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Award-winning Crafty Distillery to move into whisky making - with Lowland single malt Billy & Co

The award-winning distillery is known for its Hills and Harbour gin, and was named Scottish Gin Distillery of the year in the 2020 Scottish Gin Awards.

Published: December 20, 2020
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But now, Crafty Distillery who are based in south west Scotland, have plans to create a Lowland single malt whisky.

Whisky fans can become involved with this venture thanks to Crafty's new and accessible member's club.

Many new Scotch whisky distilleries offer founder clubs’ which see members spending around £400-500 on first bottlings which they will receive in 3-10 years time.

Crafty Distillery, on the other hand, have an innovative new approach that offers whisky fans the chance to play a meaningful role in the actual development of the whisky.

You can join the club today and begin nosing, tasting and sampling a host of unique, aged new make spirit samples from as early as spring 2021.

The membership, which is limited to 695 and costs £189, includes, 17 x 5cl aged new make spirit samples, which are sent out in six separate boxes, over the course of many months.

You also receive a beautifully printed membership confirmation, and importantly members get the first chance to purchase first bottling and cask releases.

An exciting aspect of the club is that members will have regular interaction with the team at Crafty, sharing their views and as each round is complete the feedback goes forward to dialling in the next round until they get to the final sample.

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Sample 17 will be a product of hundreds of hours of research, analysis, distilling, nosing and tasting done by hundreds of people.

Craig Rankin, master distiller and distillery manager explained their approach, saying: “Prior to maturation, we all know that the unique tastes and aromas found in Single Malt Scotch Whisky originate from the only three permitted ingredients; barley, yeast and water.

"Our goal is to better understand the science and performance of varieties of barley, explore unique yeasts, the flavours they produce and the effects of all the processes and their influences.

"What better way to do this than explore a range of unique new make spirit samples for our founders to feedback on.”

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Crafty Distillery will also work with Dublin University to analyse samples and create focus groups.

The friendly new whisky brand is called Billy&Co. Named in tribute to the founder’s late father Billy, who not only built their distillery, but was also a big fan of Single Malt Scotch Whisky and its ability to bring people together.

The tag line is ‘Whisky for Sharing’ which gives an insight into the passion Crafty has for inviting us all along on their new journey.

“Like my father, we strongly believe that good Single Malt Scotch Whisky helps bring people together. So for us, it's crucial that we can also bring whisky fans along on that journey of discovery," said Graham Taylor, MD and founder of Crafty Distillery.

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“We have a reputation for innovation and for inviting our customers into our process, as this gives us valuable insight to help carve out world-class spirits made with the people, for the people.

"Our Founders Club members will help us uncover a formula for Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky production that not only delivers on the traditions of what Scotch Whisky deserves to be, but also takes it to another level of regionality, quality and taste.”

To join Billy & Co Founders Club and find out more, visit the 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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