Case Study

Highland Boundary


Heriot-Watt University


Food & Drink, Agritech and Aquaculture




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.


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.


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. 

Academic benefits

Please note that Interface administers the Innovation Voucher Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. All funding applications are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Scottish Funding Council, guidelines can be found here.