are quick to understate this claim to fame. Multi award-winning bartender, Alex, said:

“We are delighted to be playing such a big part in gin’s revival in the north-east, however it is our story and distillation technique that really make Porter’s unique.

“Gin is so important to bartenders across the world as a key component for cocktails, yet most brands were produced by large companies or family distillers. Porter’s is one of the few brands that was created by bartenders for bars.”

With bottles now available to pre-order from the first batch, the flavoursome spirit features aromatic and citrus notes which the trio are confident will win over traditional gin connoisseurs as well as those less inclined towards the juniper-based tipple.

The unique flavour profile comes from a fusion of traditional and modern distillation techniques. The equipment procured by Professor Porter, which is known as a rotary evaporator, allows botanicals to be “vacuum-distilled” at low temperatures. Through hundreds of small scale distillations and experiments with botanicals, the team discovered that this process extracts light refreshing flavours that cannot be produced in a traditional copper still.

The traditional component of the gin adds depth and balance to the flavour, and is created in partnership with a Warrington distillery that has been operating for over 250 years.

Ben, managing director at Langstane Liquor Company, said:

“Our whole production method is based on creating a unique but bold flavour for mixing drinks, and we put a lot of hard work into balancing the modern and traditional elements of the gin. We also use only 100% British grain wheat alcohol and certified ethically sourced botanicals. This all results in a world class product.

“The anticipation for Porter’s has been fantastic and we have been delighted to receive order requests already. Our first batch will consist of around 3,300 bottles which we are sure will go quickly. We have been in talks with a number of retailers both local and national, so there will be a number of different options for people wishing to try it out.”

Orchid and Ninety-Nine Bar and Kitchen in Aberdeen are owned by the sister company Monkey Bars Ltd and the group plan to sell Porter’s within their cocktail bars.

For more information or to pre-order a bottle please contact or visit

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Sep 072015

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus Mix.

Porter's10A trio of trade professionals have become the first to start distilling in Aberdeen city centre for 100 years.
Founders Ben Iravani, Josh Rennie and up and coming UK bartender Alex Lawrence, have spent the past few years fine-tuning their gin – undertaking hundreds of small scale distillations in order to perfect their method and recipe.

They have been working closely with the UK’s oldest distillers G&J in a collaboration to bring a premium gin to the market this autumn.

The result is the flagship Porter’s Gin, an aromatic and flavoursome spirit which the trio hope will take off in the booming UK gin scene. This quintessential British drink has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years, with 70% of all gin produced in the UK now coming from Scotland.

Their juniper-based spirit, which features refreshing aromatic and citrus notes, has been named after Professor Andrew Porter of Aberdeen University, who sourced cold-distillation equipment which allowed the team to extract light refreshing flavours from botanicals. This is an innovative approach to gin distillation with the vast majority of distillers favouring traditional, but less controlled, methods.

Ben, managing director at Monkey Bars Aberdeen, said:

“Gin is enjoying an incredible renaissance worldwide and is now the drink of choice for many. This is down to a number of reasons, including the role of gin in the rise of classic cocktail culture. The gin market has almost become saturated over the past few years, but the good brands are finding their way to the top.

“We are confident that we have created a unique and delicious flavour profile in our gin which will work in both classic cocktails and also stand out in the traditional GnT.”

Alex Lawrence, whose cocktails and palate have won him numerous accolades both nationally and globally, said:

“It has been an amazing opportunity to be part of a team focused on creating a modern gin with classic potential. Looking at it from a bartending point of view has aided us in creating a versatile but bold product and I’m excited for the future as I genuinely believe in the liquid we have created. We want to add a fresh twist to the market with a genuine and honest product.

“It is incredibly exciting to be a part of the gin movement and to have researched, created and now produced a flavoursome, top-end product. People are now more aware of the provenance of drinks and supporting locally made products. This is something we kept firmly in mind while creating Porter’s Gin, which we are delighted to now be bringing to the market.”

The knowledgeable team have a rectifier’s license which enables them to distil part of Porter’s gin within their award winning cocktail bar Orchid, while the more traditional part is distilled in partnership with G&J distillers in Warrington, the world’s oldest gin distillery. Orchid and Ninety-Nine Bar and Kitchen in Aberdeen are owned by Monkey Bars Ltd and the group plan to sell Porter’s within their cocktail bars this autumn, followed by a launch in London.

While Porter’s is the only gin currently being produced in the Granite City, this was not always the case. Aberdeen was once home to a number of distilleries and breweries, among them the Devanha Distillery.

More than a century later, Ben and his colleagues hope local gin fans will embrace their creation and kickstart a new era for distilling in Aberdeen.

Ben added:

“The best gins are those that have been created with a focus on exceptional flavour, and we have achieved this with Porter’s. Aberdeen has a fantastic bar scene and we are looking forward to introducing our brand, before looking to expand throughout the UK.”

Pre-orders for Porter’s Gin will be available soon. For more information please contact

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Sep 192013

NutshellPic170With thanks to Liz Smith.

Thread by acclaimed Scots writer Jules Horne.
This darkly funny play explores friendship, the choices we make and who we become when our memories start to fade.

Thread is the second play in Nutshell’s Still Points in a Turning World trilogy and will be touring this October as part of the Scotland wide Luminate Festival.

Come roll your dice at the Burntisland beetle drive and share Joan, William and Izzy’s tangled lives.

Friends since primary school and closer-than-close ever since, identities stitched together as intricately as their homemade party clothes.

Living in the secure but suffocating embrace of a 1950s Scottish seaside community, who gets to become the person they want to be?

Nutshell director Kate Nelson founded the Edinburgh-based company in 2000 with the aim of making intelligent, entertaining theatre through great writing, direct storytelling and unconventional venues



Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
Wednesday 25, 7.30pm
0131 665 2240

Church Hall, Wigtown Book Festival, Wigtown
Saturday 28, 12noon
01988 403222


New Pitsligo Hall, New Pitsligo
Tuesday 8, 7.30pm

Stracathro Hall, by Brechin
Friday 11 7.30pm
01674 850842 &

Crathes Hall, Crathes, nr Banchory
Saturday 12, 7.30pm