One of the country’s newest and greenest distilleries is celebrating after pre-orders for its very first batch of mature spirit vastly exceeded the number of bottles produced.
Alex Bruce, Managing Director of Adelphi and the Ardnamurchan Distillery, said: “Prior to a launch we contact our UK and international agents and distributors to gauge interest and take pre-orders. While it’s not unusual for there to be a healthy amount of interest in our whisky, the demand for our new Ardnamurchan Spirit was exceptionally high. We’ve produced 2500 bottles but we could have easily sold three times that amount. Pre-orders were 7500 at the last count.”
Ardnamurchan Spirit 2016 AD is the first to be released from Adelphi’s west coast Ardnamurchan Distillery, which was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on the 25th July 2014.
Mr Bruce said the 2016 AD had been vatted from carefully selected casks that had been maturing in Ardnamurchan since production started. These were then left to “marry” for three months in large sherry butts. Just under 2500 bottles of the spirit were produced. Legally, a spirit can only be called whisky after it has been aged for three years.
He said: “Released as a one-year-old, our Ardnamurchan Spirit 2016 AD has a remarkable nose, taste and deep colour for its age. The quality of it is superb.
“It has a dense, sweet nose of Acacia honey and salted caramel; a mouth filling texture of minty toffee and a maritime, smoky richness with a kick of chili pepper; licorice and eucalyptus combine with vivid peat smoke, from a working malt kiln, on the finish.”
Claus Fisker of Danish whisky distributor FC Whisky is one of the international buyers who ordered some of the spirit.
Mr Fisker said: “Adelphi have always attracted a lot of interest and demand among our customers because of the way they work and the total guarantee of high quality. When Alex Bruce and Adelphi started a distillery we knew this would be one of a kind.
“We never tried selling spirit before. We were sure about the quality, but we didn’t know the reaction of our customers. It was overwhelming. To be honest it took us by surprise. This shows how strong the brand of Adelphi and Ardnamurchan is.
Mr Fisker said that even though Denmark is a relatively small market for whisky his firm could have sold around 800 of the bottles. “Demand has been wild,” he added.
Mr Bruce said the release of the Ardnamurchan spirit signalled a new phase in the company’s long history: “Approaching our 25th year of bottling the finest that Scotland can offer, we are delighted to be playing our part in this golden era for the industry. To be able to establish, and be part of, a brand-new distillery is something our dedicated team are extremely proud of.
“Founded on absolute transparency and traceability, our careful production and maturation techniques have allowed us to capture and bottle this unique flavour profile well ahead of our original plan.”
Adelphi said it worked with Edinburgh -based agency Nevis Design to create a bespoke bottle coated in ash/moine (slate grey) to resemble the volcanic past of the Ardnamurchan peninsula, with a hydrometer-shaped window to highlight the natural colour of the spirit.
Copper lettering on the bottle depicts the spirit’s provenance – from the barley grown on Broomhall farm in Fife, next to the company’s bottling facility, through the unique use of 100% renewable energy sources in its careful production, and the sherry casks for the maturation.
Adelphi’s “Dancey Man” is given pride of place on the capsule, and this first release is simply designated by the vintage 2016 and “AD” (for both Anno Domini and Ardnamurchan Distillery).
The Ardnamurchan release follows the recent launch of The Kincardine whisky, which was created in partnership with Fusion Whisky Ltd and is a blend of Scotch and Indian single malt whisky, another innovation from the Fife-based firm.
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