The managing director of Isle of Barra Distillers, Michael Morrison, tells us about his day on the island

Michael Morrison, the managing director of Isle of Barra Distillers, tells Gaby Soutar about his day making gin on the island.


Every morning starts the same. It's not the alarm that goes off, but the kids that wake us up, as both Micheal, three, and Ada, one, get up most mornings around this time.

It's downstairs we go, and straight into the morning bottle – milk for them, of course. After a little time to wake up while watching either Spiderman or Masha and the Bear, there’s a quick wrestle on the rug with Micheal and a cuddle from Ada.

Michael MorrisonMichael Morrison
Michael Morrison


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Work begins, starting with the emails, to catch up from what was missed during the night and get back to what I meant to reply to from the previous evening. This is followed by the first cappuccino of the day and certainly not the last.


Our gin, also called Ada, is fired up and our distillery comes alive. Now another coffee!


The shop opens and it’s time to get the previous day's mail orders ready for the daily post collection at midday.

It's all hands on deck for this as we like to make sure that our shipments leave only a small carbon footprint when taking the extensive journey from us to the customer. We do this by utilising existing public transport links to send our gin to the mainland and beyond. So it is vital we make sure we get our orders out every day and on time.


Winter season means that our island shop closes early.

At the same time, Ada, our gin still, is coming to the end of her distillation run for the day. It’s time to grab another coffee before our daily visit from the kids, which happens after Micheal finishes up from his day at nursery.

We have a quick chat about whatever puddles he was jumping in and do a few high fives, then it’s a quick tidy up before I head upstairs to start the round of daily Zoom meetings.

This is the only time I can do this as our shop is open from 10am to 3pm. It’s almost time for another coffee.


Depending on how busy my day is, I can head home about now. Fingers crossed I make it home for bath time with the kids, as it’s the only part of the day when I can switch off from work.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The only thing I need to think about now is how much fun we can have. I usually throw some cold water over Micheal before he quickly fires some back. Then it’s time to get dressed, downstairs for a wee snack and to watch some Igglepiggle from In The Nigh Garden, and before you know it's time for their bed.


The kids are down and it's our dinner time. By now, I’d probably eat anything and everything before it's back onto those emails for an hour or so.

I catch up on some social media, the emails are checked and, with a bit of luck, I grab an hour of Netflix before it’s bedtime and the whole day starts again. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

Related topics:



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.