Nestled amongst the rolling hills of rural Aberdeenshire, Blackford Craft Distillery Ltd is a family run, micro distillery based out of a 19th century steading in Blackford, near Rothienorman, that produces premium, handcrafted, small batch spirits, which are inspired by the local landscape and Aberdeenshire’s prehistoric past.
Once part of the Blackford Estate, with links to Fyvie Castle, Maryfield of Blackford is a 6-acre property consisting of woodland, fields, the former farm house and steadings. With the aim of rescuing the steading, which has been neglected since Maryfield was separated from the farm land in 1989, Blackford Craft Distillery Ltd partially refurbished the steading into a Still Room and plans to renovate the remainder into a fully licensed distillery comprising Plant Room, Excise Warehouse, office and Tasting Room.
The Picts, who were the prehistoric inhabitants of Aberdeenshire, were astronomers, who observed the planets to track the seasons, carving V-Rod and Crescent symbols, their astronomical calendar, onto standing stones. Blackford Craft Distillery’s logo was designed with this in mind and their version of the V-Rod and Crescent, represents Mither Tap at Bennachie in the centre with Venus as the ‘evening star’ above it.
Aberdeenshire was the heartland of the Picts, the echoes of these ancient inhabitants are visible throughout North East Scotland, in the form of standing stones and ruins of iron age hill forts. Inspired by the heather mead brewed by Picts, Blackford Craft Distillery Ltd created Vesperis in their honour.
As craft distillers, the family is involved in every aspect of the distillation process from selecting ingredients to hand labelling and waxing every bottle. The company is so dedicated to craft that each batch has a vintage, a batch number, is uniquely numbered and signed, so no two bottles will ever be the same.
In June 2017, Vesperis botanical vodka was launched and will be shortly followed by Vesperis gin in the autumn. Planting an orchard will also commence this year, owing to plans to create single estate spirits by distilling an apple spirit base for Vesperis and producing a Scottish ‘Calvados’ in the future.
Our spirits are distilled using the pioneering iStill 500 Next Generation, shown here in the still room alongside the holding tank.
Vesperis Pictish Vodka
Vesperis, ultra premium botanical vodka, was designed to be a little different, a crossover product between vodka and gin. Distilled like gin using organic grain spirit, organic heather honey, wild harvested heather and seasonal organic apples. The name Vesperis was inspired by the Roman God of the Evening Star Vesper, which is the planet Venus as it rises in the evening. Vesperis is a premium botanical vodka, which can be sipped neat or mixed to create a Pictish twist on cocktails.
Vesperis Pictish Gin
Vesperis Pictish Gin takes the Pictish flavour profile and adds organic botanicals to create a smooth, balanced, artisan gin.
Key botanicals: heather honey, heather blossom and lemon peel.
Tasting Notes: Nose: crisp and clean floral note with subtle hints of coriander freshness and citrus
Palate – juniper forward, with sweetness from the honey, followed by spice, citrus and floral notes, no alcohol burn.
Finish – long, pine finish gives a lasting, woody flavour.
These are coming soon…watch this space!!!
Maryfield of Blackford
Tel: 01651 821187