Tequila firm in good spirits with new distribution deal

A spirits firm that ages tequila in whisky casks has signed a UK distribution deal with a major drinks manufacturer and distributor – as it eyes major global growth.

Michael Ballantyne is eyeing Asia, Australia and Europe. Picture: contributed.

Storywood Tequila was founded by Michael Ballantyne, and says it is Scotland’s only tequila maker. It is joining forces with Halewood International and whose products are present in more than 100 countries.

Ballantyne, who was born in Scotland and raised in Texas, in late 2017 launched what was claimed to be Scotland’s first tequila company, UWA Tequila. He said: “Storywood is the next chapter in my tequila spirits journey. It’s a chance to really shake things up in the industry by focusing on cask-aged tequilas born in Mexico but aged by Scotland.”

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The core range will feature one of the same expressions from UWA and two new ones – all aged in oak.

Ballantyne added: “My mission is to make tequila more accessible to a wider audience encouraging brown spirit drinkers to… be adventurous. We’ll kick off the launch in the UK and Ireland first with Asia, Australia, and continental Europe in our sights over the next three years.”

Blair Sterrick, agency brand manager at Halewood Wines and Spirits, which is billed as the largest firm of its kind in the UK by volume, said: “Tequila is a huge opportunity for the UK spirits market and with serves generally leaning towards shots, we see a strong opportunity with Storywood to shift that perception.”