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A Scottish Twist on Mexican Tequila

Scotsmen Michael Ballantyne and Ross Davidson, have officially launched Scotland’s first craft tequila company, releasing the world’s only solely aged Speyside whisky cask tequila.

By 19th Hole Staff  |  Jan. 11, 2018

UWA Tequila

UWA Tequila co-founders and owners, Ross Davidson and Michael Ballantyne

After much anticipation and an unlikely clash of cultures, UWA Tequila, which is headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, is officially the first tequila brand in the industry to put a Scottish twist on the traditional Mexican spirit.

Set up in September 2016 following a six-figure investment by owners Michael Ballantyne and Ross Davidson, the luxury tequila brand has now officially released two of its core range of super-premium products to the market.

The super-premium triple distilled 100% Blue Weber spirit is aged and rested in premium pre-filled Speyside whisky casks which are exported from Scotland and transported to Tequila, Mexico.

UWA Tequila

UWA Tequila Platinum Blanco and cask aged Reposado

This is the first time tequila has been created by aging it in Scotch whisky casks without combining different blends.

Taking a step back from the oil and gas industry, the two men look to present a completely niche product to the super premium spirits market, combining different cultures to create the ultimate luxury spirit.

Michael Ballantyne, co-founder, and CEO of UWA Tequila, said: “UWA Tequila is like nothing else on the drinks market at the moment. It’s been a long time developing everything for the brand, but we’ve put a lot of effort into producing the very best tequila with our own Scottish twist.

“Ageing in various casks gives each one a unique expression, and we wanted to be the first people to do something really different in the tequila industry. Our aim is to provide artisanal tequilas aged in barrels from Single Malt casks, to casks that are used by some of the finest wineries in the Napa Valley.

“The brand really is all about thinking outside the box and doing something different. Being very new to the drinks industry we’ve had to learn a lot quickly, but for us, educating people on the right ways to enjoy tequila whilst promoting responsible drinking is a key part of our business.”

UWA Tequila

UWA Tequila co-founders Michael Ballantyne and Ross Davidson celebrate.

“Being native Scots and knowing our whisky’s rather well, we simply took inspiration from the whisky industry and applied it to our tequila.”

Ross Davidson, co-founder, and COO of UWA Tequila, said: “We make the tequila in the same way as anyone else does, but the fact we started out with an industry first using Single Malt Scotch whisky casks really does make our tequila stand out.

“Traditionally companies use American bourbon casks for aging tequila so we’ve taken a really innovative approach to doing something completely different to the norm.

“Our core range has three 40% ABV products in it, but we’re already looking into aging tequila in numerous other types of casks to create really high quality, super premium small batch tequilas. We’ll also have some extremely rare ones to follow, but we’re not revealing too much at the moment.”

The company works in collaboration with a leading Mexican tequila distiller in the town of Tequila to produce their spirits.

Whisky giants Gordon and MacPhail, and the independent company Bootstrap Liquor will take the lead on UWA’s distribution across the UK. The tequila will be available in numerous high-end shops, independent drinks stores, and various bars and restaurants.

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn

Michael Ballantyne, CEO of UWA Tequila with supermodel Jourdan Dunn at The Fashion Awards 2017 (Images: |

UWA Tequila created bespoke bottles for The Fashion Awards 2017 in partnership with Swarovski, offering A-list celebrities the chance to sample the UK’s newest luxury tequilas.

In celebration of the brands historic launch and continued promotional efforts, UWA Tequila supplied The Fashion Awards 2017 in partnership with Swarovski, with bottles of its super premium platinum blanco and seven-month aged reposado expressions.

The prestigious awards ceremony took place at The Royal Albert Hall, welcoming over 3,000 guests, and was hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall and model Karlie Kloss. Celebrities including Dame Anna Wintour, Donatella Versace, Selena Gomez, Connor McGregor, Stormzy and Naomi Campbell were in attendance.

Michael Ballantyne, co-founder and CEO of UWA Tequila, said: “To be involved in such a prestigious event honoring some of the best talent in the fashion industry was amazing.

“To see everyone enjoying our tequila during and after the awards was awesome. The bottle looked very luxurious on all of the tables and we got some really great feedback. We’re really proud to have been involved in such a brilliant event – It was a proud moment for us all.”

UWA Tequila retails from £55 (around $75 US). Plans are underway for stateside distribution sometime in 2018 according to UWA’s press representative.

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