A company in Aberdeenshire is merging the flavours of Mexico with traditional Scottish ageing techniques to create an exciting new range of spirits.

Scotland’s first craft tequila company, UWA Tequila, has officially launched the world’s first solely aged Speyside whisky cask tequila to the market.

The new business, which is based in Aberdeen, is the first tequila brand in the industry to put a solely Scottish twist on the traditional Mexican spirit.

Set up in September 2016, following a six-figure investment by founders Michael Ballantyne and Ross Davidson, the luxury tequila brand has officially released two of its core range of super premium spirits to the market.

The triple distilled 100 per cent Blue Weber spirit is aged and rested in premium pre-filled Speyside whisky casks which are exported from Scotland and transported to Tequila, Mexico.

This is the first time a tequila has been created by ageing it solely in Scotch whisky casks without combining different blends.

UWA’s core product line-up includes a platinum blanco – the spirit in its purest form, a seven-month cask aged reposado, and a 14-month cask aged añejo which the company will release in Spring next year.

Taking a step back from the oil and gas industry, the entrepreneurial pair decided to try and create a completely niche product for the drinks market, combining different cultures to create what they say is an exciting new spirits range.

Tequila

Michael Ballantyne, co-founder and CEO of UWA Tequila, said: “UWA Tequila is like nothing else on the drinks market at the moment.

“It’s been a long time developing everything for the brand, but we’ve put a lot of effort into producing the very best tequila with our own Scottish twist.

“Being native Scots and knowing our whiskies rather well, we simply took inspiration from the whisky industry and applied it to our tequila.

“Ageing in various casks gives each one a unique expression, and we wanted to be the first people to do something really different in the tequila industry.”

Mr Ballantyne explained that their aim is to provide artisanal tequilas aged in barrels from Single Malt casks, and casks that are used by some of the finest wineries in the Napa Valley.

He added: “The brand really is all about thinking outside the box and doing something different. Being very new to the drinks industry we’ve had to learn a lot quickly, but for us, educating people on the right ways to enjoy tequila whilst promoting responsible drinking is a key part of our business.”

Tequila

Co-founder Ross Davidson, stated that although they make the tequila in the same way as anyone else does, the fact they started out with “an industry first using Single Malt Scotch whisky casks” really makes their tequila stand out.

He added: “Traditionally companies use American bourbon casks for ageing tequila so we’ve taken a really innovative approach in doing something completely different to the norm.

“Our core range has three 40 per cent ABV products in it, but we’re already looking into ageing tequila in numerous other types of casks to create really high quality, super premium small batch tequilas.

“We’ll also have some extremely rare ones to follow, but we’re not revealing too much at the moment.”

The company works in collaboration with a leading Mexican tequila distiller in the town of Tequila to produce their spirits, while whisky giants Gordon & MacPhail, and independent company Bootstrap Liquor, will be UWA’s lead distributors across the UK.

The pair say their products will be available in numerous high-end shops, independent drinks stores, and various bars and restaurants, and is now available for pre-order ahead of the products hitting the UK market at the end of this month.

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