Scotland; the land of lochs. Its been estimated there are over 31,000 lochs and lochans – large and small enclosed bodies of water in Scotland.
Largest of these by water volume is Loch Ness and only Loch Lomond, famous for its bonnie, bonnie, banks, is larger in land volume, 27 sq miles to Loch Ness’ 22. At over 700 feet deep, Loch Ness is also second deepest, and is famous not in song, but in legend – the legend of course of the Loch Ness Monster, lovingly known as Nessie.
Loch Ness was created in the last Ice Age, around 10,000 years ago. It contains more water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined. That water however, is very murky. Visibility in the loch is extremely low because of the high peat content in the surrounding soil. So it may come as something of a surprise that Loch Ness is now the source of a new premium bottled water – Loch Ness Water.
Launched (if you'll pardon the aquatic pun) in late 2015, Loch Ness Water has been years in the making. Not just the four years of testing the concept and developing a complex filtration system before winning approval to go to market, but in fact a lifetime has gone into this new product - the lifetime of LNW's CEO, John Oag. His family has been linked to the loch for generations, including an encounter with a creature that might have been Nessie, but you'll have to listen to the podcast to hear that story.
Loch Ness Water is a premium bottled water, you won't find it in plastic bottles on supermarket shelves. The water is offered in still or sparkling and in two sizes, a 100ml bottle targeted directly at the whisky drinking and tourists crowds, and a 350ml size destined for restaurants and high-end hotels and the like. (Note: Sparkling Loch Ness Water is available in the 350ml size only)
Like any true Scottish business, Loch Ness Water, working with bespoke tartan design company Prickly Thistle, have their own tartan, initially providing draw-string gift bags for their 100ml souvenir bottles, but soon to be featured in a growing line of wearable and other tartan products.
Not yet 18 months old, the future looks bright for Loch Ness Water. Already their water is used in a gin that has earned a nod of approval from her majesty The Queen, and plans are underway, working with neighbor Tomatin Distillery, for a new label whisky in the near future. Two flavored waters are due for release soon as well.
To be sure Loch Ness Water is the first and only drinkable bottled water to be sourced from the world famous loch. And just as the loch embodies the legend of 'Nessie", perhaps one day Loch Ness Water will come to embody the taste of the legend. Until then, as they say on their own website, "we'll leave you to ponder on whether Nessie has swan through your very own bottle of Loch Ness Water..."