Arbikie Estate is a family-owned working farm perched on the east coast of Angus. Here, the crop is king and they painstakingly plant, sow, tend and harvest the fields that make up Arbikie.
This is a family business where they are craftsmen of the soil and an estate profoundly shaped by its environment: the red sandstone-tinted soil, the powerful sea and the turbulent weather give Arbike a character found nowhere else. And here, situated where land meets sea, sits the distillery – created from an ancient barn, it is a place with all the ingredients required to produce authentic spirits of the highest quality.
The family has been farming at Arbikie for four generations. From father to son, they have gained an intuitive understanding of the land, sowing and harvesting the crops that now create Arbikie’s range of field to bottle spirits. Farming in the Stirling family goes back even further – since 1660, initially on the west coast. Their lands passed through seven generations until great uncle Bill moved to farm at Arbikie on the east coast of Angus in the 1920’s. He then passed it to the grandfather of the current owners, John Stirling who expanded the acreage before passing the lands over to Alec Stirling. Brothers John, Iain and David are the visionaries and driving force behind the Arbikie Distillery.
As with all farming families, the brothers grew up working around the farm, and It is this hands-on experience that gave them a deep understanding and respect of the land. Despite pursuing careers away from farming, they have always stayed attached to the family lands – and now with the opening and growth of the Arbikie Highland Estate distillery, they have returned to drive this exciting and continually evolving venture.
Join Paul Andrews as he interviews one of the Arbikie directors, Iain Stirling, in understanding more about the values, purposes and drivers behind the business, and their role as custodians of the family firm for future generations.