The Stirling family has been farming at Arbikie on the east coast of Angus since the 1920s, when Bill Stirling moved to the area. Today the 2,000-acre estate is owned and operated by three brothers – John, Iain and David, who first conceived the idea of building a distillery on the property over a few drinks on a night out in New York. Their concept was to produce the finest malt whisky in Scotland using a farm-to-bottle process – they also own the fields and water source.
This is not the first time distilling has occurred at Arbikie. The family believe there to have been a distillery operational in the area as far back as 1720, although the earliest record of a site is a map from 1794.
In 2013 the Stirlings began the 18-month build of their distillery in an existing cattle shed, utilising the skills of the farm’s mechanics and blacksmiths to assemble the stills created by CARL in Germany.
Guests can now book a visit to Arbikie Distillery and see for themselves a sustainable, field-to-bottle distillery built around real craft, real ingredients and real people. They will learn how Arbikie grows a great range of crops, including potatoes, rye, peas and many more on the farm. How they distilled Nàdar, the world’s first climate positive gin and vodka, and how they brought back the first Scottish Rye in over 100 years. This is an authentic experience, guided by people that are passionate about Arbikie’s ethos.
Opening Times (from 7 April 2022)
Wednesday to Sunday – 10am to 5.30pm
Five years of research, have cumulated in the production of Nàdar Gin. Meaning nature in Gaelic, Nàdar harnesses the power of nature and science to create the world’s first climate positive gin. The bas spirit for this gin is distilled from peas. Needing no nitrogen fertiliser during the growing season, Nàdar Gin avoids more carbon dioxide emissions than it creates.
Scotland’s first potato vodka, made from potatoes that don’t meet supermarket standards and are classed as ‘wonky veg’. Tattie Bogle was Arbikie’s first product and is a mix of Maris Piper, King Edward and Cultra potatoes. Tattie Bogle vodka has a very creamy and earthy taste. Tattie Bogle is a gluten free product and suitable for veggies/ vegans.
On the East coast of Scotland we are prone to the rolling mist coming in off the sea – this mist is called haar. The distillery regularly suffers from this rolling mist. Haar vodka is made from zulu wheat which gives a naturally sweet taste, with caramel and toffee notes. Haar vodka is also suitable for veggies/vegans.
Kirsty’s Gin is named after Master Distiller, Kirsty Black who wanted to create a traditional Scottish gin, thus the botanicals are sea kelp, carline thistle and blaeberries (like a Scottish blueberry). All of the botanicals are grown on the farm or dived for (sea kelp) in Lunan Bay. Suitable for veggies/vegans.
AK’s Gin is named after Alexander Kirkwood Stirling who is the father of the three brothers who own Arbikie Distillery. AK’s Gin is completely different taste to Kirsty’s with more sweet and spicy notes. The botanicals include cardamom, black pepper and juniper. Suitable for veggies, unfortunately not suitable for vegans as honey is an animal by-product.
Arbikie’s Tattie Bogle is used to make their Chilli Vodka – infused with a large teabag of smoked-chipotle jalapenos and left for two months for the flavours to develop. A must in a Bloody Mary! Gluten free and suitable for veggies/vegans.
The Strawberry vodka is a very special product as it is seasonal, making it very exclusive and limited. Strawberries are hand- picked and added to Arbikie’s wheat vodka (Haar). Strawberry Vodka is 50% ABV and sold as 50cl bottles. Suitable for veggies/vegans.
Highland Rye Scotch Whisky
Scotland’s first rye whisky in over 100 years. Highland Rye is a blend of 52% arantes rye, 33% viscount wheat and 15% odyssey malted barley. The 3 year-old Highland Rye was released in December 2018 and is priced at £250.