The Carnegie Whisky Cellars in Dornoch have won a prestigious national Drinks Retailing Award at a ceremony in The Dorchester Hotel in London.
They were named "Newcomer of the Year" – this is the first time in the awards’ history that this trophy has been won by a company north of the Lancaster!
And so it makes The Carnegie Whisky Cellars the first Scottish and whisky company to win this category.
Up against stiff competition from Jaded Palates, Ninkasi Sussex and Oak N4, The Carnegie Whisky Cellars were extremely proud to take the award.
The Drinks Retailing Awards are recognised as a stamp of excellence in the drinks industry.
General manager Michael Hanratty said: "The competition for this award was very high and we were honoured to be mentioned and shortlisted alongside our category finalists, and to win this award is beyond our wildest imagination.
"To open any business is a risk, but to open one where the town’s population is under 2000 is a huge one. I’m over the moon this risk has paid off. Our long term aim is to help develop a centre of excellence in the north Highlands for Scottish whisky and gin and these awards can only add value to that.
"I would like to thank all of our valued customers and staff for their tremendous support."
The Whisky Cellars was opened in June 2016. Michael Hanratty moved to Dornoch from East Lothian in January of that year to take up the position of general manager. He was working at a local distillery and has been in the industry for 11 years.
The business has also won Scottish Distillery of the Year and an industry award for developing a young workforce. Four are presently employed there.
They now go forward to the Scottish Rural Business Awards on March 22 in Edinburgh with a great sense of pride in being the first Scottish company to achieve this feat.