Despite the heavy August rain, King Charles was undeterred and made the most of his first public outing during his summer break in Scotland. The 74-year-old monarch was seen wearing a kilt as he officially opened the 8 Doors Distillery in John O'Groats, Caithness. The distillery owners, Kerry and Derek Campbell, warmly welcomed him and gave him a tour of the facility. During the visit, King Charles paused at the warehouse, where he was invited to fill an American Oak, Pedro Ximinez Hogshead cask and later sampled the new make spirit. Kerry Campbell, co-founder of the distillery, expressed their honor in hosting the King and shared that they enjoyed sharing their unique story with him and giving him the chance to experience filling a cask in their warehouse. The King had the opportunity to meet various members of their team, from the distillation staff to the retail and distillery lounge employees, all of whom are deeply passionate about both the whisky industry and the local area.
8 Doors Distillery, known for its production of ‘Whisky. From the edge.', draws significant inspiration from the striking and distinctive landscape of the rugged coastal highland area where it is situated. This Scotch whisky is notably the first to be crafted in John O’Groats since 1837.
The distillery and visitor centre are thoughtfully designed to highlight the two copper stills and the traditional process of whisky-making, all while offering breathtaking views of the Pentland Firth.
After the visit, all the stainless-steel vessels previously employed at various production sites have been repurposed by the distillery. Additionally, the waste generated during the distillation process is collected and converted into bio-gas, which is reused at a nearby anaerobic digestion plant.
Following his arrival, His Majesty observed market stalls and had interactions with local food producers.
The King arrived in Scotland last Saturday and is presumed to be staying at the Castle of Mey, formerly owned by the late Queen Mother until she transferred ownership to a charitable trust in 1996.
Later this month, Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, will be holding their inaugural summer getaway at Balmoral, where they plan to host various members of their families. The couple usually prefer to stay at their residence close to the castle, known as Birkhall. It is anticipated that the King and Queen will be accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Wales along with their three children, as well as Camilla's own children and grandchildren during their time at Balmoral.