Born in Scotland, raised in Texas, if there’s one thing founder Michael Ballantyne knows it’s good scotch and tequila.
With a background in culinary arts and a love for cask aged drinks that are sipped neat, 4 years ago Michael went on a journey to Tequila country to ask Master Distiller Luis Trejo from La Cofradia Distillery a burning question: “If scotch is aged in more than just ex-bourbon casks, why can’t we add new flavours to tequila by using casks from scotch whisky?”. It was at that moment the two’s love for their own national drinks created the unique idea to age tequila in scotch whisky casks.
In late 2017 Michael launched Scotland’s first tequila company, UWA Tequila, creating the world’s first tequila that’s fully matured in Speyside single malt whisky casks. Two and a half years as well as several awards later, he is unveiling the next chapter in his love for agave spirits married to a scotch inspired wood programme now known as Storywood Tequila, with a new UK distribution deal with Halewood International.
Founder of Storywood Tequila Michael Ballantyne said:
“Storywood is the next chapter in my tequila spirits journey. It’s a chance to really shake things up in the industry by focusing on cask aged tequila’s born in Mexico but aged by Scotland. Our core range will feature one of the same award-winning expressions from UWA and two brand new ones going into the line-up all aged in oak. My mission is to make tequila more accessible to a wider audience encouraging brown spirit drinkers to step outside their comfort zone and be adventurous. We want to encourage Storywood Tequila drinkers to live free but sip slow, taking that time to sip and savour as you would with any fine barrel aged liquid.
“I’m excited to bring my next chapter to the drinks industry and even more excited to have found the right partner to bring our spirits to a wider audience. We’ll kick off the launch in the UK and Ireland first with Asia, Australia, and Continental Europe in our sights over the next 3 years. The team at Halewood really share the same passion and global vision as we do for Storywood, we’re both looking forward to shaking up the industry with our Scotch inspired agave spirits.”
Blair Sterrick, Agency Brand Manager at Halewood Wines and Spirits said:
“We are delighted to be adding Storywood Tequila to our portfolio of artisanal spirits at Halewood. Tequila is a huge opportunity for the UK spirits market and with serves generally leaning towards shots, we see a strong opportunity with Storywood to shift that perception and excite consumers.