Arbikie Farm, the company behind ‘Arbikie Highland Estate’, Scotland’s leading ‘field to bottle’ distiller, has announced its arrival in the Scottish whisky industry by launching its ‘Highland Rye’ single grain Scotch whisky, the first rye whisky distilled in Scotland for more than 100 years.

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, which is owned and distilled by the Stirling brothers in Lunan Bay, near Arbroath, stays true to the family’s farming heritage with all crops grown on the farm meaning every ingredient used in the making of the Highland Rye can be traced back to the field it was grown in.

Arbikie, one of Scotland’s larger potato growers diversified in 2014 by launching Scotland’s first potato vodka using ‘wonky potatoes’ not suitable for its supermarket customers.

Arbikie continues to supply potatoes across the UK, however, its drinks business has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the leading field-to-bottle distilleries in the world.

With the launch of its Highland Rye whisky the team at Arbikie has been experimenting with a crop long forgotten in Scotland – rye. The farm team has been growing Arantes winter rye which has presented its own particular challenges.

John Stirling, director of Arbikie Highland Estate, commented: “The Arantes variety, planting conditions, harvesting, drying as well as the distilling process had to be learned from scratch, a very time-consuming and technically difficult process.

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

Arbikie is a good example of how farming businesses can diversify, with Arbikie capitalising on the rising demand for terroir, provenance-focused spirits by using the existing crops on their farm to create unrivalled traceability in their products.

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

The Highland Rye Whisky has been well received by the Scotch Whisky industry with leading whisky expert, Blair Bowman commenting: “It’s incredibly exciting to see a return to Scottish Rye Whisky. I know that the new Arbikie Rye is going to wow Scotch and Rye drinkers around the world. Arbikie’s ‘field-to-bottle’ methods are truly innovative and I commend their dedication to provenance and traceability.”

There are 998 70cl bottles released at RRP £250

Available direct from Arbikie and from selected retailers across the globe

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