The Hebridean Whisky Trail is delighted to introduce our newest member, North Uist
North Uist Distillery was founded in 2019 by Jonny Ingledew and Kate Macdonald, who
moved home to Uist to fulfil a long held dream of bringing legal whisky production back to
the islands they had grown up on. With Jonny holding a masters in distilling and brewing,
and Kate’s long career in the arts providing creative drive, they started out with a single tiny
still in a borrowed shed and created Downpour, an award winning dry gin with a strong
Both the distillery and the Downpour range have grown a lot since those early days, with
four gins and a ready to drink cocktail in the range and a team of twelve people working
behind the scenes in production, sales, planning, marketing and welcoming visitors to the
distillery’s shop and visitor centre at the historic Nunton Steadings, which Kate and Jonny
were thrilled to be able to purchase in 2020.
The team now consists of Kate as co-founder and creative director, Jonny as co-founder and
distiller, distiller apprentice Rachel, bottling bad ass AJ, office superhero Janet, project
coordinator Ali, digital marketer Cara, sales ambassadors Emma, Hazel and Rhona, head
distiller Jacob, and B-Corp champion Leonie.
While gin has been the focus of North Uist Distillery’s first few years, and their effort
rewarded with the title of Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year at 2022’s Scottish Gin Awards, it
is whisky that is occupying the thoughts of the team going forward into 2023. Last year saw
the first planting and harvest of a crop of bere barley, a heritage grain local to Uist, the
purchase of whisky distilling equipment due to arrive later this year, and the massive
success of their first cask release, with 60 casks selling out in under 90 seconds.
With their commitment to using local bere barley in their whisky and to creating a whisky rich
in island provenance, North Uist Distillery are passionate about the future of whisky in the
Hebrides and are delighted to be a part of the Hebridean Whisky Trail from this early stage
in its journey.