Today we celebrate World Earth Day with many others across the globe to support and embrace the protection of our environment. At Arbikie Distillery we’re continuously looking for ways to innovate and reinforce our sustainability focus. From day one, sustainability was a fundamental element in our objective strategy. So, today we will share with you our home-grown spirits and how they relate to World Earth Day- we hope you enjoy the read!
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Tattie Bogle vodka
Tattie Bogle vodka is Scotland’s first potato vodka, and named after the ‘Tattie Bogles’ (the ancient Scots name for potato scarecrows) that once stood sentry over our fields. Tattie Bogle was our first product released way back in 2014 with the vision to utilise our 'wonky veg' rejected from supermarkets. Around 25% of our harvested potatoes are classed as 'wonky veg' which is a huge amount of waste each year. So, the Stirling Brother's decided to put this 'wonky veg' to good use to create delectable vodka and gin.
Arbikie Distillery overlooks the dramatic Lunan Bay on the east coast of Scotland. Haar vodka is named after the rolling and freezing coastal fog that frequently envelops the distillery. The weather conditions have such great affects on Arbikie home-grown spirits and we embrace the fact that our spirits are terroir-based. No crop will be the same each year, which beautifully and subtly affects the taste of each spirit, each year.
Kirsty's Gin was created by and named after our master distiller, Kirsty Black. Kirsty chose each botanical to represent the land, sea and rock; carline thistle, kelp and blaeberries, that surround our distillery in Angus. Alongside these, juniper is very close to our hearts. Not only does it provide a home for birds, mammals, insects, fungi and lichen but it is also critical in the production of our gin. The Juniper plant is endangered, so Arbikie have pledged to plant one Juniper bush for every bottle of gin purchased from the website. Since 2015, we have planted on average 600 bushes a year, with this extra contribution everyone is helping us do our bit.
AK’s Gin is distilled using wheat farmed on Arbikie Estate. It is then flavoured with unique botanicals including fresh honey, black pepper and smoked cardamom. The botanicals grow in fields and our polytunnel are just a stones-throw away from our distillery. The honey originates from nearby bees that forage the local area and our beehives are managed by the team at East of Scotland Beekeeper Association. Bees are such a fundamental part to our environment and it's crucial that we protect and encourage them to pollinate our fields and local area.
Chilli Vodka captures the smokiness of the chipotle and the earthiness of our potato vodka to create a perfect blend of creaminess and spice. We proudly grow our own chillies in our 45m polytunnel which stands just steps away from Arbikie Distillery. Our polytunnel is fundamental part to our sustainability focus as it allows us to grow almost anything without sourcing botanicals or plants far from the distillery.
Our Strawberry Vodka is full of authentic flavour, after our wheat vodka is distilled it is left to macerate in strawberries (responsibly sourced from our cousin farm) until they go white, that's when it is ready and bursting with flavour and chemical free goodness. Similarly to Haar, Strawberry Vodka is unique, year in, year out. Changes in the weather mean that the fresh strawberries will have a subtle flavour difference and effect on the spirit. This is why each new distillation of Strawberry vodka is a vintage bottle.
Nàdar, Gaelic for ’Nature’. The name reflects how we harnessed the power of nature and science to create this world-first climate positive spirit. With a carbon footprint of -1.54kg CO2eq per bottle, Nàdar Gin is at the fore front of fighting climate change and biodiversity loss - the biggest challenges humankind has ever faced.
As a field to bottle farm and distillery, Arbikie are uniquely able to experiment and innovate by distilling unexpected crops as a base spirit and assessing their carbon impact. With the amazing help and research from James Hutton Institute and Abertay University, this is when the unassuming pea became hero.
Growing this crop means no nitrogen fertiliser is needed, avoiding the negative environmental impact of its production and use. Including fields of peas on our farms also benefits the ecosystem by supporting pollinating insects and improving soil quality - aiding subsequent crops. The residue left over from our distillation processes can also be used as a protein rich animal-feed, reducing the dependency on imported feed - it’s wider use could even solve Europe’s animal-feed eco-challenges!