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Arbikie launches with Scottish potato vodka

The Arbikie Distillery is Scotland’s newest farm-to-bottle operation handcrafting white and brown spirits and the first to be established in centuries. Arbikie Vodka is the initial spirit to be produced, with whisky and gin to follow early in 2015.

The single estate distillery overlooking Lunan Bay on the Angus coast, grows the raw ingredients, distils and bottles its vodka, gin and whisky on site, giving each spirit a premium, nurtured quality.

As part of a working family farm, Arbikie Distillery revives the traditions of an industry that took place on the site back in the 18th century. Using copper pot stills it brings the time-honoured art of Scotch whisky distilling to the production of all spirits. The effect is to make Arbikie’s vodka and gin of comparable quality and depth to Scotch whisky.

The distillery is capable of producing 560 litres of pure alcohol daily.

Slightly sweet, creamy and smooth, Arbikie Vodka is created using Scottish water and a blend of Maris Piper, King Edward and Cultra potatoes.

Aimed at the discerning vodka drinker, Arbikie Vodka is made to enjoy simply with ice, or as the base for a Martini. It is distributed by Gordon and MacPhail at an RRP of £42 per bottle.

Owned by the Stirling family, which has been farming there for four generations, Arbikie Distillery is part of the Arbikie Highland Estate. Iain Stirling, Arbikie commercial director, says:

 “Scotland is a small country but with a world class drinks industry. We saw a real opportunity to utilise Scotland’s acclaimed natural assets from its clear waters, rich crops and temperamental climate, alongside its renowned whisky heritage, to produce a new generation of exceptional quality spirits.

“As a family business, it is wonderful to have the freedom to be innovative. We believe that drinking should be no different than the way we eat, goodness from the ground up, from the farm to bottle. We have embraced the French concept of ‘terroir’, which describes how the natural elements of a place determine the characteristics of wine, to create exceptional spirits.

“Arbikie Vodka has a distinctive taste with the quality and passion of a whisky. We believe it will be a popular choice for discerning drinkers who are looking for exceptional quality and integrity of product.” 

The Stirling brothers bring together a formidable skill-set of expertise in the drinks industry, commerce and finance.  Recognising the ability of the 2000-acre family farm and the natural resources of Scotland to provide top quality raw ingredients, the brothers decided to establish a unique farm-to-bottle distillery.

Joining John Stirling, finance and operations director, Iain Stirling commercial director and David Stirling, brand director is Audrey Ramsay as Managing director.  Within the management team of four, there is over 50 years of drinks manufacturing experience, with Audrey and Iain having held senior positions with Diageo, Whyte & Mackay and Jim Bean. David is a founding partner of two acclaimed New York restaurants and John, a chartered accountant, leads finance and procurement.

Arbikie’s master distiller, Kirsty Black, while only thirty-three years old, has already achieved a stellar career path.  She achieved her masters degree in brewing and distilling with distinction and was also recognised as “best in class” by the Worshipful Company of Brewers.  Kirsty has a breadth of industry experience, having worked at the Caledonian Brewery producing Deuchars, as well as in a leading micro-brewery and helping to create Pickerings Gin. 

Pictured below: Iain, John and David Stirling

14 November 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor