Interview with Gordon Quinn, co-founder of Badachro Distillery
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Today, we take you off the beaten track to meet Gordon Quinn, co-founder of Badachro Distillery, located in the Highlands of Scotland.
1. How did Badachro Distillery come to life?
Gordon Quinn: My wife, Vanessa, and I met a long time ago at the Badachro Inn; a charming establishment tucked away in the remote hamlet on the North-West coast of the Scottish Highlands, the real Wester Ross. We married less than twelve weeks later and set out on the path toward our current venture.
First, we travelled the world for work and experienced the excitement and vibrancy of city life in the Middle East, London, and Edinburgh.
I worked in marketing and advertising for Peugeot, Nissan, Pepsi & Emirates and Vanessa worked in sales for Lufthansa and for the Austrian & German foreign Offices on consular business. As our family grew we were ready to realise our dream of moving home to the mountains, clean waters and star-studded night sky of Badachro.
Fuelled by a shared passion for living a simpler, more peaceful way of life, we set-up our dream-home and thriving B&B, Aird Hill, where we settled on building bed & breakfast business and then a Highland-inspired, sustainable distilling business.
I soon completed a formal training in distilling, gaining valuable insight and work experience at a distillery in Perthshire. With our hospitality and advertising backgrounds, combined with Vanessa’s previous work in horticulture and study of botanicals, Badachro Distillery was born. And here we are now selling spirits to Quebecers!
2. How do you choose your recipes?
Gordon Quinn: Vanessa leads recipe development having had training as sommelier when in her twenties and that has helped very much.
Our recipes are clearly inspired by the local plant life and environment. We hand pick 70-80% of the botanicals from within 2 km of the distillery. For example Badachro Gin is made mostly from botanicals found more inland, on the hills and fields, whereby our Coastal Gin uses many botanicals found near the beach, such as seaweeds, fennel and wild thyme.
Vanessa grew raspberries for the local hotels and shops a few years ago so we decided to use them to make our Raspberry Gin. It is very uncontrived and ‘real’.
3. How do you see Badachro distillery evolving in the next few years?
Gordon Quinn: Our brands are becoming more established in our home market and our whisky has opened many doors to new export markets, so growth is coming from both areas.
We do not intend to become a huge, ‘factory style’ distillery and want to grow ‘organically’, remaining a self-funded family business with a dedicated team of enthusiastic and loving individuals, with a passion for what they do.
We all know how fortunate we are to be able to live where we do and work in an industry that we are so genuinely interested in, so that’s a pretty good way to keep things!
4. Badachro is off the usual tourist destinations. Why should people make the detour to stop by your distillery?
Gordon Quinn: It’s an incredibly beautiful area. Peaceful, wild, clean with mountains reaching up from sea level and from hundreds of fresh water lochs dotted amongst the hills.
In our small hamlet, Badachro, there’s a great Inn to eat & drink at (Badachro Inn), trout fishing on lochans, a great wee craft shop, horse riding, yacht charter and a couple of stunning beaches just along the road. That’s worth the detour!