Looking for a personalised gift this Christmas?

Are you looking for a personalised gift this Christmas?

Personalise Your Whisky Experience with Glencairn Crystal this Christmas

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to spread cheer than with a thoughtful, personalised gift? Elevate your spirit drinking experience with a custom-engraved glass from Glencairn Crystal. Our skilled engravers, boasting years of expertise, can add your chosen message or name, infusing a unique touch into every crystal glass.

Personalised Whisky Glasses

If you’re in search of that extra-special touch for your whisky glass gift, consider adding a personalised message. Glencairn Glass offers a seamless customisation experience through our innovative 3D configurator. Effortlessly tailor your glass to perfection, making it an ideal gift for birthdays, Christmas, or a heartfelt thank-you gesture.

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Any Name, Any Message

With our user-friendly 3D configurator, personalising your whisky glass has never been easier. Whether it’s a name, a meaningful quote, or a significant date, add a touch of sentimentality to your gift. The possibilities are endless, and the result is a bespoke whisky glass that speaks volumes.

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Individually Engraved to Perfection

What sets Glencairn Crystal apart is our commitment to craftsmanship. Each and every personalised glass is meticulously engraved in our Glencairn studio, ensuring the highest quality and attention to detail. Your chosen message or name is etched with precision, making every glass personal.

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The Perfect Gift for Every Festive Occasion

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, spreading holiday cheer at Christmas, or expressing gratitude with a thoughtful thank-you gesture, a personalised whisky glass from Glencairn Crystal is the perfect choice.

This Christmas, make your loved ones feel truly special with a customised whisky glass from Glencairn Crystal. Elevate the art of gifting, one engraved glass at a time. Explore our exclusive collection of 6 limited-edition Christmas designs and make this holiday season truly unforgettable.

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Couriers are expecting increased volumes over the Christmas period, please allow extra time to ensure your order will arrive in time for Christmas.

With this in mind, we have set the following dates:

International Personalised Orders – 4th December
UK Personalisation Orders – 11th December
International Blank Orders – 11th December
UK Blank Orders – 17th December


Christmas gifts under £25

Christmas Gifts Under £25

 

The Perfect Glencairn Glass Gifts for Whisky Fans and Beyond

We’ve curated a list of fantastic Christmas gifts, all under £25, to make your holiday shopping a breeze. From stylish glassware to unique accessories and more, our selection ensures that you can find the perfect gift without breaking the bank.

The Glencairn Glass Gift set of 2

This Christmas, why not delight your loved ones with The Glencairn Glass Gift Set of 2, priced at a mere £16 and presented in a stylish black gift box, adding an elegant touch to their festive celebrations? For under £20, it’s the ideal whisky glass gift set.

PRICE – £16

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Glencairn Mixer Gift Set of 2

This festive season, elevate your loved ones’ Christmas gin experience with the Glencairn Mixer Set of 2, available for just £18. Presented in an elegant black gift box, it’s the perfect addition to their yuletide merriment. For under £20, this mixer set adds a touch of sophistication to their holiday gin cocktails.

PRICE – £18

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Coloured Glencairn Glass set of 2

This Christmas, add a dash of festive flair to your gift-giving with the Glencairn Coloured Set of 2, available in a range of vibrant hues, including green, gold, white, black, red, and blue. Priced at just £24, this stylish set, nestled in a sleek black gift box, makes for a delightful present that brings a touch of colour to their holiday celebrations—Christmas presents under £25.

PRICE – £24

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Glencairn Glass Merchandise

Explore our Glencairn Clothing Range this Christmas, featuring a stylish T-shirt with the “I love whisky” logo for £20, a baseball cap also priced at £20, and a smart Polo Shirt available at £25. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for great gifts, our merchandise section has a range of Glencairn Glass items for the whisky lover in your life.

PRICE – £20/25

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Glencairn Glass Wee Jug Gift Set

Allow us to introduce the Glencairn Glass Wee Jug Set, the perfect addition to your festive celebrations, priced at just £24. This set includes a classic Glencairn glass and a charming wee jug, both elegantly presented in a beautiful black satin gift box, providing a complete whisky experience in one package. It’s the ideal choice for whisky enthusiasts this Christmas, all under £25.

PRICE – £24

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Glencairn Accessories

Elevate your Christmas whisky experience with Glencairn Accessories. The Glencairn Pipette at £10 ensures precise pours, while Water Jugs, starting at £18, add elegance to your presentation. Tasting Caps at £3 capture holiday aromas, and Glencairn Lanyards for £5 or the charming Glencairn Keyring at £3.50 make perfect stocking fillers under £5. These accessories are essential for any whisky enthusiast’s Christmas wishlist.

PRICE – £3.50/£18

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Couriers are expecting increased volumes over the Christmas period, please allow extra time to ensure your order will arrive in time for Christmas.

With this in mind, we have set the following dates:

International Personalised Orders – 4th December
UK Personalisation Orders – 11th December
International Blank Orders – 11th December
UK Blank Orders – 17th December


Arbikie Distillery

Arbikie Distillery with Kirsty Black,

Master Distiller 

Real Craft. Real Ingredients. Real People

Arbikie Estate is a family-owned working farm perched on the east coast of Angus; here crop is king. We painstakingly plant, sow, tend and harvest the fields that make up Arbikie. We are craftsmen of the soil.

Can you give us a bit of background about yourself and your journey in the spirits industry? Where did your distilling journey begin?

It has been a somewhat long, twisted and convoluted road to get to Arbikie and the spirits industry!  Over the years I’ve studied plant science, forensic medicine and had a career working in the medical device industry. Eventually, however, it was time to go to Heriot-Watt University with the goal to work in a brewery. Working at the Caledonian Brewery and Barney’s Beer I crossed paths with the future owners of Summerhall Distillery and helped them set up the distillery and design Pickering’s Gin; my interest in distilling had truly piqued and it was time to move brewing to the garden shed.  Which all leads us to today, at Arbikie, a true farm to bottle distillery that I’ve helped build from scratch.  From bolting together the stills to figuring out how to get alcohol out of a potato I have ultimately combined my love of plants, distilling and a nerdy desire to simply figure out how things work!

When was Arbikie Distillery founded, and what sets it apart from other distilleries? Can you provide us with a brief history of the distillery?

The first Arbikie Distillery was technically around in the 1700s but after a small break in production the distillery as we know it today began production in 2013 in a converted farm building. We are a farm to bottle distillery with all the raw materials used in the distillery grown on the farm.

Our journey started with the humble spud and our Tattie Bogle Potato Vodka. Driven by the desire to not let our farms ‘wonky’ potatoes go to waste, and fully aware of the effort and inputs required to grow them, we set about turning them into Scotland’s first potato vodka. From their we’ve expanded our offerings to include a range of gins, flavoured vodkas, and whisky. This includes the first climate positive spirits made from peas (Nàdar) and led the way in the revival of rye being used in the production of rye single grain scotch whisky.

Does Arbikie Distillery have any specific sustainability or environmental practices in place, such as water conservation, waste reduction, or renewable energy initiatives?

At Arbikie we place sustainability and environmental impact on level pegging with more traditional business considerations. We’re continuously looking for ways to innovate and reinforce our sustainability focus. For each decision we make, we try and consider the environmental impact and how we can do things better.

Starting at the farm level we look at new crops, alternative varieties, and new farming techniques, which require less inputs thus improving the quality of our soils, the surrounding environment, and our harvest.

In the distillery itself we closely monitor water and energy use and are actively working on improving both. For example, despite the rainy reputation of Scotland a future where water is in short supply is not hard to imagine therefore have been part of the Dŵr Uisce project through Bangor University and Trinity College Dublin whose goal is to improve the efficiency of water use.  Green energy has always been a part of the distillery set up with photovoltaic panels installed on the roof since we started but we are currently switching over our steam boiler to run on green hydrogen which will be generated on site, powered by our wind turbine – we aim to demonstrate to other distilleries the potential of hydrogen as an alternative fuel and drastically reduce our carbon footprint in the process.

How do you approach cask selection and maturation for your whisky? What impact do different types of casks have on the final product? Additionally, how do you select the flavouring process for gin distilling?

We operate an internal seasoning and reuse of cask programme to reduce the shipping and supply chain impact of this essential component in whisky. New oak casks are initially used in the maturation of our rye whisky before going on to be used as rye first fill and second fill casks for our single malt. This means for each shipment of casks received on site that each cask can be used at least 3 times compared to just 1 use before being shipped on to another distillery / use.

The casks play a number of roles in the maturation of whisky – there’s lots of reactions happening around flavour with compounds being added, removed and modified, but all complementing the flavours originating from our raw materials and fermentation that we’ve selected during the distillation process.

We make three different gins each of them aims to capture a different element of Arbikie. The first gin we released, Kirsty’s Gin, is potato based was about capturing our Angus home and what we encounter every day around the distillery. AK’s Gin, made from wheat, followed which is Alexander Kirkwood in a bottle – the father of the Stirling brothers and their inspiration for starting Arbikie Distillery. Finally we have Nàdar Gin, here we wanted to show what was possible despite our Scottish climate – made from 100% green peas it is climate positive with signature botanicals of lemongrass and makrut lime leaf, both of which are grown here on the farm!

What current trends do you see affecting the spirits industry, and how is Arbikie Distillery positioned to take advantage of them?

Sustainability and reducing environmental impact has to become the main focus for the distilling industry. Luckily as I’ve said we’ve always considered our environmental impact when making decisions and are always striving to do better. As well as the activities I’ve already mentioned we have lots of projects in the works. From reviewing all our packaging materials to, for example, ensure all paper is sourced from FSC forest and our bottle capsules are compostable, through to planting 1000 of junipers, native hedgerows and trees – we’re trying to think from a long-term point of view.

Why did you choose to partner with Glencairn Crystal as your preferred glassware supplier for tastings, and what benefits have you seen from using their products?

For us the name Glencairn represents good quality and is globally recognised within the whisky world.  The glass you drink your dram out of has such an impact on your drinking experience and we know with Glencairn our spirits will be presented in the best possible way.

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Lochlea Distillery

Lochlea Distillery with David Ferguson,

Commercial Director

"From Burns to Barley..."

Here at Lochlea Distillery we have been quietly distilling and maturing our single malt Scotch whisky using barley that we grow and harvest on the farm.

Can you share the history and background of Lochlea Distillery? When was it founded, and what makes it stand out among other distilleries in the region?

The initial plans were hatched for Lochlea in 2014. By 2016 contruction was underway to repurpose the farm buildings (previously Lochlea was a cattle farm) and by August 2018 the first Lochlea spirit was produced. One of the things that makes us unique within the Scotch industry is that we grow our own barley on the farm. This traceability from field to cask is central to everything we do, and gives us full control over the quality of our single malt whisky. There are also intricacies within our production process that John Campbell and his team have carefully honed, in order to create the signature Lochlea flavours of bold, juicy fruit and a wonderful cereal / biscuit character in the new make. We certainly don’t fit the mould of a ‘typical’ light, delicate, lowland malt! We are always striving for depth and complexity, having set aside the stock that will go into Lochlea 25 year old already.

The name and branding of a whisky often carry significant meaning. What is the story behind the name of your whisky at Lochlea Distillery, and how does it reflect the overall identity and vision of the distillery?

Our core single malt whisky, Lochlea ‘Our Barley’ is named for that very reason. It is made from and inspired by our barley, which we grow on-site. Being a farm distillery, sustainability and transparency are extremely important to us. We then have a range of 4 seasonal limited editions per year. Each one ties back to exactly what is happening on the farm at that time, in terms of cask selection, flavour profile, and packaging.

Every distillery has its share of fascinating stories. Can you share any interesting anecdotes or memorable events related to the history, production, or individuals associated with Lochlea Distillery?

Lochlea Farm was once home to Robert Burns, from 1777-1784. By day he helped his father on the farm, tending the same land we do today. By night, he would walk the path right behind the distillery down to Tarbolton to engage in lively debate with friends.

Much more recently in 2021, we were delighted to welcome John Campbell as our Production Director. Having been responsible for one of the top ten Scotch whisky brands in the world over the past 27 years, John brings a wealth of knowledge and a burning ambition to assist Lochlea fulfil its potential.

Sustainability and eco-friendly practices are increasingly important in the spirits industry. Has Lochlea Distillery implemented any sustainable initiatives, and do you have any long-term plans in this regard?

Yes absolutely. As a farm, we are naturally very green already. However there are several initiatives that we have undertaken to ensure a fully cyclical process and reduce our carbon footprint. For example our Spent Lees are filtered through our on-site reed beds. They contain specialty plants that filter and break this by-product down until it is clean water that is discharged to the burn, mitigating over 2300 road miles per year. Our Draff is collected by local farmers and used as cattle feed. On the farm, after our harvest is complete, we sow cover crops (mustard and radish) to improve soil structure and create a leaf canopy to help prevent soil erosion. This cover crop is then grazed intensively with sheep for a month to six weeks before we start to prepare for sowing the following year’s seed.

Finally, The by-product of growing barley is straw, which we bale after the crop has been combined. Our neighbouring farmers collect and use the straw to bed cattle through the winter. In production, we ensure all our waste products have a secondary use. Our Pot Ale is taken away to a biogas plant and used to generate electricity.

We are always looking for improvements in this area, and in every aspect of our operation. Even our business cards are made from recycled coffee cups!

Whisky industry trends are constantly evolving. What current trends do you see impacting the whisky market, and how are you positioned to adapt and capitalize on these trends?

Firstly it appears that consumers are looking for consistently high quality, premium spirits with legitimate provenance in their production. Secondly, on the sustainability side, this is no longer a trend but simply an ongoing necessity within our industry. Thirdly, purchasing data shows clearly that people want new and interesting flavour profiles, for example making use of cask types to offer a different perspective on whisky from each distillery. Fortunately we are well positioned for all three, as we only produce single malt focused on quality over yield, we prioritise green credentials in every decision we take, and we have the flexibility to have over 25 cask types maturing in our on-site warehouses.

Balancing classic, time-honored whiskies with innovative expressions can be challenging. How do you maintain this balance in its product offerings?

Over the past year and a half, we have built up a portfolio of whiskies with which we hope everyone will find an expression they enjoy.

Our core single malt, Lochlea ‘Our Barley,’ perfectly encapsulates our house spirit style: fruit and cereal-forward, with depth and complexity beyond its years.

Our limited seasonal releases allow us to showcase our spirit using more experimental cask types that reflect the farming calendar and changing seasons.

Our newly released Cask Strength (Batch One) is perfect for those seeking an amplified version of our house spirit style; a little bolder, yet elegant.

These whiskies, alongside some one-off limited editions and single casks, are how we want to show people what Lochlea is all about until we have our first age-statement product.

Why did you decide to partner with Glencairn Crystal as your preferred glassware supplier for whisky tastings, and what benefits have you seen from using The Glencairn glasses at your distillery and beyond?

Premium whisky deserves premium glassware and we highly value partnering with another Scottish, family-run business. Using Glencairn glassware allows our team and our customers to enjoy the ultimate tasting experience when sampling our whisky.

Technology and data analytics are transforming various industries, including distilling. How does Lochlea Distillery leverage technology and data to enhance the whisky-making process and ensure quality control?

We are a relatively manual distillery. Every morning the production team are opening valves and doing manual checks to fire up the distillery equipment. The only automated part within the still house are our temperature controls. We collect data on every stage of the production process, as this is critical to monitor quality and look for continual improvement. We are also implementing a brand new system across production, bottling and logistics, which will tie everything together.

How do you choose the casks for ageing your whisky, and what impact do different types of casks have on the final flavour profile?

We always purchase our casks directly from source, as we want to ensure that they maintain their freshness and integrity when we fill them. We’re looking for casks that will complement our new make spirit, which is full of juicy fruit and cereal notes. A lot of the casks we fill are first-fill Bourbon from Loretto, Kentucky and Oloroso Sherry casks from Jerez, Spain, however we also have over 25 experimental cask types currently maturing in our warehouses. As we’re still a young distillery, we’re eager to experiment with these different cask types to learn what works best with our spirit. There is always debate over what percentage of flavour in the final product comes from the spirit and what comes from the cask, however what is indisputable is that even great spirit going into poor wood will produce poor whisky. Therefore we take great care with cask selection.

Can you provide some insights into any exciting projects or upcoming whisky releases that Lochlea Distillery has planned for the near future?

On the 17th of August we’re excited to be launching our second crop of Harvest Edition, inspired by the annual harvest that takes place on Lochlea Farm. This release is matured in Port, STR and first-fill Bourbon barrels and is packed full of delicious flavours of fruit and spice. This is a limited-edition release, with just 11,000 bottles available globally. Harvest Edition (Second Crop) sits at 46% and as with all our whiskies, is non-chill filtered with no added colouring. After that we will release our 100% sherry matured Fallow Edition in late October, and we have something very special on its way in early 2024…

If you would like to find out more about Lochlea Distillery or would be interested in purchasing one of their bottles you can check your their website here

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Penderyn : Stephen Davies, CEO

Pendryn Distillery with Stephen Davies,

Distillery CEO

‘From Wales to the world…’

The Home of Welsh Whisky.

Wales’ first whisky distillery in over 100 years, and pioneers in World Whisky.

Can you tell us about the history and background of Penderyn Distilleries, including when it was founded and what sets it apart from other distilleries?

Distilling in Wales was a lost art, but in the late 1990s, in a Hirwaun pub in the Welsh valleys, a group of friends chatted about establishing the first whisky distillery in Wales in over a century. They dreamt of creating a whisky as pure and precious as Welsh gold, represented today by Penderyn’s ‘gold seam’.

A unique copper single-pot still designed by Dr David Faraday, a relative of the great 19th-century scientist Michael Faraday, was installed in 2000, which produces a spirit at an industry high draw of 92%, meaning Penderyn’s whiskies are light, fruity, elegant and flavoursome. We now have two of these stills, as well as Faraday Stills in Llandudno (opened May 2021) and Swansea (opened Jun 2023) distilleries.

The business seemed a curiosity – a Welsh whisky? – but when the Scottish whisky expert, Dr Jim Swan, became our Master Distiller, things got serious. Dr Swan got involved because he said the still created a world class spirit. He said we should finish in Madeira casks, so this became our house style. On St David’s Day 2004, Penderyn whisky was launched.

What is the story behind the name and branding of your distillery, and how does it connect to your overall identity and vision of your distillery?

The village of Penderyn in the Brecon Beacons National Park, which was a couple of miles from Hirwaun, was chosen as it had a site available and a natural supply of spring water. Penderyn means ‘bird’s head’ in Welsh, and so it became the name of the distillery. We have Gold Range and Dragon Range bottles. We use the ‘gold seam’, as medieval Welsh princes used Welsh gold, and of course we use the Welsh dragon.

Can you share any interesting anecdotes or stories related to the history, production, or characters associated with your distillery or brand?

When we went to the Scottish Highland games, north of San Francisco, we were in a large barn with around 30 Scottish distilleries. We were the last table and after drinking heavily peated Scotch, the visitors loved our lighter whiskies, and we were the top seller on the day!

Our whisky creator Dr Jim Swan is a much-celebrated figure in the industry.  He started working with us in 2002 and continued as our whisky creator and non-executive director until his passing in 2017.  Following on from his successful work at Penderyn he then proceeded to work with several other distilleries including Kavalan in Taiwan, Kilchoman in Scotland. and Cotswolds and Spirit of Yorkshire in England.

How do you approach cask selection and maturation for your whisky, and what impact do different types of casks have on the final product?

We have three women distillers (plus a male distiller), and Aista Phillips is our Master Blender. She has a remarkable nose and when one of our US importing team visited, he said watching Aista work was like, ‘watching Jimi Hendrix play guitar.’ Our house-style is a Madeira finish, but we also use a wide variety of casks for finishing – port, sherry, ex-peated, STR (scraped, toasted and re-charred), as well as rum, Muscatel and other casks. Our whiskies generally mature in around 6-8 years, as the high-quality spirit works exceptionally well with the wood. We use Buffalo Trace casks, and Aista has detailed notes on around 15,000 casks, but we also mature in other casks, such as port and sherry.

Do you have any sustainability or environmental practices in place at your distillery, such as water conservation, waste reduction, or renewable energy initiatives?

We are committed to a sustainability agenda with a range of initiatives at our distilleries.  We have sustainable natural water sources that contribute to the making of our product including a natural spring in the Brecon Beacons and at the Great Orme in Llandudno as well as from the Welsh National Show Caves. We recycle as much heat as possible via heat exchangers through the process. We also recycle the non-alcoholic waste streams back to agriculture, as far as possible.  We have a programme of reducing packaging / secondary packaging as far as possible with lighter glass bottles and reduced use of gift boxes where we can.  Employees are also encouraged to drive electric cars as part of a company-wide scheme

We have solar panels on employed on most of our buildings and we are exploring other renewable energy sources for distillery production going forward

What trends do you see affecting the spirits industry at the moment, and how is your distillery positioned to take advantage of them?

The Penderyn brand has been established over the last 20 years and has gained a great reputation for consistency and quality.  We have a good presence in the UK and Europe and we see a lot of growth coming from the North America and Asia over the next three to five years. With three distilleries now fully open to the general public we also see a great opportunity to growth and strengthen our brand story through UK and international tourism.

Is there anything along the way that you wish you knew sooner? What would you tell your future self?

We’ve enjoyed good quality brand and business growth over the years but we are always wishing we started our expansion projects a couple of years earlier that we have actually done – but this is part of the problem of working with a long-matured product like single malt whisky.

Finally, can you discuss any exciting projects or releases that you have planned for the near future?

People around the world know about the Scots and Irish, but we call Wales, ‘the secret Celtic nation’. This means that whenever we travel, we have to tell the story of Wales, to give Penderyn a root. For example, it’s not, ‘an island off Scotland’ and some New Yorker said it was! We have many young people, and people who don’t naturally like whisky, who become converts to our lighter, elegant whiskies. We export around 20% of our whiskies, and so there is a major market to expand.

To find out more about Penderyn Distillery and their range of Welsh whisky please visit here.

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Kingsbarns Distillery : Peter Holroyd, Distillery Manager

Kingsbarns Distillery with Peter Holroyd, Distillery Manager

A Family With A Dream

The Scottish Wemyss family have had a longstanding passion for malt whisky and their connections with the industry date back to the turn of the 19th century when John Haig (founder of Haig’s built his first distillery on Wemyss land).

Can you tell us about the history and background of Kingsbarns Distillery, including when it was founded, and what sets it apart from other distilleries?

“Kingsbarns was established in 2014 but it wasn’t until March 2015 that we filled our first cask. We are an independently owned, Family run distillery. Owned and operated by the Wemyss family. What sets us apart? Well it’s a few different aspects in my opinion, but the liquid comes first and foremost. We have some unique production techniques including producing clear wort, using 2 separate strains of yeast in long fermentations and running the stills extremely slowly to ensure lots of copper contact. All of these things contribute to achieving an elegant and intensely fruity new make spirit.

Our Production Director, Isabella Wemyss then has the job of pairing the Kingsbarns spirit with the right cask type! We predominantly use first fill casks that are the perfect fit for our spirit from a few select suppliers. What is fantastic about the fact the family are so involved in directing the whisky style is that the right strategic decisions are made to get the best possible end product. We don’t have an accountant buying the wood and skimping on it. Money is spent where it matters, on great quality raw materials! We are also striving to anchor the dram to the place its made, so we only use locally grown barley and we mature all our whisky in Fife warehouses.”

What is the story behind the name and branding of your whisky, and how does it connect to your overall identity and vision of Kingsbarns Distillery?

“The distillery is named after the neighbouring village, Kingsbarns. The location was used in ancient times to store grain in the barns before being transported to the Falkland Palace so it’s a great wee link to its previous use. The building itself is a beautiful old farm steading and we have worked hard to ensure that the architectural features such as the Doocot have been conserved and celebrated. We always take pride in the area we reside. In fact all our releases are named after local landmarks or Fife themes.”

Can you share any interesting anecdotes or stories related to the history, production, or characters associated with your distillery or whisky brand?

“We certainly have a few characters working here! In all honesty we have a brilliant team of folk that are extremely passionate about the product and experience we provide. And there are so many stories of funny things that have occurred here. But you always learn from mistakes, that’s the important thing. I recall in the very early days of cask filling when we were still working out how to operate the cask filler we accidentally overfilled a cask when the spirit was being delivered to a barrel at full blast. We all ended up covered in new make spirit! Thankfully we only lost 2 or 3 litres of precious distillate, and it never happened again but at the time it was quite an experience.”

Why did you decide to partner with Glencairn Crystal as your preferred glassware supplier for whisky tastings, and what benefits have you seen from using The Glencairn glasses at your distillery?

“The Glencairn name is synonymous with quality. Using the correct glassware is incredibly important if you want to get the most out of a dram. Ideally a glass that funnels smell to the nose should be used. Its amazing how much more aroma you pick up when the whisky is presented this way compared to a standard tumbler glass in my opinion. But each to their own, you should drink your whisky however you like!”

There has been a lot of buzz around sustainable and eco-friendly practices in the spirits industry. Has your distillery incorporated these practices, or is there a long-term plan you are working towards?

“Sustainable practices are such an important issue these days and its crucial that we do all we can to strive for continuous improvement in that regard. we minimise our carbon footprint by using local barely within 6 miles of the distillery and draw water from beneath the distillery itself. We also recycle our draff and send it off to a local farmer to be used as cattle feed. Waste water is processed before going to a reed-bed and pond onsite which is great for biodiversity. We have recently started keeping bees too at hives behind the empty cask storage area, important pollinators for plants of course! Going forward, we have plans to put in a 100Kw solar scheme at the distillery which should provide about 60% of power requirements for the site.”

What trends do you see affecting the whisky industry at the moment, and how is your distillery positioned to take advantage of them?

“It’s a very interesting time to be in the industry. We are seeing a boom right now alongside a new generation of whisky drinkers, its recognised as a drink for everyone nowadays and its fantastic to see so many people excited about it! There is a trend towards premiumisation, but I think that in order to reach a wide audience its important to make your malt accessible price-wise. This helps build a brand which is crucial for a relatively fresh-faced distillery like Kingsbarns. That’s certainly a balance to strike. We also feel that a sense of place is important in differentiating us from other brands so we keep things as local as possible from locally grown barley to the spent grain that feeds the cattle the next field along.

Over the last few years I’ve noticed some trends in the industry of using all sorts of weird and wonderful casks, which is great, but to be honest at Kingsbarns we really focus on making a classically “Lowland” style of malt, so we want a light wood touch in terms of maturation. You get the most fantastic sweet and fruity note on the new make spirit so we don’t want too much of that to be lost through dominant cask influence.”

What do you see as being the future of whisky in the short term, and how do you plan to respond to it?

“I think nowadays there is an increased emphasis on flavour. Folk probably drink slightly less but drink better and are willing to try younger malts too which is fantastic. The adage of “older is better” doesn’t apply quite as much as it did in the past. Moreover if you are a small producer of malt whisky like ourselves, you need to focus on quality of product first and foremost. At the end of the day what is important is smell, taste and the experience of the drinker. We are never going to be able to compete in price with some of the big brands so for us, we have concentrated on doing our level best to make an interesting and characterful malt. Get the dram under folks noses and if its decent whisky, you can let the liquid do the talking!”

Throughout your experience in the spirits industry, what has been the most unexpected and significant surprise you have encountered?

“Following on from what I mentioned earlier, I’m completely astonished by the rate of growth the industry has seen over the last 10 years. In 2022 the export value surpassed 6 Billion pounds. It’s extremely positive for the country in job creation and investment. We are now seeing large, established brands expanding alongside many new, smaller distilleries opening their doors for the first time. Blended whisky still commands greatest global sales, but the malt category where there is rapid growth. Its going to be interesting to see how this develops over the next few years.”

Finally, can you discuss any exciting projects or releases that you have planned for the near future?

“We wouldn’t want to give anything away especially before we have publicly announced anything, but we do have a few very exciting releases due the end of this year and as always you can expect some exceedingly high quality single cask expressions coming from Kingsbarns in the near future too.”

 

To find out more about Kingsbarn Distillery and their range of whisky please visit here.

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