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Since winning Newcomer of the Year last month at the Scottish Whisky Awards with Arbikie Highland Rye we caught up with the award sponsor, Bruce Stevenson. Arbikie friend and supporter, Graeme Dempster commented on our field-to-bottle story and recent success. 


By Graeme Dempster Whisky and Distillery Account Executive.

Arbikie is a family-owned working farm perched on the east coast of Angus. Here,
the crop is king. They painstakingly plant, tend and harvest the fields that make up

This is an estate profoundly shaped by its environment: the red sandstone-tinted soil,
the powerful sea and the turbulent weather give Arbikie a character found nowhere
else. And it is here, situated where land meets sea, that their distillery sits.
Created from an ancient barn, it’s a place with all the ingredients required to produce
authentic spirits of the highest quality. Quality which was recognised at the recent
Scottish Whisky Awards.

Innovative Approach

The Stirling family has been farming at Arbikie for four generations and brothers
John, Iain and David are the visionaries and driving force behind the distillery that
grows, distils, matures and bottles their world award-winning range of field to bottle
spirits. The Arbroath-based distiller has ramped up its international distributions with
its range of spirits now available across Europe and has its sights set on Asia and
the USA.

As a result of expansion and having developed a close working relationship with
myself over the years, Arbikie engaged Bruce Stevenson to carry out a strategic
review of their company and farm insurance to ensure that it remains aligned with
business strategy.

A fresh approach was adopted involving the complex task of identifying risks and
understanding its impact on the business. Following the review process, Bruce
Stevenson tailored a bespoke programme based on a comprehensive understanding
of the whisky sector which delivered enhanced and flexible covers at a reduced cost.
Following the appointment as their insurance broker, Bruce Stevenson has also
delivered additional risk management support and provide access to an online risk
management system to manage their various Health and Safety obligations.

Newcomer of the Year Award

At the recent inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards, Arbikie collected the award for the
Newcomer of the Year and were warmly applauded by the judges for their field to
bottle ethos and innovative method. The awards also saw them take the silver medal
for Arbikie Highland Rye in the single grain category.

Delighted with the fine result of many years of hard work, Arbikie Director, Iain
Stirling commented: “As both Farmers and Distillers, our family and team are
absolutely delighted to be recognised at the highest level at the prestigious Scottish
Whisky Awards. Whatever we’ve produced over the years, from barley to gin, our
values of sustainability, innovation and quality have been the foundation. The awards
are a tribute to the commitment and hard work of everyone involved. Arbikie Distillery
and our Highland Rye Whisky embody everything our family has been doing since
we started farming over 400 years ago.”

It’s a relationship that works well for both parties as it is built on trust and mutual
understanding. So let’s raise a glass of something that’s proudly carrying the Arbikie
name, to many more.

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