Dunbar cider company wins innovation award

Richard Lochhead and Peter Stuart celebrating Thistly Cross Cider being crowned 'Most Innovative New Product'
Richard Lochhead and Peter Stuart celebrating Thistly Cross Cider being crowned 'Most Innovative New Product'

SCOTLAND’S only cider producer, Dunbar-based Thistly Cross Cider, have scooped the ‘Most Innovative New Product’ award at the East Lothian Food and Drinks Awards.

Thistly Cross Cider’s whisky cask matured cider 6.9% – which is aged for six months in oak casks from Glenglassaugh Distillery in Portsoy, Aberdeenshire – beat off competition from a host of other East Lothian producers to win the coveted title.

The whisky cask cider’s most recent accolade isn’t the first, with judges at the 2012 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Festival in Michigan awarding Thistly Cross ‘Best Specialty Cider’.

This month, the cider was also voted the ‘Fourth best cider in the world’ by Paste Magazine – a leading online-destination for popular culture enthusiasts.

Peter Stuart from Abbey St Bathans, is head cidermaker at Thistly Cross and he has welcomed the latest award.

Peter said: “We’re delighted that our whisky cask cider has been awarded ‘Most Innovative New Product at the East Lothian Food and Drinks Awards’.

“The oak-infused flavours make this cider particularly unique and the perfect winter warmer. What’s more, seeing this cider pick up yet another accolade could not come at a better time, on the eve of the whisky cask cider touching down and beginning distribution right across the States.”

Thistly Cross have fought hard to secure, with help from US Cidermaker JK Scrumpy, a US listing for their whisky cask variety, however, it looks like the cider may have arrived just in time.

Peter explained: “In contradiction to the UK market which mainly views cider as a summer drink, 80% of cider sold in the States is bought during the autumn and winter months.

“With the global craft beer scene continuing to explode, this is a having a very positive knock on affect for cider, with buyers in the US looking to the UK for the latest, most cutting edge ciders and vice versa.”