It started with Marjorie

Marjorie MacBeath was born in 1884 and lived on a croft in Kilmachalmack, Strathkyle, Ardgay. She was known as Red Marj and there are great stories told of her illicit brewing and distilling. She used ingredients that were available and local to her, to create oat-based botanical spirits. One day, she was nearly caught when the Excise Men came on horse and cart from Beauly. Fortunately, Marjorie was quick to hide her pot still somewhere no respectable officer would dare look – under her petticoats!

Inspired by the story of her great, great grandmother, Ciara Bow founded Gledfield Distillery on the 14th of February 2022, keen to revive her ancestral botanical spirit.

Our Founder

In my family home in Gledfield, there is an old antique table in the kitchen. It’s the heart of my home and the best conversations, usually had by women, are had around this table. I often wonder what stories it would tell if it could talk. We’ll never know, but I can tell you one now…

By way of introduction, hello! Did I always want to work in distilling? No, but like most of the best things in life, it was a happy accident. When I was 18 years old, I got a job as a tour guide in a whisky distillery. My love for distilling developed from there and I progressed to become a senior distiller.

One day, when I was sat at the kitchen table, daydreaming about my future and what success would look like for me, my mother asked me the question “Well, why don’t you then?” So at the age of 23, the journey to turn my dream into a reality began.

I hope you enjoy our botanical spirits as much as I’ve enjoyed crafting them.

Yours aye,

Our commitment to be a force for good in the Kyle of Sutherland

The Kyle of Sutherland is identified as a fragile and disadvantaged area, and our ambition is to be a force for good.

Every bottle sale will generate £1 to support local charities within our community.

Our ambition is to create employment opportunities, including apprenticeships for young people and encouraging more women to work in the distilling industry.

Our long-term ambition is to refurbish the Ice House in Ardgay to become our distillery visitor centre, giving this historic landmark a new lease of life while bringing a new tourist attraction to the community.

The Ice House Development

We are delighted to be working with Balnagown Estate to refurbish the Ice House in Ardgay to become distillery visitor centre.

More details coming soon…