Arbikie’s International Distribution for Rye WhiskyNeil Hardie
Highland Rye Whisky secures landmark deal in North America Highland Rye whisky, the world’s only Rye Scotch Whisky has won a major deal with North America’s largest drinks distributor which will increase sales by over 20%.
Arbikie Distillery at Lunan Bay in Angus, which distils Highland Rye, has been expanding the whisky element of its family of sustainable, field-to-bottle spirits and the new deal adds to the distribution partnerships it already has around the world, serving over 15 countries. The new deal in Canada has been agreed with Southern Glazer and Highland Rye is now stocked in British Columbia at BC Liquor Stores, the prestigious state drinks monopoly.
Following the successful launch of limited editions of Highland Rye in 2018 and 2019, the distillery is now launching its 1794 Highland Rye, its signature rye whisky which is a five-year-old rye that combines the unique use of rye with charred American oak. Unlike the previous limited-editions, 1794 was not finished in a further cask, but was matured in lively, virgin oak casks creating 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 all 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 saw the revival of rye whisky in Scotland, the first rye scotch for nearly two hundred years. Other distilleries, such as Bruichladdich and InchDairnie are expected to launch their rye whiskies soon resulting in the emergence a new rye whisky category.
Having won ‘Newcomer Whisky Distillery of the Year’ in 2019, Arbikie Distillery recently won the coveted ‘Excellence in Sustainability’ at the Scottish Whisky Awards against fantastic competition including Diageo and Tomatin Distillery. This was a very significant award for 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.”
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.