Scottish Gin NewsRound-Up April 2022.
Published: 1st May 2022
From the very first day of April, it proved to be a pretty busy month of news. Despite the current state of world affairs, and the obvious downturn in online sales, there were new releases, distillery updates and lots of award wins. The lifting of restrictions, specifically masks in Scotland, has been met with mixed response, with some celebrating the move and others more reserved about being in busy public spaces, which is a concern for hospitality and on-trade sales, but time will tell. It was most definitely a busy month for us, not least because we travelled to the opposite end of Scotland to visit some of our members on a jam-packed Scottish Gin adventure.
New Scottish Gins
Caorunn Blood Orange Gin
The latest addition to the Caorunn Gin range, Blood Orange Gin is naturally flavoured and complements the core Caorunn botanicals to create a vibrant, refreshing, and fruity gin. As well as featuring Blood Orange, there is a hint of Chilli essence to create a sweet and elegant gin with a spicy, floral warmth.
Learn more about Caorunn here.
Edinburgh Gin Orange & Basil
Using both fresh and dried Valencian orange peel, the distillers at Edinburgh Gin have created fresh, crisp, citrus notes that delicately balance with subtle sweetness. The fresh basil is vapour infused giving the gin a refined aroma and deliciously smooth and aromatic taste.
Learn more about Edinburgh Gin here.
Rock Rose Reserve – Bordeaux Red Cask Edition
The latest in a small series of cask aged gins from the Dunnet Bay team, Rock Rose Original Edition was matured in a red wine cask from Bordeaux for nearly a year. Described as having notes of dark chocolate, cherry and oak with a candied sweetness, it’s no surprise this super limited edition sold out in two days.
Learn more about Dunnet Bay Distillers here.
Shetland Reel Folk Festival Gin – Hubbelskyu ’22
Shetland Reel released their second collaboration gin with the Shetland Folk Festival, to celebrate the festival’s return and 40th year. Similarly to the 2020 edition, £1 goes to the voluntary festival committee for every bottle sold.
Learn more about Shetland Reel here.
Crooked Mary Scottish Berries Gin
Blackford Craft Distillery launched Crooked Mary Scottish Berries Gin, inspired by the infamous smuggling ship the Crooked Mary and made with Scottish Berries, Oats, Pink Peppercorns and other traditional gin botanicals. The result is a refreshing gin with layers of fruit, balanced with spice and a rich, creamy mouthfeel.
Learn more about Blackford Craft Distillery here.
Crafty Distillery’s Unmasked Hills & Harbour Limited Edition Gin
100 bottles of this special edition Scottish Gin was made and donated to bars across Dumfries & Galloway as a nod to the end of mandatory masks in Scotland, which came into effect from Monday 18th April. Straight from the still; untamed, undiluted, a punchy 72.3%, launched to support hospitality as bars adjust and look to welcome back more customers across Scotland.
Learn more about Crafty Distillery here.
Crossbill Blending Experience
April saw the launch of Crossbill Distilling’s new Gin Blending Experience at their distillery in the Barras in Glasgow’s East End. In addition to their popular Distilling classes, which have become well-known by discerning gin enthusiasts, the new classes will allow visitors to blend a selection of pre-distilled botanical spirits, to create their very own Scottish Gin, alongside other offers and discounts. The team has critically included a base juniper spirit tasting as part of the experience, “the often forgotten centrepiece of gin making”, as a nod to their own juniper centric Crossbill Gin.
Learn more about Crossbill Distilling here.
Deerness Distillery Expansion
Congratulations to the team at Deerness Distillery on the successful planning application to build a new whisky still house, with plans to create a boutique selection of casked malt whiskies, as well as a new café, shop and visitors area for locals and tourists. Construction begins soon with planned opening for 2023.
Learn more about Deerness Distillery here.
Scottish Gin Awards
The Scottish Gin Awards launched their 6th annual competition this week, open to Scotland’s gin makers, with a number of taste and business categories now open for entry. The programme rewards individuals and teams working in the Scottish gin industry and is the largest event of its kind in the sector. Save the date for the winners ceremony as Thursday 10th November 2022. Learn more here.
The Gin Guide Awards
The annual awards programme run by The Gin Guide showcases and celebrates products, distilleries and people within the gin industry, attracting international entrants across all gin categories. Having been part of the judging panel for the second year in a row, we were excited to see the finalists revealed in April. Congratulations to all the finalists including the Scottish Gin producers 1881 Distillery, Kinrara Distillery, GHQ Spirits, Isle of Skye Distillers, Red Door Gin, Biggar Gin, Inshriach Distillery, Mackintosh Gin and Orkney Gin Company.
San Fransisco Wine & Spirits Competition
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) is officially the largest wine and spirits competition of its kind, with around 5,000 entries evaluated over two weeks in 2022. Congratulations to The Gin Cooperative members who won:
World Gin Awards – Design Winners
The World Gin Awards judge across all the internationally recognised gin styles and promote the world’s best gins to consumers and trade across the globe. Following the recent announcement of the Taste Winners in February, the World Gin Awards confirmed their Design Winners in April.
Congratulations to Orkney Gin Company, who won World’s Best Bottle Design for Aatta Gin, a custom bottle that creates an optical illusion of their famous mystical Kelpie rising from the deep blue shimming ocean. Other design winners included Dark Art Distillery’s Sky Garden Gin, Crafty Distillery’s Hills & Harbour Gin and LBD Gin Unlimited Edition.
International Spirits Challenge
Now in its 27th year, the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, receiving thousands of entries from across the globe. Congratulations to The Gin Cooperative members who won:
London Spirits Competition
The London Spirits Competition (LSC) in an international spirits competition that rates Quality, value and packaging. Their 2022 results are now out. Congratulations to The Gin Cooperative members who won:
The Gin Cooperative
Behind The Scenes
We ventured to the opposite side of Scotland from us here in Aberdeenshire during April, taking on the Argyll coast to visit three of our longstanding members and Scottish Gin producers. We highly recommend the Argyll Coastal Route and more specifically the Kintyre 66, which really lets you see and explore the most southerly part of Scotland’s Kintyre peninsula.
Beinn an Tuirc Distillers
Makers of the Kintyre range of gins, we finally ventured far enough South to visit our friends at Beinn an Tuirc Distillers. The transformation and diversification that the Torrisdale estate has undergone by the family owners, Niall and Emma Macalister Hall is truly admirable, with the spirits side of the business now hosting a distillery, gin school, cafe and shop. The growing team host regular walks and tastings and open days; a busy working distillery, just a stone’s throw from two beautiful beaches and some amazing walking trails.
Learn more about Beinn an Tuirc Distillers here.
The Botanist at Bruichladdich Distillery
A quick hop, skip, jump and ferry ride to Islay (known as The Queen of the Hebrides), saw us visit Bruichladdich Distillery. Famous for its characteristically peaty single malt whiskies, Islay is also home to The Botanist Gin, best known for containing 22 hand-foraged Islay botanicals and produced in one of the last Lomond Stills, Ugly Betty. We took part in an amazing tasting and were taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the rarely seen production facilities; an absolute pleasure and most definitely a big treat for the eyes and senses.
Learn more about The Botanist Gin here.
It was a pretty special journey to visit Lussa Gin on the island of Jura. Firstly, another fantastic, if not short, ferry journey from Islay to Jura, which took all of 5 minutes. The famous Paps of Jura are visible from Islay but to see them up close on Jura was a sight to behold. Not including the constant stops to photograph scenery along the way, the single track road from ferry exit to the distillery itself, took the best part of 40 minutes. But those stops are most definitely required! We met two thirds of Lussa Gin, Claire and Georgina. They were the most wonderful hosts and, despite the logistical challenges, we now completely understand why they chose to make gin at home on Jura, given its beauty and botanicals.
Learn more about Lussa Gin here.
Blackford Craft Distillery
Most definitely closer to home, specifically 11 miles from The Gin Cooperative HQ, we visited Blackford Craft Distillery for the first time in over 3 years. The family-run distillery has undergone a number of upgrades since then, including dedicated bottling facilities and plantation of heritage apple trees on site, with plans underway to renovate more of the fully licensed converted steading distillery into a tasting room and shop for visitors, as demand for this continues to grow. We caught up with distiller Neil Sime to learn more about their newly released Crooked Mary Scottish Berries Gin, which was launched just this month.
Learn more about Blackford Craft Distillery here.
March Scottish Gin Subscription
Our March Scottish Gin subscription box included Badachro Gin plus some Scottish mixers and a bonus pin badge. Badachro Gin is a traditional London Dry but with its own local flair, including some hand foraged gorse blossom, wild myrtle and rosehip. Martin and I fell in love with Badachro as a place when we visited the Badachro Distillery back in 2019. It really is a hidden gem in Gairloch and a must visit when travelling to the North West Highlands or doing the NC500. Included as part of our Scottish Gin Subscription service, we’ll be meeting Badachro Distillery co-founders Gordon and Vanessa Quinn alongside our Scottish Gin subscribers for the monthly meet-the-maker session soon.
Learn more about our Scottish Gin Subscription here.
News & Features
Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in April 2022.
Scottish Gin News Round-Up March – read it here.
Look through our archive of Scottish Gin news here.