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Entrepreneurial duo launch Scottish brand Harpalion Spirits

A Scots duo is preparing to launch a new rum portfolio into the burgeoning Scottish rum scene.

Harpalion Spirits has this week unveiled its first release - a premium spirit comprising five aged rums, finished in Speyside - which will be on sale in on-trade, off-trade and online channels from March. 

The new company is backed financially by its chairman Richard Dixon, who sold his successful Vets Now chain in 2018, and CEO Claire Kinloch, who is also CEO of strategy consultancy Genoa Black.

It came about after Richard approached Genoa Black to carry out a feasability study on the worldwide spirits industry. Claire explained: "We quickly uncovered a strong and unmet demand for a high-quality 'sipping' rum. So we decided to establish our own company, Harpalion Spirits, to create the premium spirits we understand consumers desire."  

Richard added: "The spirits sector is fascinating - it constantly needs to reflect the changing nature of consumer behaviour and is always innovating. Never more so than in the current climate where, despite a real shift in consumer behaviour and the obvious current challenges in the sector, tthere are real opportunities to think differently."

Their first release contains single source rums from the Caribbean, Guyana, Guatemala, Trinidad and Panama. It is finished in ex-Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, bottled at 43% ABV, and is uncoloured and non-chill filtered.

Following an initial launch in the UK this spring, the Harpalion Spirits team is forecasting a move into international markets from year two.

Claire said: "This is an exciting opportunity to create and build an authentic and engaging spirits business and brand that is relevant in the current social climate, and to bring positive energy to every stakeholder and community we will be working with."

11 January 2021 - Bethany Whymark