Storm gathers on the islands

Orkney Distilling launches new style of Kirkjuvagr gin

• The new navy or ‘storm’ strength gin is said to pay homage to the seafarers of Orkney.

ORKNEY Distilling has launched a new ‘storm strength’ edition of its Kirkjuvagr gin.
The 57% ABV gin is called Arkh-Angell, after the fishing boat that belonged to the father of Aly Kemp, who set up the company with husband Stephen and launched Kirkjuvagr gin last August. Archangelica is also the name of a locally-grown type of Norwegian angelica, which is a vital ingredient in the gin.

Stephen Kemp said the new storm strength spirit is intended to complement the original Kirkjuvagr gin.
“Bringing out a traditional navy strength, or in this case, a storm strength, version of Kirkjuvagr was the next logical step for us, but we were keen to put our own twist on it,” he said.

“Arkh-Angell is very much a homage to the proud seafarers of Orkney and it also connects with Aly’s family’s fishing heritage.
“It was important for us to retain the characteristics that define Kirkjuvagr, so the process to create Arkh-Angell has been rigorous.

“And, as with Kirkjuvagr, the creation of Arkh-Angell has very much been an Orcadian enterprise, both in terms of the botanicals used and the team involved across all elements of the product development.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the results and are sure it’ll prove as popular as Kirkjuvagr, whether you’re a mariner or not.”

The company received planning permission to build a new distillery and visitor centre last year, and work started on the new facility at Ayre Road on the Kirkwall seafront in February.
The completion of the distillery later this year will see production of the company’s gin relocated to Orkney. It is currently produced on the Scottish mainland.

“After months of planning, we’re really excited to see the project now underway,” said Stephen.
“Our aim is to have the project completed by the end of August, with our focus then on training our new staff and gradually moving full production of Kirkjuvagr to Ayre Road.”

Kemp said he hopes the new distillery will also be a draw for tourists.
“With a major increase in tourist numbers predicted for this year, along with a rise in cruise ship visits, there’s a real need for more high quality attractions in the county to enhance the experience of those travelling to our islands,” he added.