By Scott Wright

ARBIKIE, the Angus-based farm distillery, has secured a listing with North America’s biggest drinks distributor for its Highland Rye whisky.

The spirits producer, owned by brothers Iain, John, Sandy and David Stirling, launched the first rye whisky to be made in Scotland in more than a century two years ago. The move marked the first foray into whisky for Arbikie, which had built its name on vodka and gin since its inception in 2013.

Its rye whisky has now been taken on by Canadian distributor Southern Glazer in a “landmark” deal that the company says will increase sales by more than 20 per cent. Highland Rye is now stocked in British Columbia at BC Liquor Stores, described as the “prestigious state drinks monopoly”.

Although still a relative newcomer in North America, Arbikie says the region has the potential to become a £500,000 plus market in the future. It has high hopes for its “climate positive” Nadar gin and vodka, as well as its rye whisky, in North America, which it expects will become one of its most important global markets.

Although limited editions of Highland Rye were launched in 2018 and 2019, the brand is now being spearheaded by Highland Rye 1794, a signature five year old spirit matured in virgin oak casks.

Arbikie export director Iain Stirling said: “We are delighted with the progress we have made with our Highland Rye Whisky. In a few years, from our launch limited-edition to expanding into major whisky markets, such as Canada and the US, to now launching our signature 1794 Edition, it’s a very exciting time at Arbikie as we look for further expansion in the Middle East and Asia.”

Arbikie’s spirits are now sold in more than 15 countries.