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Scottish Gin News

Round-Up February 2019.

Published: 1st March 2019

Our end of month round-up captures some of the exciting news from the wonderful world of Scottish Gin. From new Scottish Gin expressions to distillery openings and more. If you’ve got a story you’d like us to consider for inclusion in next month’s Scottish Gin News Round-Up then email hello@thegincooperative.com.

New Scottish Gins

A celebration of the Midsummer Solstice

The first new gin expression as part of the “Cabinet of Curiosities” from Hendrick’s Gin Master Distiller Lesley Gracie was announced. Created as a celebration of the midsummer solstice, this new limited edition gin expression is distilled at the new Hendrick’s Gin Palace in Girvan, Scotland. The new distillery will be a place for creation, innovation and experimentation, which will all feed into future gin releases in the “Cabinet of Curiosities” series of gins.

Learn more about Hendrick’s Gin here.

Edinburgh Gin shares the love

Edinburgh Gin launched their Limited Edition Valentine’s Day Gin that came with a very special botanical bouquet. Created exclusively with Mud Urban Flowers in Edinburgh, the bouquet was inspired by the gin’s key botanicals. This limited edition gin combines chamomile, lemon balm, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaf to give a light, citrus freshness to the gin. The rose and hibiscus flowers impart delicate floral notes and create its signature pink hue. 

Learn more about Edinburgh Gin here.

New cask aged gin from Wild Island

Wild Island launched the 3rd Scottish Gin expression from their Distillers Cut series of gins, Wild Island Islay Whisky Cask Matured Distillers Cut Gin. Distilled on the Island of Colonsay, this gin has been aged in an American hogshead, which previously held spirit from the neighbouring whisky island, Islay. It has definite orange notes and is lovely neat over ice or goes well with orange tonic and a twist of orange peel. Limited availability and distribution.

Learn more about Wild Island’s range of Distillers Cut Gins, distilled on the Isle of Colonsay here.

Events

Gin Fayre Presents International Scottish Gin Day

The team behind Gin Fayre announced they would celebrating International Scottish Gin Day with a special event in Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh. The gin event, which takes place on Saturday the 3rd of August will feature a number of Scottish Gin makers and spirit brands, taking place at the beautiful Mansfield Traquair venue.

Learn more about the event here.

The Gin Cooperative on the road

Meeting Mackintosh

Based in Angus, we caught up with Jim and Deborah Mackintosh from Mackintosh Gin. They were busy filling, bottling and labelling at Distillutions, the distillery where their gin is distilled. We did offer to help but after seeing Jim’s almost superhuman powers of applying the labels by hand, we decided it was maybe best left to the expert. Meanwhile Deborah was busy filling the bottles for their next batch and keeping a watchful eye to make sure Jim wasn’t slacking.

Once they were finished we sat down for a chat about their first few months in the world of Scottish Gin. As they knew from the offset, it’s endless hours, late nights, early mornings, literally a seven day working week. They were delighted their gin had been given such great feedback since launch both in terms of flavour profile and packaging and were delighted to be bottling their next batch.

They discussed their plans for the future and some of the innovative ideas for the brand. It was insightful for us to see how their ethos of producing the best gin they could was still at the heart of what they were doing. We’d met them in June 2018 for a coffee and a chat and were given some samples to try. Even during that first initial meeting it was clear Jim and Deborah were starting up their own Scottish Gin brand and business because they love gin and wanted to make a gin they could be proud of but also a flavour profile they would enjoy as gin drinkers – a gin drinker’s gin.

Learn more about their love of gin here.

The Borders Distillery

It had been on our must visit list (which grows week on week!)… The Borders Distillery in Hawick. We’d been following the progress of their distillery closely on social media as the refurbishment of a building that over its lifetime included being home to the Hawick Electric Company.

We were given a warm welcome from the team including Distillery Manager Andrew Nairn. Andrew took us on a special tour of the distillery, explaining how the distillery was the first Scotch Whisky distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837. Alongside whisky, the distillery also distils William Kerr’s Borders Gin in their Carter Head still.

William Kerr was one of Scotland’s most renowned plant hunters and botanists whose research contributed 238 new plants to the UK. Originally from Hawick, William left the UK and headed for The Orient and Indian subcontinent in search of new plants. 

The distillery is a feat of both careful preservation, careful engineering and beautiful features. If you love gin, whisky or both we highly recommend you book yourself on a tour and experience the distillery for yourself.

Learn more about The Borders Distillery here.

Kelso Gin Company

We visited the team at the Kelso Gin Company, Oliver Drake and distiller Andrew, aka ’The Crow Man’, to get an insight into their products and how the history of the area has helped shaped their core gin expressions. Based in the Scottish Borders and the first gin distillery in the region, you’ll find the Kelso Gin Company distillery housed in a former farm building dating back to 1877. We were given a sneak peak of some new spirits and limited edition projects they had been working on for their Founders Club members.

Learn more about Kelso Gin Company here.

The Gin Bothy Experience

We visited the new Gin Bothy Experience, home to the Gin Bothy brand. We caught with Kim Cameron, founder of Gin Bothy to chat all things gin, food, provenance and the importance of heritage. It was great for us to see and learn more about the Gin Bothy Experience, which is situated just outside the grounds of Glamis Castle, and the history of both the business and the important role bothies have played in shaping Scotland’s agricultural roots.

The Gin Bothy Experience is a pretty special venue situated in what was once the local stables. The site has a number of spaces that take you though the history of Gin Bothy, delves deeper into the history of bothy songs plus there’s two lovely tasting rooms. The experience also has a well stocked shop featuring a variety of local and Scottish food and drink produce plus the full range of Gin Bothy gins and spirits.

Kim also took us to the Gin Bothy production site where their gins are cold compounded. We met some of the Gin Bothy team at the site who were busy preparing orders, bottling and labelling. We love the motives and ideas behind the brand and it’s great to see first hand what Kim and her team have achieved.

Learn more about Kim Cameron and Gin Bothy here.

Lewis Scothern, Distillutions

We’d met Lewis Scothern, owner and distiller at Distillutions, at the 2018 Scottish Gin Awards. We’d spoken briefly on social media since then and decided that it would be good to learn more about his background, ethos about spirits and drinks and understand more about his objectives as a distillery owner who provides contract distillation services.

Based in Arbroath, Lewis had graduated from Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Brewing and Distilling back in 2010, which in terms of experience working in the Scottish Gin category, is relatively a long time ago. It quickly became clear during our discussions that we shared a lot of the same opinions around topics in the world of Scottish Gin and the wider gin, spirits and beers and drinks categories.

We discussed the pros and cons of offering contract distillation services, how it felt as a distiller to be helping new brands develop their flavour profile and guiding them through the various loops you have to jump through if you want to establish a drinks business.

Lewis had a passion for protecting Scottish Gin as a term but was also completely honest and open about not having any plans to produce products of his own as that would be competition for the Scottish Gin brand owners he helps and supports.

Learn more about Distillutions here.

The Gin Cooperative Features February 2019

Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in February 2019.

Scottish Gin News Round-Up January 2019 – read it here.

The Future of Gin, Louis Wright, Kirkjuvagr Orkney Distilling – read it here.

Full Disclosure – read it here.

Women of Gin, Carol Jackson, Ellis Gin – read it here.

A History of Hendrick’s – read it here.

Walter Gregor’s Tonic Water sponsors ISGD 2019 – read it here.

For the Love of Gin, James & Deborah, Mackintosh Gin – read it here.

Beautiful Botanicals – read it here.

A day in the life of Maxine Grant, The Garden Shed Drinks Company – read it here.

The Gin Fayre presents International Scottish Gin Day – read it here.

Our People, Red Door Gin – read it here.

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