Arbikie introduces Scotland's first Rye Whisky in 100 years

Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery has launched Scotland’s first Rye Whisky in over 100 years, using rye grown on its highland estate.

Arbikie’s Highland Rye Single Grain Scotch Whisky was laid down in 2015 and uses a combination of Arantes Rye, Odyssey Malted Barley and Viscount Wheat. The whisky, owned and distilled by the Stirling brothers in Lunan Bay near Arbroath, is made from crops grown on the farm.

John Stirling, director, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to launch Scotland’s first Rye Whisky in more than 100 years. Records show a distillery at Arbikie in 1794; a time when they would have only used crops grown on the family farm. We are bringing this tradition back to Scotch Whisky with provenance, terroir and traceability of ingredients at the heart of everything we do. Growing rye requires long periods of dry weather, which can be challenging, however our farm team has done an excellent job.

“Whatever we have produced over the years, from potatoes to vodka, our values of sustainability, innovation and quality have been the foundation, and our Highland Rye Whisky embodies everything our family has been doing since we started farming 400 years ago.”

The Rye Whisky has been matured in first-fill charred American Oak casks and finished in Pedro Ximenez casks with no colouring and no chill filration.

Master distiller, Kirsty Black, said: “We’ve been working on our Highland Rye for years and it has posed some challenges from a growing and distillation point of view. The flavour profile is orange marmalade, cloves and maple syrup. The main differences between our Highland Rye and American Rye is that traditionally American Rye uses corn in their mash bill, and usually malted rye. At Arbikie we have used unmalted rye, malted barley and wheat. The ageing process is also significantly different due to temperatures in the US and Scotland respectively.”

The Rye will be stocked at Harrods and other luxury retailers. Only 998 bottles will be available globally.

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