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Duo launch Harpalion Spirits rum portfolio

Claire Kinloch and Richard Dixon

New venture: Claire Kinloch and Richard Dixon

A rum portfolio will be unveiled in Scotland this Spring by newly-formed company Harpalion Spirits. 

Entrepreneur Richard Dixon, who sold his successful Vets Now chain in 2018, is backing the new venture as chairman. Chief executive is Claire Kinloch, also CEO of strategy consultancy Genoa Black.

Together the pair plan to unveil their first release – a premium spirit comprising five aged rums naturally finished in Speyside – in March, with more exclusive products to follow.

Commenting on the venture, Ms Kinloch said: “Richard has a real knowledge and passion for rum and last year he approached Genoa Black to carry out a feasibility and strategy project looking at the spirit sector worldwide.

“We quickly uncovered a strong and unmet demand for a high quality ‘sipping’ rum. So we decided to establish our own company – Harpalion Spirits – to create the premium sprits we understand consumers desire.”

Their first release comprises single source rums from the Caribbean, Guyana, Guatemala, Trinidad and Panama, naturally finished in Scotland in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks.

“Lockdown has, of course, been a challenge, but we have conducted extensive blind tasting over the past four months – two households at a time – and the feedback has been exceptionally positive,” Ms Kinloch said.  

Mr Dixon added: “The spirts sector is fascinating – it constantly needs to reflect the changing nature of consumer behaviour and is always innovating.”

With a team now formed and product and brand development underway, the company is forecasting international sales from year two. 



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