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Scottish distillery Arbikie introduces 1794 Highland Rye to range of award-winning spirits

Arbikie has launched a 2020 release of its award-winning Highland Rye.

Published: December 4, 2020
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Arbikie 1794 Highland Rye celebrates the distillery’s heritage, which dates back two hundred years on the east coast of Scotland.

Following the successful launch of limited editions of Highland Rye in 2018 and 2019, the distillery is now launching its 1794 Highland Rye - a signature five-year-old rye that combines the flavours of rye with charred American oak.

Unlike the previous limited-editions, 1794 was not finished in a further cask, but matured in lively, virgin oak casks.

The team say that these create 'a whisky with a nose of fresh cloves, nutmeg, Christmas cake spices, creamy butterscotch and a taste of cinnamon and a spicy burst tempered by sweet muscovado sugar and fresh honey.'

As with any whisky, barrel type has a major influence on taste, and the new charred American oak imparts a rich colour and flavour to complement the selection of rye, wheat and malted barley grains.

When Arbikie launched their first, limited-edition Highland Rye in 2018, it was the first rye Scotch whisky in over 100 years.

Other distilleries, such as Bruichladdich and InchDairnie are expected to launch their rye whiskies soon resulting, showing the revival of rye whisky in Scotland.

Having won ‘Newcomer Whisky Distillery of the Year’ in 2019, Arbikie Distillery recently won the ‘Excellence in Sustainability’ award at the Scottish Whisky Awards, beating off competition from Diageo and Tomatin Distillery.

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This award meant a lot the Stirling brothers, who launched the family distillery business in 2014 with the aims of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable distilleries, and to distil one of the world’s best whiskies.

Arbikie export director, Iain Stirling commented: “We are delighted with the progress we have made with our Highland Rye Whisky.

"In a few years, from our launch limited-edition to expanding into major whisky markets, such as Canada and the US, to now launching our signature 1794 Edition, it’s a very exciting time at Arbikie as we look for further expansion in the Middle East and Asia.”

Highland Rye recently agreed a new distribution deal in Canada with Southern Glazer and is now stocked in British Columbia at BC Liquor Stores, the prestigious state drinks monopoly.

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The Stirling family has been farming for over 400 years and brothers, Iain, John, Sandy and David carry on the Stirling tradition of being custodians of their lands by reviving their farm’s distant history of field-to-bottle distillation in 1794.

Arbikie has capitalised on the rising demand for terroir, provenance-focused luxury spirits by using both the existing crops on their farm and by growing new crops to create unrivalled traceability in their products.

Arbikie's ethos

Arbikie is a sustainable, field-to-bottle distiller, as they grow, distil, mature and bottle their family of spirits at the Arbikie Farm Distillery.

They distil the world’s only climate-positive gin and vodka, Nadar which remove 1.5kg of carbon for each bottle. They have won numerous world awards for their family of spirits and their AK’s Gin was World Martini Champion in 2018.

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The Arbikie Highland Rye 1794 is priced at £130 and available to buy here.

To find out more about Arbikie, visit their website.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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