The Angus-based “field-to-bottle” distiller has agreed a substantial distribution deal with a leading US Importer, the firm’s “first major foray” into the US market.
The distiller, which launched in 2014 with Scotland’s first potato vodka, produces vodka, gin, rye whisky and barley whisky on its 2,000-acre estate based near Inverkeilor, north of Arbroath.
The family announced it is looking to build on the success of its most recent international agreements by continuing to seek new export distribution opportunities for its brands of spirits, with particular focus on the so-called “cocktail cities” in the US and Asia. The term refers to areas renowned for their cocktails, usually large metropolitan locations such as New York City and Shanghai.
Arbikie now exports to 15 countries around the world and the new deal highlights the export opportunities still available to Scottish firms despite the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit.
Arbikie USA Director, David Stirling, who is based in the US said: “We are delighted to have agreed this landmark export distribution deal as we celebrate Thanksgiving and our fifth birthday. Our aim has always been to disrupt the spirits market by stressing the traceability of our base ingredients and how this impacts on flavour.
Our philosophy has always been about sustainability, innovation and quality, and our global consumers are very much buying into the opportunity to trace the ingredients in their spirits. It’s extremely important to us that consumers know where the produce comes from, and we can literally show them the field the ingredients are grown in.
Arbikie is building a reputation for “field to bottle” spirits production, as all the key ingredients for its drinks are grown on its own Highland estate, where distilling, maturing and bottling is also carried out. Crops include potato, barley, wheat and rye, as well as producing its own juniper, chillies and gin botanicals.
Stirling added: “The growing desire for provenance and traceability of ingredients is very now and this new deal reflects this trend. Once we open our Visitor Experience in 2020, we can literally show you the field the ingredients are grown in, another reason to visit an area that is considered by many to be the birthplace of Scotland”
The Stirling family have been farming since 1660 and are building on their expertise in growing by distilling spirits that are made from, and reflect, the range of crops grown on their family farms.
The last few years have seen the Arbikie distillers researching and developing their rye whisky by experimenting with various varieties and production techniques, culminating in the launch of their Highland Rye Whisky in December 2018. This was the first produced in the country for more than a century and a limited-edition 2019 vintage will be released before the end of the year.
Arbikie has been awarded several accolades, including being recently named Newcomer Whisky Distillery of the Year and was the first Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year. They also won the World’s Best Martini Championship with its brand AK’s Gin in partnership with the exclusive Gibson cocktail bar.