Scottish Gin News

Round-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.

Caorunn Blood Orange Gin features the signature Caorunn Gin base with blood orange and chilli essence. (Pic: Caorunn Gin)
The newest Scottish Gin from Edinburgh Gin features orange and basil as the key flavours. (Pic: Edinburgh Gin)

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.

For this cask edition Scottish Gin, the team at Rock Rose Gin left their original gin in a specially selected Bordeaux Red Cask for nearly a year. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Shetland Reel Folk Festival Gin Hubbelskyu '22 was created to mark and celebrate the Shetland Folk Festival. (Pic: Shetland Reel)

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.

The newly released Crooked Mary Scottish Berries Gin from Blackford Craft Distillery was inspired by local folklore from the Aberdeenshire coast. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
This limited edition Unmasked Hills & Harbour Gin from Crafty Distillery has been gifted to hospitality venues across Dumfries & Galloway. (Pic: Crafty Distillery)

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.

News

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.

Along with their gin school distilling experiences, Crossbill Distilling have introduced new gin blending classes, where guests can blend their own unique Scottish Gin. (Pic: Crossbill Distilling)
Expansion plans at Deerness Distillery have been granted planning permission to expand the production area and create a new visitors experience. (Pic: Deerness Distillery)

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.

Awards 

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 6th Annual Scottish Gin Awards is now open for entries. (Pic: Gerardo Jaconelli for the Scottish Gin Awards)
The results of The Gin Guide Awards will be published in May, featuring a range of distilleries and gins from around the world. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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 

Lind & Lime Gin picked up a Double Gold at the San Fransisco Wine & Spirits Competition 2022. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Hrafn Gin Valkyrie was recognised with a Double Gold at the San Fransisco Wine & Spirits Competition 2022. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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:

Double Gold 

Gold

Silver

World Gin Awards – Design Winners

Recognised for packaging at the World Gin Awards 2022, Sky Garden Galloway Gin from Dark Arts Distillery. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Aatta Gin from the Orkney Gin Company was awarded World’s Best Bottle Design at the World Gin Awards 2022. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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 

Red Door Highland Gin with Summer Botanicals was awarded a Silver at the International Spirits Challenge 2022. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Cairngorm Gin from the Cairngorm Gin Company was awarded a Silver at the International Spirits Challenge 2022. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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:

Silver

Bronze 

London Spirits Competition 

London Spirits Competition 2022 recognised Isle of Harris Gin with a Gold. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Inshriach Navy Strength Speyside Dry Gin was awarded a Gold at the London Spirits Competition 2022. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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:

Gold

Silver

Bronze

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. 

April saw us visit a number of members around Argyll & Bute along with plenty of ferry hopping. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Taking in the views on Jura from Inverlussa. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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.

Natalie Reid, co-founder of The Gin Cooperative with Emma Macalister Hall, co-Founder of Beinn an Tuirc Distillers. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Natalie Reid, co-founder of The Gin Cooperative behind the scenes at the Beinn an Tuirc Distillery. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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.

The Lomond Still at Bruichladdich Distillery, known as ‘Ugly Betty’ is used to produce The Botanist Islay Dry Gin. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
The Botanist experience at Bruichladdich Distillery was hosted by tour guide Ashley MacGregor who treated us to a specially created Elderflower Martini. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

Lussa Gin

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.

The Lussa Gin distillery sits at the end of a 25 mile single track road at the north of the island of Jura. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Georgina Kitching and Claire Fletcher, two of Lussa Drinks Company founders with Natalie Reid, co-founder of The Gin Cooperative. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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.

Blackford Craft Distillery, situated in the heart of Aberdeenshire. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
All production is done onsite at the distillery including distillation, which is done on Genevieve the iStill. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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.

The Gin Cooperative’s March 2022 Scottish Gin subscription featured Badachro Gin. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
All subscription boxes are packed by hand and checked by The Gin Cooperative before being posted out in Flexi-Hex packaging. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

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.

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