Highland Rye bottle (lo res)

Arbikie boosts the Scottish rye whisky revival

Scottish ‘field to bottle’ distiller Arbikie has announced the arrival of its second release of Highland Rye single grain Scotch whisky.

This is the second rye whisky released in Scotland in over 100 years, and the first four year old. Only 1220 bottles will be released, priced £250 each.

Arbikie’s Highland Rye was laid down in 2015 and, after ageing for four years, a selection of four casks have been carefully chosen for this release. Maturation was initiated in charred American oak barrels before being enriched in Armagnac barrels. The taste profile is of dates, apricot and caraway.

Christian Perez, production manager at Arbikie Distillery, said: ‘At Arbikie Distillery our primary objective is to capture the character and origin of our raw materials. We strive to operate in a sustainable manner, combining human intellect, science and art. By embracing the true unpredictability of the elements, their impact on the growing season and our ingredients, we allow the character of each to shine.

‘Our Highland Rye is an element in its own right; pioneering whilst augmenting tradition.’

The whisky, which is owned by the Stirling brothers at Lunan Bay in the ancient county of Angus, stays true to traditional distilling techniques. The family’s farming heritage dates back to 1794 with all crops grown on the farm allowing full traceability of every ingredient used in the making of Highland Rye back to the exact field it was grown in.

Since launching the first release of Arbikie Highland Rye, Arbikie quickly made its presence in the whisky world winning ‘Best Newcomer Distillery’ at the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards.

With the first release of Highland Rye completely sold out, a limited number of only 1220 bottles are available globally of the Highland Rye second release, priced at RRP £250.

Iain Stirling, director of Arbikie Distillery, added: ‘We’re delighted to be helping to drive a rye whisky revival by launching our latest limited-edition Highland Rye Whisky, the first and only four-year-old Scottish rye whisky in the world.

‘As a young business we’re delighted to be restoring an ancient whisky category, Scottish Rye Whisky, with much older distillers like Bruichladdich, Diageo and new ones like Inchdairnie in the process, we believe, of following.

‘Our Highland Rye whisky reflects our values of sustainability, innovation and quality in that we uniquely grow, harvest, distil, mature and bottle at the Arbikie Farm Distillery on the east coast of Scotland.’

Arbikie Highland Rye will again be sold in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America with a limited batch available for each market through distributors and luxury retailers, such as Harrods.