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Distil PLC
30 April 2024

Distil PLC

Distil celebrates the first Blackwoods distillation at Ardgowan Distillery and announces name of gin still as voted for by public


Distil plc (AIM:DIS), owner of premium drinks brands Blackwoods Gin and Vodka, RedLeg Spiced Rum, TRØVE Botanical Vodka and Blavod Black Vodka, is pleased to announce the successful first distillation of Blackwood at Ardgowan Distillery.

In August 2021, Distil announced a £3 million strategic investment (in the form of a convertible loan) in Ardgowan Distillery Company Limited which will see the development of a new state-of-the-art, carbon negative Malt Whisky distillery, near Inverkip, Scotland. The investment provided the Company with a long-term interest in a growing premium category, as well as providing a new home for Blackwoods with its own distillery, gin school and visitors' experience.


Following completion of necessary commissioning and testing, the gin still at Blackwoods' new brand home on the site of the Ardgowan Distillery is now fully operational, and the first distillation of Blackwoods has been completed. 


The team has reserved this first liquid for release as a limited-edition available exclusively to shareholders in the summer, with more details to follow soon.


Distillation took place on the 1,000L, Scottish-crafted copper still to Blackwoods gin recipe, using local Scottish botanicals - kelp, sea buckthorn and water mint. Ardgowan's distiller, Ross Bradley, led the distillation with support from Distil's Master Distiller, Sion Edwards.


This milestone is marked by the announcement of the naming of the gin still - "Marie". The name was chosen by visitors to the first annual Ardgowan Open Day in July 2023, who voted from a shortlist of names evoking local history. Marie was the outright winner on the day, chosen to honour the memory of Marie Lamont, one of the youngest women to have been subject to the 17th century Inverkip witch trials.


The first distillation cements Blackwoods' move to its new home at Ardgowan, and kicks-off a programme of new product development for the brand, which will be showcased at the distillery's visitor experience.


Sarah Kingsbury, Marketing Director at Distil, commented: "This is a significant milestone not only for Blackwoods as a brand, but for Distil's relationship with Ardgowan Distillery Company.


We were delighted to be on-site for the first distillation which successfully took place under the guidance of Sion Edwards, and to taste and craft the first liquid together with him and Ross Bradley. We look forward to making this available to shareholders, and pushing forward with our planned programme of new product development.


In tandem with this, we are delighted to reveal "Marie" as the name of the still. The Ardgowan Estate and surrounding area is rich with Scottish history, and to be able to honour a key local character is fantastic.


Works continue on-site to fit out the Blackwoods visitor experience, and we look forward to sharing further updates in the near future."


Martin McAdam, CEO Ardgowan Distillery Company, said: "Our teams have been working hard to reach this milestone and we're delighted to be able to announce the successful first distillation of Blackwoods. I look forward to further deepening the relationship with the Distil team as we welcome Blackwoods to its new home at Ardgowan."


For further information:


Distil PLC

Don Goulding, Executive Chairman

Tel +44 203 405 0475

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (NOMAD)

Neil Baldwin

Mark Brady

Tel +44 20 3368 3550

Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Ltd (Broker)

Andy Thacker / James Pope

Tel +44 20 3657 0050


About Distil

Distil Plc is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. It owns drinks brands in a number of sectors of the alcoholic drinks market. These include premium spiced rum, vodka, gin, vodka vanilla cream liqueur and are called RedLeg Spiced Rum. Blackwoods Vintage Gin, Blackwoods Vodka, TRØVE Botanical Vodkas, Blavod Original Black Vodka and Diva Vodka.


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