Arbikie celebrates European export deals

Family-run spirits producer Arbikie has celebrated its fourth birthday by inking agreements that will see its brands exported to new countries in Europe.

Arbikie said its distribution deals with Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Germany show it is still possible to secure new export deals despite Brexit. Picture: Arbikie
Arbikie said its distribution deals with Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Germany show it is still possible to secure new export deals despite Brexit. Picture: Arbikie

The Angus-based “field-to-bottle” distiller has agreed distribution deals on a rolling basis in Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Germany, which represent the firm’s “first major foray” into the European market.

Arbikie said the news highlights the export opportunities still available to Scottish firms despite the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The distiller, which launched in 2014 with Scotland’s first potato vodka, produces vodka, gin, rye and whisky on its 2,000-acre estate based near Inverkeilor, north of Arbroath.

The business announced it is looking to build on the success of its most recent international agreements by continuing to seek new export distribution opportunities for its brands of spirits, with particular focus on the so-called “cocktail cities” in the US and Asia.

The term refers to areas renowned for their cocktails, usually large metropolitan locations such as New York City.

As part of this sales drive, Arbikie will be represented at upcoming trade shows in Denmark and Belgium and will also participate in a trade mission to Spain in November with the Scottish Government.

Arbikie director, Iain Stirling, said: “We are delighted to have agreed these new export distribution deals as we celebrate our fourth birthday.

“Our aim has always been to disrupt the spirits market by stressing the traceability of our base ingredients and how this impacts on flavour.

“Our global consumers are very much buying into the opportunity to trace the ingredients in their spirits.”

Arbikie is building a reputation for “field to bottle” spirits production, as all the key ingredients for its drinks are grown on its own Highland estate, where distilling, maturing and bottling is also carried out. This includes potato, barley, wheat and rape seed crops, as well as producing its own juniper, chillies and gin botanicals.

Stirling added: “The growing desire for provenance and traceability of ingredients is very now and our new deals reflect this trend.”

According to the firm, the Stirling family have been farming since 1660 and are “building on their expertise in growing by distilling spirits that are made from, and reflect, the range of crops grown on their family farms”.

The Arbikie distillers have also been researching and developing their rye spirits by experimenting with various varieties and production techniques.

In December, the company announced that it had ­bottled a batch of its experimental pot distilled Scottish rye, thought to be the first produced in the country for more than a century.

The distiller has announced that its Scottish Highland rye whisky is now being prepared for launch.

Arbikie has been awarded several accolades, including being named Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year at the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards in September last year.

It is also the current World’s Best Martini Champion with its brand AK’s Gin, following a ceremony in January.