Cider house rules for distiller

Neil and Katie Sime plan to produce a cider in Aberdeenshire

AN Aberdeenshire craft cider is set to be launched later this year by the husband and wife team behind Blackford Craft Distillery near Inverurie.

Neil and Katie Sime, who currently produce Vesperis Pictish Gin and Vodka at the distillery using locally-sourced seasonal apples as a key botanical, plan to grow heritage apple trees at their six-acre site, which will ultimately enable them to produce single estate spirits and cider in line with their ‘branch to bottle’ philosophy. They launched a ‘sponsor a tree’ initiative late last year for the initial 30 trees in the orchard and will continue to use locally-sourced apples until the trees mature.

Katie said production of cider at the distillery is expected to get underway later this year.

“Although production will be small-scale to start with, we do hope to produce several hectolitres in autumn with the first release before Christmas 2019,” she said.