Scottish Gin News

Round-Up June 2019.

Published: 1st July 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.

Enter Valhalla

Just over a year to the day since their business was launched, the team behind Hrafn Gin, Peter and Callum Sim, have released their fourth gin expression. Initially, their limited edition Founders Edition gin was bottled at 47% ABV. The limited edition sold out quickly and the feedback from their customers was ‘love it, when will you be releasing a new gin that can be enjoyed neat’.

Not to be rushed, the brothers put the idea of a higher ABV gin on hold until the appropriate time. Having worked hard to develop their range of Scottish Gins that are tied to Norse Mythology and legends, which is inexplicably linked to Scotland’s history, the brothers decided their one year anniversary would be a good time.

Their new Hrafn Gin Valhalla perfectly captures the ethos of their initial Founders Edition gin but with a new flavour profile and higher ABV. More intense yet balanced and smooth, Valhalla has a classic gin flavour profile of herbaceous, piney juniper but with the subtle use of mandarin, which creates a complex well balanced gin with a creamy mouthfeel. The use of mandarin as a key botanical along with other classic gin botanicals delivers a gin that’s juniper forward before crackling into a lovely, warming spice that transitions into fresh, intense mandarin that lingers on the finish with subtle undertones of warm spice.

Learn more about Raven Spirits here.

Clearly marking a year

To mark their one year wedding anniversary, Colin and Jess McLean decided to create a unique and limited edition gin to mark the occasion. Having previously created their Something Blue Gin, which was given out as wedding favours at their wedding, and which subsequently proved so popular it was added to their core range of gins, it’s fitting that the couple released Something Clear Gin.

As a nod to the tradition of giving paper as a gift on the 1st year wedding anniversary, this new gin comes wrapped in a bespoke botanical wrapping paper. The McLean’s gin range is created using the cold compounding method but the new Something Clear Gin is also a first for McLean’s Gin as it’s their first distilled gin. With a flavour profile created by Colin and with the guidance and advice of Strathleven Distillery, this classic London Dry Gin is distilled and bottled at 50% ABV.

Learn more about McLean’s Gin here.

Capturing Scotland’s organic spirit

The team at Glenrinnes Distillery officially launched their signature organic gin and vodka range and opened their doors to the public. The distillery forms part of the Glenrinnes Farm’s family-run estate, which is recognised as an award-winning organic producer of premium food.

Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin uses organic base spirit and eleven botanicals, including sorrel and cowberries grown on the estate and fresh Speyside spring water, which helps give this organic London Dry Gin its unique but classic flavour. On the nose, juniper backed up by fresh pine and citrus. On the palate, sweet juniper balanced with tart red berries and citrus. To finish, hints of black tea and warm spice.

Learn more about Eight Lands here.

A summer of sweetness

Orkney Distilling, the makers of Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin, released their Beyla gin. Based on the signature Kirkjuvagr Gin but with the addition of sweet Orcadian honey and fresh Scottish raspberries, was a world first – an Old Tom Pink Gin. The name was inspired by both local folklore and the use of Orcadian honey with Beyla translating to Norse goddess of bees.

Learn more about Orkney Distilling here.

Pretty in Pink

Carol Jackson, founder of Ellis Gin, launched the fourth gin expression from her Ellis Gin brand. Having already developed a number of flavoured gins that are both bold in flavour and colour, this new gin expression is no different. Ellis No. 4 Pink Shimmer Scottish Gin is not only pink in appearance but also has a subtle gold shimmer creating a rose gold colour when poured. Botanicals used in the distillation include juniper, angelica, citrus peel and more. The addition of strawberry syrup adds a lovely hint of summer strawberries plus creates pink hues. 

Learn more about Ellis Gin here.

Raising a toast to the University of Glasgow

Badvo Distillery launched the official University of Glasgow 1451 Gin. Helen Stewart, distiller and founder of Badvo Distillery is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, so it was fitting that Helen was chosen to create a gin to represent the University. Working closely with Helen, the new 1451 Gin takes its name from the year the University was established. Available in 70cl version and bespoke hip-flask style bottles, the postcard editions of the gin each feature a unique image of the University.

Learn more about Badvo Distillery here.

Marking 100 Years

The second batch of Johannistag Navy Strength Old Tom Gin from Orkney Gin Company has been unveiled, which comes in a new look bottle for this new edition of 500 bottles. This special edition Navy Strength Old Tom, a world first, marks the centenary of the Scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Orkney’s Scapa Flow.

Learn more about Orkney Gin Company here.

Caithness Costal Inspiration

Rock Rose Coastal Edition Gin is the third in the distillery’s Creative Collection Series. Each gin in the series is inspired by a topic relating to the local area and also includes label artwork by a local artist.

This new Scottish Gin expression also includes botanicals inspired by coast and islands of Scotland. Distilled using sustainably sourced Scottish seaweed from Shore Seaweed, a company that specialises in seaweed. The gin also includes liquorice salt from Mustheb, an artisan producer of preserves based in the Outer Hebrides. The label for this latest Creative Collection gin was created by Kelly Munro, a Scottish jeweller inspired by harbours and shorelines of the north Scottish coast.

Learn more about Dunnet Bay Distillers here.

A shade of pink for Speyside

Jill Brown, founder and distiller at Moray Distillery, the makers of Avva Scottish Gin and the Berry Good range of liqueurs, launched her new Avva Pink Scottish Gin. With a teaser campaign across social media in the build up to launch, the new gin expression was officially unveiled to the public at the Royal Highland Show.

Over the course of the show, the gin proved to be extremely popular with orders online selling out and members of the public literally clearing Jill’s stand of all stock. This Pink Gin still delivers classic juniper flavour with the addition of local Scottish berries sourced from Wester Hardmuir fruit farm, near Nairn. Avva Pink Scottish Gin 40% can be served neat over ice or paired with Rose Lemonade or Rhubarb Tonic or topped up with Prosecco for a decadent cocktail.

Learn more about Avva Scottish Gin here.

Scottish Gin Awards 2019 Finalists Revealed

The team behind the Scottish Gin Awards unveiled the finalists for the 2019 awards. Now in its 3rd year, the annual awards sees 117 Scottish Gins and 65 companies progressing to the final. With the winners announced on the evening of Thursday 10th of October in Glasgow, the initial round of judging involved a twenty strong panel blind taste 173 gins. With a variety of categories and Scottish Gins from all four corners of Scotland through to the finals, the awards ceremony will celebrate Scotland’s thriving Scottish Gin industry.

Discover the finalists of the 2019 Scottish Gin Awards here.

The world celebrates our favourite drink – gin!

World Gin Day celebrated its 10th Birthday with a number of events held around the world. Originally created in 2009 by Neil Houston as a way for him and his friends to come together and enjoy gin. Neil was already good gin chums with Emma Stokes, who brought the idea to London in 2010. In 2013 Emma officially took over due to Neil’s work commitments and has worked tirelessly to provide the gin community with a day that celebrates the juniper drink ever since.

Fast forward to 2019 and World Gin Day, which falls on the second Saturday in June every year, did not disappoint with events of all shapes and sizes across the world, featuring bars, gin makers, gin brands and everything else in-between. We created a short video that gives 296 reasons to raise a glass on World Gin Day 2019.

View the video here.

The gin event on everyone’s lips

Excitement amongst the gin community had been building for some time. With prominent gin community members pulling together their recommendations and must visit list of gin makers for the year’s must visit gin event, Junipalooza London. The event, which was established by the team behind the Gin Foundry, is recognised as one of the most high-profile gin events of its kind.

Held at London’s Tobacco Dock and running over the World Gin Day weekend, the event featured over 60 gin makers with over 200 gins available to sample and explore. Along with masterclasses and opportunities to get behind the bottle, Junipalooza, which is now in its 6th year, has continued to grow each year but evolved in a way that makes it about the consumer being able to meet the gin maker and learn more about their gins. 

There were a select few Scottish Gins in attendance this year including Mackintosh Gin, Crafty Distillery, BrewDog Distillery, Isle of Harris Distillers, Pickering’s Gin, Boë Gin and Caorunn.

Learn more about Junipalooza here.

Gin get’s big with Edinburgh festival

The team behind the Big Big Gin Festival announced the return of their festival in October 2019, taking place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of October and held at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. The event provides gin drinkers with the opportunity to choose from a truly global selection of gins from one of the featured bar areas, which are organised by location including the Scotland Bar.

Besides the bar areas, there’s also a Meet the Makers area where you can meet the makers behind the gins and brands. This is the perfect chance to learn more about the gins, sample and purchase. With exhibitors selling a variety of gin themed gifts along with live music and food, the Big Big Gin Festival is sure to sell out fast.

Learn more about Big Big Gin Festival here.

International Scottish Gin Day 2019

The events page for International Scottish Gin Day 2019 was updated with a variety of newly announced events including Scottish Gin Distillery open days and events that are being held by Scotland’s gin makers and brands. With more events to be added, the events page is the first stop to find official events. As well as new events, additional sponsors of the day were announced including Joseph Flach & Sons, a trusted supplier of botanicals to the drinks industry and family business established in 1882.

Learn more about International Scottish Gin Day here.

Alongside highlighting the many brilliant Scottish Gins being produced in Scotland, with the people and places, and businesses that play a vital role in supporting the industry, the International Scottish Gin Day platform also provides a chance to give something back.

Each year the International Scottish Gin Day platform provides the opportunity to highlight a great Scottish charity to the world. We felt it was very appropriate, having read his book, followed his story closely and having been moved by his determination and bravery, that we give this charity spot to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and we plan to highlight the charity over the course of 2019.

Learn more about the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation here.

The Gin Cooperative on the road

Eight Lands comes into view

We caught up with the team behind the newly opened Glenrinnes Distillery to discover more about the distillery for ourselves and find out about their newly launched Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin. We were really impressed by both the distillery and the ethos behind the business and spirits, which also includes an organic vodka.

Fantastic to see for ourselves the care, thought and attention that has gone into creating their range of organic spirits but also the importance of the new distillery to the local area and the wider story of Scottish Gin and Vodka.

Learn more about Eight Lands here.

An education in gin

Based on a hillside overlooking the royal Deeside valley, we visited the Esker Spirits team to learn more about their new tasting room. When we visited last year there were plans afoot to create a dedicated tasting room for the on and off trade where the Esker Spirits team could showcase and educate those working in the on and off trade about the Esker gin expressions.

What was once a disused storage space is now a fully refurbished, and insulated (it’s a common theme in old repurposed agricultural buildings they were never designed for humans over winter!) tasting room. As Aberdeenshire’s first and original gin distillery, the team at Esker Spirits have always understood the importance of making sure the people who sell gin or serve it in a bar know the story behind the gins and distillery.

Learn more about Esker Spirits here.

An evolution of the wolf

With the recent release of their LoneWolf Cloudy Lemon Gin and planned release of their Zealot’s Heart Gin, we caught up with the BrewDog Distilling Co. team at their Ellon HQ. It was great to see just how much the distilling side of the business has evolved over the last 12 months since our last visit.

Led by head distiller Steven Kersley, what the team do is undoubtedly craft. Yes the team have access to some amazing equipment and resources, but having met Steven a few times now, he’s considered in his approach to producing spirits that are made with care, quality and made with flavour at their heart. With the recent rebrand and new packaging for the signature LoneWolf Gin, it’s nice to see the distilling side of the global brewer evolving and seeing their gin expressions expand and diversify.

Learn more about BrewDog Distilling Co. here.

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