A CHAMPION Inverclyde butcher is celebrating after completing a record-breaking hat-trick of titles for his delicious haggis.

Nigel Ovens, of Mearns T McCaskie in Wemyss Bay, is celebrating being crowned ‘People’s Choice Champion’ at the annual Haggisfest Competition in Oban for the third year in a row.

The milestone also means the sought-after product is now Scotland’s most successful, having clinched five major honours in the last three years.

The Wemyss Bay butcher picked up the 2017 prize at the Oban Winter Festival at the end of November to make it a hat-trick of wins on the spin and cement McCaskie’s as undisputed chieftain o’ the pudding race.

Nigel told the Tele: “This award is a wee bit different because it’s voted for by the people.

“People visit Oban from all over Scotland and there’s a huge cross-section of consumers taking part to sample whiskies and haggis.

“So for the public to judge it the best is pretty amazing.”

Nigel, who also makes Scotland’s most decorated black pudding, won the coveted haggis title at the Scottish Craft Butcher Awards two years ago and the product also picked up two gold stars at the 2014 Great Taste Awards.

He is now making room in the trophy cabinet for the Oban accolade and says the key ingredient to success is dedication.

Nigel said: “After the Scottish Craft Butcher Awards there’s no other haggis awards and this attracts all the big names in haggis in Scotland.

“It’s the balance of flavour and the creaminess.

“The haggis and black pudding are both absolutely consistent, everything is weighed to the nearest ounce and I invested heavily in cooking facilities to make sure the products don’t dry out at any stage of the process.

“My haggis, black pudding and bacon are the three products I’m very passionate about because they’ve been developed over 20 years.”