A new direction for Scottish spirit production:
Scottish artisan producers create the first Scottish Cider Brandy

Strathearn Distillery (probably Scotland’s smallest distillery™,) and Scotland’s original cidermaker, Thistly Cross Cider, have joined forces to create the world’s first Scottish Cider Brandy.

The combination of Thistly Cross Cider’s award-winning Scottish cider and Strathearn’s expertise in producing quality craft spirits has resulted in this unique cider brandy. The spirit will be released in small single cask batches of 200 bottles and officially launched on Summer Solstice, Tuesday 21 June.

Ingredients in the spirit are sourced locally from the Scottish countryside and made into cider at Thistly Cross in East Lothian before being sent to Strathearn Distillery in the heart of Perthshire to be transformed into the final spirit.

“Distilling cider was something I’d always been interested in, so I applied for a cider licence when I built the whisky distillery, just in case”, said Tony Reeman-Clark, founder of Strathearn Distillery.

“The plan started to come together when I passed Thistly Cross on a train. I hadn’t realised that there was a cider maker in Scotland so, from that point, everything clicked into place,” he said.

“A few months later, Peter and I bumped into each other at an event in London and that’s when our cider brandy journey began!”

Peter Stuart, Head Cider Maker at Thistly Cross Cider said: “Cider brandy tends to be produced in parts of the world with strong cider making heritage, such as the Calvados region in Normandy.

“Traditionally, Scotland hasn’t been thought of as a big producer of cider, but we’ve changed that perception in recent years. This, along with Scotland’s world-renowned spirits industry, spurred us on to try something new. We are both proud to be contributing to Scotland’s distilling heritage.”

Thistly Cross Cider and Strathearn Distillery are innovative producers of craft products with small batch production at the heart of the companies’ philosophies. Both companies have a wealth of experience in working with casks and maturation.

The two producers also do a lot of work in the US, where small batch spirit is king and the craft movement was born, as well as Germany, where tradition, heritage and quality are of utmost importance – and where Scottish spirits take pride of place in the drinks cabinet.