What did you do before establishing Arbikie Distillery?
I worked with a number of drinks businesses, including Whyte & Mackay, Jim Beam Brands and Diageo. William Grants was also a client of our marketing business.
What made you decide to create your own distillery and spirits range?
My brothers and I decided to build the Arbikie Distillery after a night out when the light bulb came on as we realised that as Farmers we were growing the key ingredients we need to distil. We had the building to house our distillery and our marketing business had been creating and marketing drinks brands …so why not start our own drinks business. We adopted our rare, field-to-bottle approach to distilling with our first gin, Kirsty’s Gin from scratch using potatoes from our farm.
Can you tell us more about the distillery?
Arbikie Distillery is a field-to-bottle Distillery as we grow, distil, mature and bottle our family of luxury spirits on our farm at Lunan Bay on Scotland’s sunny east coast. We grow what we need to distil including wheat, potatoes, peas, juniper, coriander, lemongrass, chillies, strawberries and limes. The key botanicals of Kirsty’s Gin are Sea Kelp, Caroline Thistle and Blaeberries which reflect the sea, beach and farmland that reflects the profile of the location of the Arbikie Distillery up from the beach at Lunan Bay Beach and the North Sea.
What can gin lovers expect and experience if they visit the distillery for a tour/tasting?
We will soon open bookings for the Arbikie Distillery Experience where our booked guests can follow the full distilling journey from field-to-bottle of our family of gins and then taste our world-award winning Kirsty’s, AK’s and Nadar Gins.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
Setting up a Distillery from scratch is very hard, but it is a challenge my brothers and I were keen to take on. There have been many achievements, from Kirsty’s Gin winning World Gold in San Francisco and AK’s Gin winning the World Martini Championship, to launching the world’s first climate-positive gin - Nàdar Gin. We were also named the first 'Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year', a significant award when over 70% of UK Gin is distilled in Scotland, and more recently we won the ‘Excellence in Sustainability Award’.
How would you describe your gins in 3 words?
What's your favourite way to drink each of your gins?
What's next for Arbikie Distillery - any exciting plans?
Launching our Nadar Gin across the US with Whole Foods, launching the Arbikie across Asia and opening the Arbikie Distillery Experience.
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