First Scottish Tequila aged in Speyside malt whisky casks launched

Two entrepreneurs have launched Scotland’s first Tequila company, UWA Tequila, which has created what it believes to be the world’s first Tequila aged in Speyside single malt whisky casks.

Michael Ballantyne and Ross Davidson, co-founders of UWA Tequila

Billed as Scotland’s first craft Tequila firm, UWA Tequila was founded by Michael Ballantyne and Ross Davidson, who, taking inspiration from their Scottish roots to create a Tequila aged in Speyside single malt casks.

Based in Aberdeen, UWA Tequila exports Speyside whisky casks from Scotland to Tequila, in Mexico, where its Tequila is aged and bottled.

The company has already released two out of three of its 100% Blue Weber agave small batch craft Tequilas; its super premium platinum blanco and its seven-month aged Speyside whisky cask reposado. A 14-month aged añejo expression will be available in the UK market in Spring 2018.

“Scotland has some of the finest food, drink, and tourism that the world has to offer, but Tequila really hasn’t been a spirit that’s been focused on, partly because of the perception it’s had of being a cheap shot chased with salt and lime. We are here to change that perception,” said Michael Ballantyne, co-founder of UWA Tequila.

“Our company is based on being able to express ourselves in a fun and creative way, so for us, Tequila was the perfect fit. All of our tequilas are made from 100% rare Blue Weber agave and this is our chance to not only educate people on how great agave is, but to also promote responsible drinking as we’re very much focused on educating consumers about quality and not quantity “

The pair are already looking toward their next release, and are experimenting with and introducing new, rare casks to their repertoire, with plans to add a cask strength reposado and añejo at 53% in the near future.

“We make the Tequila in the same way as anyone else does, but the fact we started out with an industry first using single malt Scotch whisky casks really does make our Tequila stand out,” added co-founder Ross Davidson.

“Traditionally companies use American bourbon casks for ageing Tequila so we’ve taken a really innovative approach in doing something completely different to the norm.”

UWA Tequila retails from £55 and Scottish companies Gordon and MacPhail and Bootstrap Liquor will be leading UK trade distribution, with UWA products soon to be available in Harrods, Harvey Nichols and online at The Whisky Exchange.

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