Highland Boundary

Background

Highland Boundary is a craft distillery based in Alyth, near Blairgowrie founded by Marian Bruce and Simon Montador who identified a gap in the market for Scandinavian-inspired spirits with the botanicals sourced from local woodlands. The name comes from the geological feature, called the Highland Boundary Fault, on which their farm lies - they have one foot in the Highlands and one in the Lowlands of Scotland. By combining botanicals from the Highlands with grain spirit from the South the company are crafting a new generation of Scottish spirits firmly rooted in the Scottish Landscape.

Challenge

Although both Marian and Simon have significant experience in scientific research and business, they were keen to tap into academic expertise to support the development of their new products.

Solution

Heriot-Watt University’s International Centre for Brewing and Distilling expressed an interest in working with the company and Lorna, Interface’s Business Engagement Executive for the Tayside region, introduced the teams.

An MSc student at the university investigated ways of including the woodland botanicals to maximise flavour and consistency.

The project was funded by a Scottish Funding Council Standard Innovation Voucher which is administered by Interface.

Business benefits

"By accessing the expertise at Heriot-Watt University we were able to try out different botanicals to produce new flavours of spirit with distinct Scottish flavours reflecting Perthshire’s “big tree country.
Now that we have launched our first product, Birch and Elderflower Wild Scottish Spirit, we want to build the company and create employment in an area where manufacturing jobs are few and far between." Marian Bruce, Highland Boundary

April 2019 - Highland Boundary Wild Scottish Spirit Awarded Gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition. 

Marian Bruce

Lorna’s knowledge of academic expertise in Scotland and ability to translate what we needed was a huge help. We wouldn’t have known where to start or had the time to search for the right expertise, so Interface’s support saved us valuable time and resource.

Marian Bruce, Director, Highland Boundary

Academic benefits

Dr Annie Hill

Working on a “real-world” product for Highland Boundary was a great experience for our MSc student. She was able to combine background distillation theory and investigation of novel botanicals to development of a new product. The enthusiasm and support from Marian was infectious which helped make the project both enjoyable and rewarding.

Dr Annie Hill, Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University