TOURISTS and locals alike will now be able to enjoy what could be their closest ever encounter with the Loch Ness monster.
A new venture unveiled in the Highlands will allow tourists and locals alike to slake their thirst with water that may have been swum in by Scotland’s most legendary creature.
Whisky connoisseurs can even add a splash of Nessie’s bathwater to their dram.
The project, which has been in the pipeline for the past decade, is the brainchild of Avoch entrepreneur John Oag and business partners Dawn Younie and Imtaiz Ali.
The operation will involve water being taken directly from the country’s most famous loch, then filtered and bottled for consumption in some of the most prestigious hotels and tourist attractions.
The stylish clear glass bottles feature a simple but eye-catching monster-inspired logo in purple.
Orders for Loch Ness Water have already been received from a number of hotels and managers are currently in discussions with several high-end UK retailers.
The firm is currently producing the equivalent of 5,000 bottles of the premium water every week at its custom-built bottling plant in Avoch, 12 miles from Inverness.
However, output is expected to double in the near future due to already high levels of demand.
The new venture has come to fruition after three years of scientific research and development and a significant investment in specialist extraction and filtration equipment. Future plans may involve extending the range to include a sparkling version.
“The global phenomenon of Loch Ness and the Loch Ness monster is undeniable, and now people can have a chance to buy drinking water that contains a piece of the mystery that is Loch Ness,” said John Oag, managing director of Loch Ness Water .
“This business is a passion and has taken a significant monetary investment and a huge amount of time to get off the ground.
“We have carefully researched every aspect of our product, from investing in the best filtration systems on the market to choosing the correct size and style of bottles to sell.
“It’s the first time this has ever been done, and quite frankly I’m overwhelmed by the interest shown in the product to date.
“We have created a premium-bottled water that encapsulates part of the very jewel of the Highlands itself.”
The four-star Kingsmills Hotel and Glenmoriston Town House Hotel in Inverness have already signed up to serve Loch Ness Water. And Tomatin is one of the first whisky distilleries to stock the brand.
Louise Taylor, visitor centre manager at Tomatin Distillery, said: “Loch Ness Water will be available to buy from Wednesday in the visitor centre itself.
“We are delighted to stock Loch Ness Water and we are always very happy to support local businesses.”
Rosemary Gallagher, head of communications for the Scotch Whisky Association, added: “There are many different ways to complement a quality Scotch whisky, and one is to add water from Scotland.
“But others will prefer to have their Scotch straight, with ice, and even with coconut milk in Brazil or green tea in China. It’s up to individual tastes.”