Beinn An Tuirc is the highest hill in the district of Kintyre and our distillery’s namesake. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering where our logo of the boar came from, then you may be interested to know that the boar’s links go way back to our Benny-the-boar’s great ancestors, who once roamed amongst the ancient forests on Beinn An Tuirc. As was noted in the Argyll OS book of names way back between 1868 and 1878, “The signification of the above name [Beinn An Tuirc] is the mountain of the wild boar. The tradition is that a very large boar haunted this mountain, and was very dangerous to persons going that way”
Notes on Beinn An Tuirc from the Argyll OS Book of Names
Alongside this ancient belief of the great boar, there is an old Kintyre legend of battle between man and beast. As the story goes, there lived on the hill a wild boar of enormous size and strength. The savage boar was feared by most, as he hunted the mountain for prey killing every man and beast in his path. One day, the great hero Fingal journeyed to Kintyre with his brave men. Amongst them, was a mighty hunter, Diarmid. Fingal, jealous of Diarmid’s might and the fact that he had previously run off with Fingal’s wife, sent him off to slay the boar in the hope that he would never return. Diarmid happily accepted the task, and set off after the beast. When Diarmid found the beast, he leapt upon him and speared him in the chest but the spear broke off short. In its anger the beast retaliated, yet when Diarmid stepped aside the boar ran at a nearby tree and in its blind fury got its tusk stuck! Diarmid took this opportunity to slay the beast with his sword. The slain boar was then dragged to the fire at the foot of the mountain. Fingal was not best pleased to realise that Diarmid had survived. He poisoned the boar’s bristles and asked Diarmid to measure the boar by walking along it with bare feet. He died from the poisoned bristles and is said to have been buried close to the existing trig point in a low circle of stones still seen today.
So there you have it, the legend of the great wild boar that came to inspire our humble logo and with any luck his tenacious spirit will live on in Kintyre Gin!