Though most vodkas are distilled from grain, Potatoes have been popular for some time as a base spirit. Gin is an obvious bridge to keep money rolling in until this point for many reasons: the spirit is decidedly in vogue, there’s a global call for Scottish gin at this point in time and the farm to glass approach is still fairly rare for gins made in the UK, thus giving Arbikie the chance to create a point of difference and capitalise on it. Close your eyes, breathe deep and you’ll be transported to the deep countryside. One of the distilleries that’ll be around for decades – perhaps even longer, if it’s looked after. This is a truly exceptional vodka with an ultra-smooth and velvety taste. Juniper laps at the tongue, receding in and out of dominance like a tide, whilst coriander brings a heat that blossoms across the tongue, filling the mouth with heat. It’s hard not to respect the approach taken here; everything is done in house, and done with a long-term view. Receive 10% off on Gin Kiosk when you sign up too! For now – they’re sticking to that, but Kirsty is the first to say the distillery is open to experimentation. Check your inbox. Kirsty’s Gin is the proudest product from the stable so far and take our word for it, it’ll appeal to many gin fans on end flavour alone. Three Varieties of Potato, Field name: Or rather, as is the case of Arbikie co-founders Iain, John, and David Stirling, the boys. Kirsty’s Gin has an incredibly transporting smell. Crop: It’s helpful to think about the base spirit as a vodka-like spirit that the distiller used as a starting point— a blank canvas upon which the gin was designed.But choice of base alone doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to taste it. In October they’re harvested, stored and sorted. This little nugget was the push they needed, and helped drive the philosophy upon which all Arbikie products would be devised. All three Stirling brothers grew up on the Arbikie farm in Scotland, where their family has been farming for four generations. We are always exploring new potential raw materials and new botanicals, so if we find a combination that we think works then we may well release it.”. “I originally graduated from university with a degree in plant science and, despite never having had a job in it directly, my fascination with being able to walk along a path, munch on seemingly unassuming plants and experience a flavour explosion lived on,” Kirsty explains. Gin is an obvious bridge to keep money rolling in until this point for many reasons: the spirit is decidedly in vogue, there’s a global call for Scottish gin at this point in time and the farm to glass approach is still fairly rare for gins made in the UK, thus giving Arbikie the chance to create a point of difference and capitalise on it. Farm to glass is a huge challenge, especially when potatoes are involved. With luck, the juniper will eventually be harvested locally too. The return to the farm happened in around 2013, when the brothers – well versed in the drinks business by now – started looking into opening a distillery at Arbikie. We use Maris Piper, King Edward and Cultra potatoes, all grown on our family farm. The heart’s cut is extracted, then left to rest and “marry” for a few weeks. ON THE NOSE: Creamy, black pepper, hints of spice. It’s a savoury gin, though far from herbal; rather the botanicals bloom out like a thought map, rotating around the juniper heart and taking it in turns to assert themselves. The lasting taste is of fruit and milk, with a hint of juniper pine. “I had met the Stirling family and learnt about their plans to build a distillery whilst at Heriot-Watt, doing my Masters project with them, so when they offered me the job of setting up the distillery there was really on one answer – YES!”. Throwing it back to RTLB cocktail competition with this fine group of bartenders! latest report on Consumer Taste Preferences in Gin. Field name: “Getting the best possible product starts in the field,” Kirsty explains. The branding for Kirsty’s Gin (and the Arbikie range in general) is sturdy and utilitarian. When launching the distillery we returned to that era with our field to bottle ethos.”. Some describe it as “musty,” “dank,” and “unctuous.” This is because potatoes have a great deal of impurities that can come out during the distillation process.But when properly done, Potato base spirit has a rich, thick, almost fatty texture that is unlike what you can get from any other grain. About Jackford Gin. Whilst at Heriot-Watt Kirsty began researching Scottish gin botanicals, so by the time she headed to Arbikie, she had a library of flavour references to work with. Tattie Bogle Vodka is Scotland’s first potato vodka, and named after the "Tattie Bogles" (the ancient Scots name for potato scarecrows) that once stood sentry on our fields. It’s no surprise to us to hear that Kirsty’s Gin has been scooping up awards, nor is it a surprise that the distillery is making waves abroad. Building a distillery on the farm will only diversify it, thus creating a long, rich heritage for future Stirlings to build upon. Thank you for subscribing. Whilst researching, they discovered that there had been a distillery in operation at the farm up until 1794. “If you get things right from the beginning it will continue through to the harvested product and on into the bottle.”. In honour of Sustainability Week we're offering a massive 20% SAVING on all our sustainable spirits until International Scottish Gin Day. Creamy, but with a hint of something raw and wild, the potato vodka imparts its own impression on the gin, acting almost as though it is another botanical. We use Maris Piper, King Edward and Cultra potatoes, all grown on our family farm. It's spooky season! Distiller Kirsty Black came out top of the list. The decision to make use of local botanicals was cemented when she made it to the farm. Potato can have a very distinctive and very divisive flavor. The potatoes are picked at a time to ensure their creamy character stays alive all the way to the bottle, producing a vodka of unrivalled character with a silky, creamy finish. ACCOLADES:UK Vodka of the Year - World Drink Awards. We discussed the global demand for Scottish products with Iain, who cited Arbikie’s from scratch method as part of its appeal: “Consumers love our field to bottle ethos, highlighting our provenance as one of the key unique selling points of our products. From here, the majority of the potatoes go off to be sold, but a portion are siphoned off to the washer, where they’re scrubbed clean before they begin their ascension to potato vodka status. Some describe it as “musty,” “dank,” and “unctuous.” This is because potatoes have a great deal of impurities that can come out during the distillation process.But when properly done, Potato base spirit has a rich, thick, almost fatty texture that is unlike what you can get from any other grain. “We have chosen our base spirit for ours gins so far by using which complements our selected botanicals best. Heriot-Watt University played a big role in getting the project off the ground. It’s not beautiful by any means, but that’s part of what Arbikie is about. Iain, as a graduate of the school’s MBA in Marketing, had great faith in its knowledge of the industry, so leaned on it heavily during the business development stage. Arbikie has three gins across the range – Kirsty’s Gin, AK and Abroath (the latter two are made on a wheat base). Arbikie was opened with whisky in mind, but the team are taking a particularly slow approach to this, and don’t plant to release their first casks until 2029. #arbikie #fieldtobottle #distillery #homegrown #halloween #spookyseason #pumpki... GIVE PEAS A CHANCE Check your inbox and confirm the link to complete the process. Farming has been in the Stirling family for generations and Arbikie products are the result of hard work and expertise. There’s kelp (“it brings coastal, salty notes to our gin, capturing the sea which we sit and look out onto everyday across Lunan Bay”), Carline thistle root and blaeberries (bilberries, for those of us that live south of the border).
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