Tag Archive for: Experimental Whisky

Will you drink a Scottish Highland ‘Rye Whisky’?

Picture Credits: Arbikie Distillery

We hardly heard of Arbikie Distillery in this part of the world, but they are doing a lot of fantastic stuff over in Scotland. The Stirling brothers, John, Iain and David, are fourth-generation farmers on the Arbikie Farm. Their forefathers started farming at Arbikie since the 1920s, so their history is long indeed. In 2013, the brothers decided to build a small distillery on the farm after coming up with a farm to bottle process. They aimed to produce the finest malt whisky in Scotland using the barley they farm and the water on their estates. Scotland hails the distillery as one of the most experimental distilleries due to the various projects and experiments that the master distiller does.

What is Arbikie producing?

When Arbikie first ran its stills, they produced a potato vodka using Maris Pipers and King Edwards potatoes. They grew both species on their farm. After that, they created a gin in August 2015. Then the distillery began producing single malt spirits. They determined that these spirits will lay in barrels for a minimum of 14 years before getting bottled as single malt whisky.

Arbikie Scottish Rye Whisky

However, Arbikie released something interesting recently – Arbikie Scottish Rye Whisky. Distilled in December 2015, the Scottish Highland Rye Whisky is two years old when bottled. This is batch one of their experimental pot distilled Scottish Rye spirit. Arbikie Farm grew a variety of rye since 2014 and experimented with both the variations and production techniques. The first release consisted of two versions of Rye Whisky. There is a Scottish Rye, which is in line with the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 and an American version, in line with techniques used in North America.

Picture Credits: Arbikie Distillery

As you can see from the label of the bottle, all the essential information that a discerning drinker would like to know is there. It is exciting to know that more experiments are happening all over Scotland. While the younger distilleries such as Arbikie are leading the way, well-established distilleries like Bruichladdich are not far behind either. As to how these experiments will help the industry as a whole, we will have to wait and see.


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    Whisky Review #56 – Sazerac Rye 6 Years Old

    The port-washed Sazerac Rye is the experiment that Whisky Butler, WhiskyGeeks and Manhattan Bar had partnered to do. We detailed the analysis in three different posts that shared how the whisky has changed in 6 days, 13 days and 19 days in a barrel that was previously holding a Penfold’s Father 10 Years Tawny Port.

    This is the final result of the experiment after 25 days.

    Tasting Notes:

    Colour: Deep Gold
    ABV: N.A

    Nose: The first nose brings pronounced notes of sugar cane and floral overtones of a scented rose candle. Dark cherries and blueberries soon surface, and signs of Woods cough syrup begin to take over. After a few minutes, malty notes of Graham crackers appears! A very complex and yet elegant nose indeed! (18/20)

    Palate: The first sip brings on crispy celery with hints of rose syrup. The oily and nutty mouthfeel soon set some lovely cinnamon and vanilla notes on the tongue. After a few minutes, herbaceous notes appear with slight tannic bitterness. (17/20)

    Finish: The finish is long and tannic with notes of cherry drops. (17/20)

    Body: An elegant, balanced dram that is well aged in the port barrel. The complexity on both the nose and palate sets the scene for a long and lovely finish. The experiment had yielded good results! (32/40)

    Total Score: 84/100


    Geek Flora: “Yummy! This is an experiment gone right. The finished product is a balanced, elegant drink that is set to please even the most discerning palate.” 


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