An East Lothian cider maker and Perthshire distiller have joined forces to create Scotland’s first cider brandy.
Thistly Cross Cider teamed up with Strathearn Distillery to produce the spirit, which will be released in small single-cask batches of 200 bottles and officially launched on 21 June – the summer solstice.
Peter Stuart, head cider maker at Thistly Cross in Dunbar, said: “Cider brandy tends to be produced in parts of the world with strong cider-making heritage, such as the Calvados region in Normandy.
“Traditionally, Scotland hasn’t been thought of as a big producer of cider, but we’ve changed that perception in recent years. This, along with Scotland’s world-renowned spirits industry, spurred us on to try something new. We are both proud to be contributing to Scotland’s distilling heritage.”
Tony Reeman-Clark, founder of Methven-based Strathearn Distillery, added: “Distilling cider was something I’d always been interested in, so I applied for a cider licence when I built the whisky distillery, just in case.
“The plan started to come together when I passed Thistly Cross on a train. I hadn’t realised that there was a cider maker in Scotland so, from that point, everything clicked into place. A few months later, Peter and I bumped into each other at an event in London and that’s when our cider brandy journey began.”