Orkney Distilling's Aly Named Great British Food Heroine

Orkney Distilling's Aly Named Great British Food Heroine

Orkney Distilling is proud to use the very best local ingredients, so we're delighted with the recent news that Aly Kemp, one half of our management team, has been named a Great British Food Heroine.

The award was presented as part of the British Food Fortnight event - a celebration of British food, sponsored by the Co-op - and nationally recognises women who are ambassadors for British food and who work to ensure it grows and thrives into the future.

Aly shares the accolade with 40 women working in food throughout the UK - from cheese makers and chocolatiers, to brewers, bakers and farmers.

She received a special slate plaque which will be displayed in Orkney Distilling’s new Kirkwall distillery and visitor centre, set to open in the New Year.

Aly said: “I was really thrilled to receive this award from the Co-op as it recognises the important part women play in the UK’s food and drink industry.

“At Orkney Distilling, we’ve championed local ingredients from the outset and are always conscious of the need to maintain the highest standards in everything we do. Ultimately, we’re ambassadors for Orkney, Scotland and the UK and are proud to be part of a nationwide effort to promote the very best of what our country can offer.”

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Arkh Angell wins a Silver Medal at the Scottish Gin Awards!

Arkh Angell wins a Silver Medal at the Scottish Gin Awards!

Our Arkh-Angell ‘Storm Strength’ gin has won a prestigious Silver Medal in the Navy Strength Gin of the Year category at this year’s Scottish Gin Awards in Glasgow!

This is a massive achievement and we’re all immensely proud. Our signature Kirkjuvagr Gin took home a Bronze medal from the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards last year, so for Arkh-Angell to go one better and win a Silver is absolutely fantastic and testament to the efforts of all our team here in Orkney.

In total, 46 producers and 80 gins progressed to the final stage of the national competition, which celebrates Scotland’s booming gin industry.

Covering 18 categories, the awards assessed taste and business performance and were judged earlier this year in two sessions by one of the most experienced gin tasting panels ever assembled in the UK.

Twenty-two tasters including Master Distillers from some of the UK’s biggest gin brands and the UK’s leading professors in distilling, blind tasted and graded every sample under strict technical conditions, adjudicated by sensory management experts, Cara Technology.  One hundred and sixteen gins, all distilled in Scotland, were assessed - a 52% increase in the number of gins entered last year.

Want to try it for yourself?

If you've not tried Arkh Angell yet, now is the time! Get 15% OFF by using code STORMY at checkout, but only until Sunday 23rd September at midnight.

ORDER ARKH ANGELL ONLINE
New Distillery & Visitor Centre Opens in Kirkwall

New Distillery & Visitor Centre Opens in Kirkwall

Our new artisan distillery and visitor centre officially opens in Kirkwall this week, creating a major new tourist attraction for the islands.

Two years in the planning, the new facility - which has created six local jobs - represents the realisation of our dream.  

Sited on Kirkwall’s historic harbour front, the two-storey distillery and visitor centre has been finished to an extremely high standard, incorporating a gin and coffee bar, retail outlet and events venue. Visitors are also able to tour the production area of the facility to learn more about the distillation process, and the stories behind our gins.

Our signature gin Kirkjuvagr was only launched in August of 2016 but has firmly established itself in the hugely competitive gin marketplace, winning praise from critics and a bronze medal at the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards in 2017.

Inside the Orkney Distillery Coffee & Gin BarWe’re incredibly proud of our new home and can’t wait to share it with the local community, and the many visitors who come to Orkney each year. From the outset it was our intention to create a place where people could relax and enjoy a drink in comfortable surroundings, while learning more about our gins and, indeed, Orkney. We also felt, given the very welcome rise in visitor numbers to Orkney, that there was a need for a new, high quality tourist attraction in the town. Hopefully we’ve filled that gap with a project that does the islands proud. Although our gin branding very much reflects the Norse heritage of Orkney, we’ve created a contemporary atmosphere within the distillery and visitor centre. That merging of the old and new, blending tradition and innovation, is unmistakably Orcadian in its approach, and something we’ve strived for with our gins too. Everyone involved in the project has worked extremely hard to bring it to fruition. Crucially, all of our branding and marketing has been delivered by a local team, and we’ve employed skilled local people to build the distillery and visitor centre, and manage its journey towards opening. We’ve also got a great group of local people on board to deliver the very best service to customers and, of course, produce our gins.

The new Orkney Distilling Distillery and Visitor Centre is now open for business, with the Distillery Bar opening to the public for the first time this weekend.

You can check availability and Book a Tour online, direct from our website.

Orkney Distilling Double Finalists in Scottish Gin Awards!

Orkney Distilling Double Finalists in Scottish Gin Awards!

We are over the moon to announce that Orkney Distilling Ltd has made the finals in two categories of this year’s Scottish Gin Awards!

Our Storm Strength Arkh-Angell gin has been shortlisted within the Navy Strength Gin of the Year category of the prestigious awards, while the Orkney Gin Festival 2018 – organised by Orkney Distilling in partnership with The Old Library – is in the running for the Scottish Gin Event of the Year accolade.

The shortlisting is no mean feat: one hundred and sixteen gins (all distilled in Scotland) were assessed. This is a 52% increase in the number of gins entered last year.

46 producers and 80 gins have progressed to the final stage of the national competition, which, for the second year running, celebrates Scotland’s booming gin industry.

Covering 18 categories, the awards assess taste and business performance and were judged earlier this month in two sessions by one of the most experienced gin tasting panels ever assembled in the UK.

Twenty-two tasters including Master Distillers from some of the UK’s biggest gin brands and the UK’s leading professors in distilling blind tasted and graded every sample under strict technical conditions. The taste tests were adjudicated by sensory management experts, Cara Technology.

The news is the cherry on the cake of a very exciting time for us here at the distillery, as we prepare to open our new distillery and visitor centre in the heart of Kirkwall. (Tickets for tours are bookable now). 

Our managing director Stephen Kemp said: “This is fantastic news for our business, following on from the success we enjoyed last year when our signature Kirkjuvagr Gin took home a bronze medal from the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards. We’re particularly delighted to see our Storm Strength Arkh-Angell gin in the running for an accolade this year and thrilled to see our very successful Orkney Gin Festival recognised too.”

Stephen added: “We’re now very close to opening our brand-new distillery and visitor centre in Kirkwall, so news of our success in reaching the finals of this year’s Scottish Gin Awards is a major boost for everyone within the team.”

 

 

Orkney Distillery Tour Bookings Now Open!

Orkney Distillery Tour Bookings Now Open!

We’ve Got Some Exciting News!

You may have noticed we’ve been a little quiet lately – sorry about that. It’s because we’ve been hard at work on the Orkney Distillery and Visitor Centre which is now very close to completion.

This summer, we’ll be opening our doors so fellow Orcadians and those who have journeyed to our isles can come and learn about the making of Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin and enjoy a G&T in our new gin bar overlooking Kirkwall’s harbour.

Online booking for our guided tours is now open!

BOOK A TOUR

We’ll be providing guided tours so visitors can learn about the story of our gin and the history of our islands, tour the production area, and finish by sampling our range of gins. We’re very excited to share our world-class visitor attraction and show you what we’ve been working on.

Tours will run at 11am and 2pm each day (except Sundays) with extra slots opened up for peak periods. You can check live availability and book your places through our website. Please note, we are only accepting bookings from 1st July.

Want to know more? Read our newly updated Orkney Distillery page.

And here's a little sneak preview video to whet your appetite.

Orkney Distilling head of production Louis Wright and director Stephen Kemp

We welcome a new Head of Production

Everyone at Orkney Distilling is thrilled to welcome Louis Wright onto the team!

Louis has been appointed to head of production for our new Kirkwall distillery and visitor centre, which is set to open later this year.

Originally from Kirkwall, Louis is currently undergoing full training for his role with Strathearn Distillery, where some of the country’s finest craft spirits are produced, and will be producing all of our gin in the new Kirkwall premises as soon it reaches completion later this spring.

Louis, a former pupil of Kirkwall Grammar School, studied History at the University of Edinburgh, working as a tour guide at Highland Park Distillery during his summer holidays. Following his graduation he worked in Belgium for three months with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

 Louis said: “It has long been my intention to build a career in the drinks trade, particularly after having worked at Highland Park as a tour guide during summers at home.

 “I was fascinated by how alcohol was produced, particularly gin and whisky, but also captivated by the stories that underpin each product, which are almost as important as the spirits themselves.

 “When I came back from Belgium, initially for Christmas, Stephen and Aly Kemp from Orkney Distilling contacted me about the position on their team. Kirkjuvagr is a high quality and authentic product with a unique story and sense of place, so it was a great opportunity for me.” 

 Louis added: “My role at Orkney Distilling will primarily be as head of production, but it'll also involve product and brand development, along with boosting public engagement through the medium of tours, tasting, exhibitions and trade shows. I can't wait to get started!”

 Director Stephen Kemp said: “Louis caught our eye early on in the hunt for suitable candidates for this important role within our new Kirkwall distillery. We knew he was an experienced and knowledgeable guide, with a strong academic background, but we were also aware of his great enthusiasm for the drinks trade, his appreciation of the distilling craft and his willingness to learn.”

All the best Louis!

Win tickets to Orkney's first Gin Festival!

Win tickets to Orkney's first Gin Festival!

The very first Orkney Gin Festival is happening next month, and we have two tickets to give away! 

Held on 16th-17th February at The Sound Archive in Kirkwall, the festival will feature tasting sessions, samples and a chance to meet the makers who are behind some of the best small gin companies in Scotland. We will of course be there!

To win a pair of tickets, design a cocktail using Kirkuvagr gin and share it on social media using the hashtag #orkneyginfestival. We'll pick our favourite which will also feature as our signature drink at the festival! 

Keep an eye out for more information on the Orkney Gin Festival on The Old Library Facebook page or Twitter feed. 

Last date for entries is Monday 12th February 2018, and remember to tag your photos #orkneyginfestival

Good luck!