Arbikie Potato Vodka


I think all these years of drinks tasting has got me addicted to extreme flavours. I can still enjoy the balanced and the quiet dram/beer/wine, but the ones I really wax lyrical about are the crazy drinks. Balcones Brimstone for example; intensely smokey, with heaps of BBQ and meaty notes. Or some double IPA infused with orange and rye like Tempest Marmalade on Rye. Or Arbikie Potato Vodka.

Full Flavoured Vodka?

You better believe it. Produced up near Arbroath by a potato farming family, it has been made to have plenty of creamy, mucky, potato flavours. It is produced to have flavour, body and guts, as well as being tasty. Below is their pretty distilling kit, where their newly mashed potato ferment is distilled in pot stills, then further distilled in their column still. A new distillery doing everything from field to distillation on site. There are a handful of distilleries that have this link to the farmland around them, so this is noteworthy.

Jason and I met their distiller Kirsty at an event at Ruffian’s barbers the other night, and it was interesting talking to her about the work that goes into distilling potatoes rather than grain. There has been plenty of work in research and development, and Kirsty was saying there is lots more they are looking at. When I visit the distillery, I’ll look at this in more depth.

When I first tried Arbikie, I thought it would make a good Martini. I quite like a wet martini (extra vermouth), so I have been working all week on getting the proportions right (I take my homework seriously). For my palate, 2.5 shots of Arbikie to 1 shot of dry vermouth, 3 olives and a touch of brine is perfect. Probably sacrilege for lots of Martini drinkers, who prefer it dry.

Returning to my the main point: this is a vodka that I will happily drink neat, and for its flavour. You can taste what it is made of, and I like that. With new products, there is always a mention of price. With a price of 38 to 42 quid a bottle, people may say expensive. To be honest, in this case, I am more than willing to be £38 to £40 quid a bottle to have this in house for an occasional cocktail, or just neat over ice.

Chris Hoban


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