Arbikie is launching its latest gin, AK's Gin, on January 24, in time for Burns Night. The new release is named after the father of Arbikie owners Iain, John and David, Alexander Kirkwood Stirling.
AK’S Gin is distilled using honey and wheat farmed at Arbikie along with black pepper, mace and cardamom. The Stirlings acknowledge the importance bees play in pollinating crops with recent figures suggesting they are worth £1.8 billion to the UK agriculture industry each year. With wild bees under threat Arbikie plan to install it’s own hives to produce the required honey as well as pollinating the surrounding land. Coupled with growing it’s own juniper, Arbikie places sustainability at the heart of its business.
Distillery manager Christian Perez comments: “We chose our Viscount variety of wheat because it gave us a beautiful, buttery character. Coupled with our fresh honey, AK’s Gin is incredibly smooth lending itself to a great gin and tonic and an amazing base spirit for cocktails.”
With Burns Night fast approaching Arbikie was keen to launch its tribute to their farming father when one of the world’s most famous farmer’s sons, Robert Burns is celebrated across the globe.
Director John Stirling adds: “We’re delighted that AK’s Gin can be enjoyed as part of the Burns Night celebrations. Our Dad is an inspiration to us and we wanted to create a gin that reflected his character and our family’s farming roots. He’s farmed all his life and is proud that we are distilling using our family’s own crops and is keen that we share that unique provenance with our Arbikie customers on-going.”
Arbikie places value on its field-to-bottle provenance as it grow its ingredients on the estate to ensure traceability. The Viscount variety of wheat used in AK’s comes from the Deils Knapp field, which you can see from the distillery. In 2014, it created the first Scottish Potato Vodka, then launched Kirsty’s Gin using locally-foraged botanicals followed by Chilli Vodka distilled using fresh chillies and most recently ‘Strawberry Vodka’ using home-grown strawberries.
21 January 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editorial assistant