A new distillery has been launched in Royal Deeside, the first after almost 200 years.
Banchory-based Twin River Distillery comes from the team behind Deeside Brewery and is expanding its craft drink offering with the production and laying down of its first casks of Twin River Whisky.
Twin River has recently invested over £200k in the distillery to accommodate the production of its spirits, with plans for new premises in 2018.
£1.4m will be invested to build a new brewery, distillery and visitor centre with taproom in the heart of Banchory. The distillery uses the brewery’s by-product – grain neutral spirit – in the production of its craft drinks, to ensure a completely authentic offering.
Funds for the centre are going to be sought through both internal and external sources including private investment and crowdfunding, via the sale of early release octaves (55L casks). Demand has already been high prelaunch and the distillery has received a score of enquiries.
Ryan Rhodes has been recruited as brand director and joins Twin River with over 12 years of experience in the global bar and drinks trade, including a two-year stint in Singapore before joining Dusk Bar in Aberdeen as a Bar Manager in 2015.
Ryan said: “I’m passionate about craft drinks. My experience working in bars around the world has shown me that people want authentic quality when it comes to premium spirits. There is real potential for us to be a leader in the Scottish craft drinks market and I’m excited about being an integral part of Twin River – both in the production of and selling of our products.”
“To create a whisky, you firstly need a wash which is fundamentally an 8% beer. We’ve used our brewing knowledge to create a wash which includes chocolate malt before distilling it to cask strength and laying it down in 55L virgin charred American oak casks. This type of cask ages the whisky much quicker.”
The team has already achieved much acclaim for its first prototype release gin, Twin River Gin, which debuted earlier this month at Sessions – Aberdeen’s first outdoor craft beer and gin festival – and is determined to highlight the misconceptions about the creation of Scottish craft gin.
Ryan explains: “The thing that differentiates Twin River products from our competition is that is that almost always, with the exception of two other distilleries in the North East (LoneWolf and Arbikie) we are focussing on true Scottish provenance, using 100% of our own spirit. Our gin is as real as it gets.”
To support with the development and production of its products, the distillery has appointed Andrew Tulloch as a distiller where he’ll be using his brewing knowledge to underpin Twin River Distillery as a key contributor to the craft drinks industry.