Arbikie to host first ever tour of their distillery and farm - here's how to join

The Angus farm and distillery is set to open its doors for the first time for a virtual tour, which can be enjoyed from home.

Published 29th May 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

For the first time, Arbikie distillery will be virtually open to visitors, as co-owner John Stirling hosts a tour of the farm, what's grown there and the ethos behind it.

John will also take virtual visitors on a tour of the distillery and discuss the processes behind the spirits including their gins and Highland rye whisky.

A visitor centre is being built but until then, and given the current circumstances, the team have decided to showcase their farm and distillery and talk through the processes of making their spirits via their social channels.

Arbikie is home to a range of gins, including Kirsty's gin, vodkas and Scotland's first rye whisky in over 100 years. The distillery also recently launched an innovative climate positive gin - Nadar gin.

Nadar gin is a revolutionary spirit for the drinks industry, with a carbon footprint of -1.54 kg CO 2 e per 700ml bottle, it is at the forefront of the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss – the biggest challenges humankind has ever faced.

Nàdar is the result of five years of research, through Master Distiller, Kirsty Black’s, PhD studentship between Abertay University and The James Hutton Institute.

Kirsty’s Gin sticks to a traditional juniper base, with three traditional Scottish botanics, Kelp, Carline Thistle and Blaeberrys (all of which grow wild in the Angus area).

Unlike the majority of gin, which is made from a neutral base spirit, Kirsty’s Gin is distilled from Arbikie’s potato vodka giving the gin an extra smooth and distinctive taste. Also, Arbikie controls the whole process from farm to bottle and does not buy neutral spirit for its botanics to be added to.

The first release of the Highland rye whisky was in 2018.

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Arbikie’s Highland Rye Single Grain Scotch Whisky was laid down in 2015 and uses a combination of Arantes Rye, Odyssey Malted Barley and Viscount Wheat.

Fully compliant with SWA rules, it is categorised as a single grain instead of a single malt due to the fact it is made using rye (52 per cent), wheat (33 per cent) and malted barley (15 per cent) instead of malted barley on its own.

It was announced on World Whisky Day this year that there would be a second release of the whisky, which is aged four years.

The distillery has a 'field to bottle' approach, which means that the produce from the farm is used to make the base spirits for the spirits, which are all created and aged on site.

How to join the tour

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The virtual tour will take place on Saturday 30 May at 2pm on the Arbikie social channels.

To find out more about the farm and distillery plus the spirits they make, please visit their website.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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