A WEMYSS Bay butcher has proved a cut above after scooping the crown for the best black pudding Scotland.

Nigel Ovens, owner of McCaskie Butchers, raised the steaks to win the prestigious prize at the annual Scottish Craft Butchers Awards.

The award-winning family butcher welcomed the return of the title to the Shore Road shop after 18 years.

Nigel, who also won the honour back in 2004, said: "We worked really hard to perfect the recipe and give us a fighting chance to bring the championship title back to McCaskie's.

"I found out about our win on my 45th birthday - it was the best birthday present ever.

"I feel amazing - we're so pleased and thrilled to have regained the crown.

"It's a fantastic lift for us all at the start of another year."

Nigel was also runner-up in 2012 and was crowned the West of Scotland regional champion in 2014 and 2016.

However, he says the title is "back where it belongs" after meticulously perfecting the recipe for the family favourite.

He added: "We've shed blood, sweat and tears on this.

"When I joined the family firm our black pudding was terrible.

"It was the first thing I changed and it became a passionate crusade on my part to transform it into something special.

"Now we're producing up to 1,000 lbs of black pudding each week to supply customers all across the UK."

Nigel has only shared the secret recipe for McCaskie's prize produce with one colleague, trusted butcher colleague Billy McFadden, pictured.

Nigel added: "Billy is the only other person I trust with it. Passing it to him means that consistency and quality never falters if I'm elsewhere."

The competition attracted entries from all across Scotland and Scottish Craft Butchers president Tom Courts said the standard was higher than ever.

He said: "Nigel and his team at McCaskie's consistently set the bar in these championships and I'm delighted to see his passion and commitment have paid off this year.

"It gives a butcher a great lift to know his products are judged to be the best in Scotland - and customers can be assured that the championship-winning product they buy across the counter at McCaskie's is exactly the same as that which secured the judges' vote in the competition."