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.

In June 2017, Vesperis Botanical Vodka was launched, and in October Vesperis Pictish Gin was introduced to the market. Production of a craft Highland Scotch whisky is to commence in 2018.

Vesperis, premium botanical vodka, was designed as a sipping vodka with the flavour and character of gin. Distilled using organic grain spirit, organic heather honey, wild harvested heather and seasonal organic apples, in October 2017, Vesperis botanical vodka was awarded a Gold medal at the Global Vodka Masters and was praised for its “lemon shortbread and malt” notes.

Vesperis Pictish Gin takes the ‘Pictish’ flavour profile and adds organic botanicals such as juniper berries, coriander seeds and lemon peel, which combine to make a smooth, balanced, artisan gin.

The Picts, the prehistoric inhabitants of Aberdeenshire, were astronomers, who observed the planets to track the seasons, carving their astronomical calendar, the V-Rod and Crescent, onto standing stones. Blackford Craft Distillery’s logo represents Mither Tap at Bennachie in the centre with Venus as the ‘evening star’ above it. 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.

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. The Picts had a strong brewing tradition and their heather mead has inspired us to produce a premium artisan gin and vodka using heather honey and heather blossom as the primary botanicals.

As craft distillers, the family is involved in every aspect of the distillation process from selecting ingredients to hand labelling and waxing every bottle. Each bottle displays a vintage, a batch number, is uniquely numbered and signed.

Distilled using the pioneering iStill, Vesperis premiumspirits can be sipped neat or mixed to create a Pictish twist on cocktails.

Extracted from Blackford Craft Distillery

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