They say that time flies when you’re having fun and this is certainly the case at Lindores Abbey Distillery. We can’t believe year one of production has come and gone already, and what a fantastic year it has been. The anticipation for the release of our first Whisky is incredible but over the past 12 months the limelight has really been shining on our Aqua Vitae, our first product release from Lindores. We want to shine a light on the people that are really helping us to spread the word – the Aqua Vitae stockists.
HANDING STRAIGHT OVER TO OUR BRAND AMBASSADOR – MURRAY STEVENSON.
The warm reception this unique botanical spirit has received all over Scotland, the UK and beyond from our Aqua Vitae stockists really has been sensational and it has been such a privilege to be part of the beginning of this amazing journey. We owe so much of this success, and we are immensely grateful to, the fantastic people who have joined our journey from all the bars, restaurants and shops that have shown such enthusiasm and support for our Aqua Vitae. Meeting and working with these creative and passionate characters really is the best part of my role as a Brand Ambassador.
Today I am in the picturesque fishing village of Anstruther, in the East Neuk of Fife, to catch up with Tom Couper – owner of ‘The Wee Couper of Fife’, a stunning boutique bottle shop that has been championing our Aqua Vitae for the past few months.
So Tom, for those reading this that have not yet had the pleasure of meeting yourself and Karen can you tell us a little about yourself and your shop?
Karen had worked in the drinks industry for about 30 years, and I had been mostly in sales and customer service. The shop is a little dream of ours in which Karen came up with the layout and we both decided on the product base. We have a few people that initially helped us along the way, one being Jane from Laserflair who does all our insert cut outs for gift sets and Cat from Catmac Design who are both local girls and very good at what they do.
What inspired you to start this venture?
The inspiration behind the venture was a change of circumstance and life for both myself and Karen. We had a bit of a tough time the past couple of years so decided to take the bull by the horns and do what we wanted to do. So now we get to spend more time together, meet great people and look at a beautiful harbor every day.
Murray: You guys are such an inspiration, being able to ride out some tough times and have the courage to strive for something positive like this new venture is so commendable. I’m so happy to see that all the hard work and determination from Karen and yourself has really paid off, it’s just such a great wee shop.
Since opening your shop have you noticed a change in the industry and consumers drinking trends over recent years?
Since opening the shop we have noticed a massive change in the gin market. Old school gins like Gordons are now being pushed aside for things like botanical gins and cocktails. I don’t think this is a bad thing as generations change constantly and people nowadays like variety.
Lindores Aqua Vitae has been incredibly popular on the shelves in The Wee Couper of Fife. Why do you think this is?
I believe that the reason Lindores Abbey Aqua Vitae is so popular is due to the history behind the Abbey. There was so much happened there, I just make people aware of that before they get a taste and the taste seals the deal.
Do you think Lindores made the right decision to offer something so different as our first product release and what would you say makes Aqua Vitae a competitive product in today’s market?
I think due to the history behind the Abbey and the location it was an excellent decision. Most distilleries will do gin for the first three years as it is easy to do but Aqua Vitae is in all the history books and it was a brave, but very wise way to go.
What is your favorite way to drink our Aqua Vitae and what are your thoughts on the suggested serve of Aqua Vitae over ice, topped with ginger ale and a twist of orange that we have made today?
I enjoyed the serve with the ginger ale and orange but I have to say I like to drink mine straight from the fridge with no water or ice but I think the cocktails are a great way to go for a younger market.
You recently came to visit our distillery, what did you think of the place?
When visiting the distillery we went to the Abbey first which was amazing, but the distillery blew us away. The whole idea of the long oak table with the reference pull out boards is really quite genius. There has been a lot of consideration and thought put in to the layout to give visitors the best possible experience.
Your shop is in such a nice spot overlooking the harbor and even in the quiet season business seems to be thriving. This must be a great place to work with a view like that and chatting to all your happy guests.
As you know Murray, we like to talk. We want our guests to come into the shop, have some fun and of course spend some money. The most important thing is that they leave with a feeling that they were welcome because everyone is and that they would come back. We aim to give tourists especially, a feeling that Scotland welcomes them to our home.
So apart from a queue out the door of excited summer tourists, what does the future have in store for yourselves, The Wee Couper and its customers?
We will be doing quite a lot of work on the website this year along with Amazon Prime. This won’t take away from how we run the shop, that will always be the same. We will also be doing more prize draws on the facebook page this year so please like, share and follow.
It’s been a pleasure as always Tom to come and catch up with you in Anstruther. I hope anyone reading has a chance to enjoy your warm hospitality over the coming months. Your shop is such a wee gem and I’m already looking forward to my next visit.
Murray Stevenson – Lindores Abbey Distillery Brand Ambassador
TRY AQUA VITAE FOR YOURSELF
STOCK AQUA VITAE
In addition to our own online shop, we work with many local retailers where you can buy our spirits. If you know of somewhere not listed please let us know and we’ll add you/them to our map.
If you think your local farm shop or local shop should be stocking us let us know their names too!
Contact Murray Stevenson on firstname.lastname@example.org