AN Award-winning spirits manufacturer is launching a hand-crafted artisan butter – keeping alive the centuries-old tradition of Angus butter-making.
Gin Bothy was founded in 2015 by ‘accidental gin-maker’ Kim Cameron from her bothy kitchen in Kirriemuir, in the Angus Glens.
Kim used leftover fruit juice from her homemade jam to lead the charge for the creation of Scottish flavoured spirits with the launch of her Gin Bothy Raspberry Gin.
Gin Bothy has gone on to become one of Scotland’s best known premium gin and rum brands producing over 65,000 units each year sold across the UK and exported internationally.
And as they prepare to triple their production capabilities with a move into a new expanded 14,000-square metres site in Forfar, Angus, they are launching a new butter.
Bothy Butter will be produced using a butter-churner and a 45-year-old recipe that were acquired from the recently-closed North Street Dairy in Forfar – the last Angus family-run dairy.
North Street Dairy closed its doors after 104 years with the owners, the Millar family supporting Bothy Butter with his recipe and butter-churner.
The Millars are fourth generation members of the original founding family of North Street Dairy, and has played a key role in the launch of Bothy Butter.
Bothy Butter will be made at Forfar premises and be hand-batched and hand-rolled.
The creators have partnered with the world’s only working thorn tower in Ayr – two star great taste producer Blackthorn Salt.
The carefully-crafted butter will use Scottish cream and Scottish organic salt to deliver a rich taste sensation.
And, after rescuing the Angus butter-making tradition, the range will be produced less than a third of a mile from Forfar’s historic Buttermarket area.
Buttermarket, adjacent to the old Angus Council chambers, was traditionally a hub marketplace for Angus fresh producers from Arbroath, Brechin, Forfar and Montrose to showcase their creations.
“I’m delighted to launch Bothy Butter,” said founder Kim Cameron.
“I’m big on keeping traditions alive and proud of the fact this is based on a historic Angus recipe, using the churner from North Street Dairy.
“North Street Dairy was a renowned family business for over 100 years in Forfar. The owner Hamish Millar and his staff worked to keep his family recipe going.
“It was a much-loved business in Angus and, thanks to the help of Hamish, we are able to keep his 45-year-old recipe alive.
“We had a talk recently in our Bothy Tales room about the traditions of butter-making in Angus and demonstrated how you churn butter.
“On the back of that we decided we wanted to keep Angus butter local.
“By basing our product on Hamish’s recipe and using his churn, we will put our own unique Bothy slant on the butter to create a really special product.”
Hamish Millar, one of the former owners of the North Street Dairy.
Millar latterly ran North Street Dairy with his sister Alison Durward and wife Marlene. It had previously been run by his mum Aileen and dad Norman and they proudly kept the name of his grandfather Alan – A. McLeod – on milk bottles throughout their tenure.
And the fact his family legacy will live on through a butter recipe devised by his mum and grandmother Frances McLeod, fills Hamish with pride..
He said: “The recipe started 45 years ago in our family kitchen
“My grandmother and mother worked on it. They had surplus cream and put it in the food mixer to see what happened.
“It tasted delicious so we decided to bring it out. It became very popular with our customers in a niche market.
“I’m excited to see the family recipe will continue and Kim is the perfect person to take it on.
“We’ve helped Kim with the recipe and she’s now got our butter churner to make it.
“I know she’ll make a success of it. Kim is passionate about everything she does. She throws herself fully into every project, every product and has established her business.
“Kim is adding her own imprint to make Bothy Butter. The use of Blackthorn Salt is a really clever adaptation, it gives a lovely kick to the butter and will still maintain the traditional core recipe that our customers loved.”
Bothy Butter will be vegetarian-friendly and will launch in three varieties – unsalted 200g, salted 200g and Scottish salted (extra salty using Blackthorn Salt) 200g.
The Blackthorn Salt version will be created with sustainable salt crystals which offer a sweet, mouth-watering tang.
Sales will initially be limited to the Bothy Experience shop in Glamis or the newly-opened Bothy Larder on 6 Lochside Road, Forfar.
Larger quantities and catering sizes of Bothy Butter will be available on request.
Bothy Larder opened for business on October 19th and will be open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm and will help the Bothy brand grow and expand.
The Bothy Experience in Glamis will remain the ‘home of the Bothy’ and all tastings and visitor experiences will continue to be held there.