Scottish Gin NewsRound-Up August 2020.
Published: 1st September 2020
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scottish Gin celebrated an exciting milestone as our directory reached 450 individual Scottish Gin expressions. Clearly the demand for choice is not slowing down and even the complications of lockdown hasn’t stopped Scotland’s gin brands from experimenting and launching new products. When our website went live in April 2018, nearly 30 months ago, there were 150 Scottish Gin expressions listed from 70 brands. That’s a 300% increase in less than 3 years, albeit the brands are just over double, now sitting at 145! When you include super limited edition gins and niche contract distilled gins, the reality is Scotland’s gin makers have produced closer to 500 individual gin expressions. There really has never been more choice and a better time to discover Scottish Gin!
New Scottish Gins
Snawstorm Scottish Spirits’ Snawstorm Scottish Gin
Snawstorm Scottish Spirits launched their first gin during August, following on from the release of their flagship Snawstorm Scottish Vodka last year. Using the purest water collected from natural springs in the Cairngorms and a new-make spirit sourced from a local Speyside whisky distillery to create a distinctive base spirit, the gin was created to be exceptionally smooth, clean and crisp; a real taste of the Cairngorms.
Learn more about Snawstorm Scottish Spirits here.
City of Aberdeen Distillery’s Thyme for Rosemary Gin
The team at City of Aberdeen Distillery love to experiment and one of the exciting things about visiting their distillery is that their experimental series of gins are available to sample right from the demi-johns they’re proudly displayed in. The latest edition, which the team have decided to make a core gin, is Thyme for Rosemary; a rich, crisp, savoury gin.
Learn more about City of Aberdeen Distillery here.
Kinrara Distillery’s Estate Juniper Edition
Kinrara Wild Juniper Gin is based on the signature Highland Dry Gin but uses native wild Scottish juniper carefully foraged from the Kinrara Estate. The juniper-led dry gin also features locally foraged rose hips and rowan berries along with classic gin botanicals including coriander and angelica root. The result is a juniper-led gin with strong piney notes and fresh, bright citrus.
Learn more about Kinrara Distillery here.
Isle of Skye Distillers’ Misty Isle Cill Targhlain Gin
This new gin from the Portree based distillery uses a number of locally grown and foraged botanicals including juniper, angelica root, blueberries, coriander seed, meadowsweet stalks and sea orache from the shores of Loch Portree. The gin to taste has distinct and balanced notes of juniper with fresh berries, a slight earthy note, with a sharp saltiness in the aftertaste.
Learn more about Isle of Skye Distillers here.
Fairytale Distillery’s No 57 Navy Strength Summer Gin
Following the popularity of their Summer Gin release last month, Fairytale Distillery has launched a higher strength version. It retains a subtle juniper base, with woody, coniferous and resinous accents, but the increase in alcohol content has given this version a sweet, summer freshness, which the team liken to a subtle taste of Mandarin and Kumquat.
Learn more about Fairytale Distillery here.
Scottish Gin News
BrewDog goes Carbon Negative
BrewDog, which includes their BrewDog Distilling business, announced they are officially carbon negative, taking twice a much carbon out of the air as they omit. The team wanted to do more to address the current climate crisis, believing that being carbon neutral is no longer enough. Following a £30 million investment plan, the business launched a series of initiatives to support this move, including purchasing a BrewDog Forest in the Scottish Highlands, a 2,050 acre site where the company will plant one million trees and restore 650 acres of peatland over the next few years. Learn more here.
Pickering’s Cocktails at Home Recipe Book
This book was created to support Scotland’s on-trade and hospitality industry, following the impact of closures during lockdown. Not only have Pickering’s collaborated with some of Scotland’s best bartenders to pull together some truly wonderful recipes to be recreated at home, but they’re donating £2.50 from every sale to The BEN (The Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade of Scotland), who provide financial, social and emotional support for members of the licensed trade who have fallen on hard times. Never has their work been more important. Pre-order the book here. Learn more about The BEN here.
Harris Wild Gorse Tincture and Cèilidh Bottle
While Harris Gin remains the worthy one and only spirit currently available from Isle of Harris Distillers, they still experiment and push the boundaries when it comes to flavour and design. The latest tincture, following the release of Wild Rose earlier this year, is Wild Gorse, which grows wild all over Scotland in spring/summer. Despite its prickly and wild nature, Gorse petals are known for their beautiful silky smooth texture and delicious coconut scent. Herbalist, collaborator and friend of the distillery, Amanda Saurin, used the gorse together with local Hawthorn and lemon to create this fragrant summery tincture. Similar to the Sugar Kelp Aromatic Water and Wild Rose Tincture, it’s intended to be experimented with, but it works well in G&T or Martini. Learn more here.
The newly released Cèilidh Bottle from Isle of Harris Distillers is a beautiful ceramic half bottle, handmade by ceramicist Rupert Blamire, whose range of Harris mugs have proved immensely popular. As we emerge from lockdown life, the distillery team have been thinking about ways to stay social but stay safe, and so they’ve released this special edition bottle dedicated to the tradition of the Harris cèilidh. Although most of us associate cèilidhs with traditional Scottish dancing and bands, in Harris’ native Gaelic, the word simply means ‘a visit’. The tradition has lived on in the Harris community for generations. Today in 2020, the words “thigibh a chèilidh!” (“come round for a visit!) are still often heard on the island. There’s no need to dress up, just bring yourself and maybe a bottle and let the events of the evening take care of themselves. Learn more here.
Dunnet Bay Distillery
The Dunnet Bay Distillers team, home to the Rock Rose range of gins, have given their tasting room a beautiful coastal makeover. Now welcoming back visitors to the shop and tasting room, guests can enjoy a relaxing and fitting coastal experience, safely and responsibly, by sitting in the new ‘Boat Shed’ booths. The experience can accommodate up to 10 people, with each boat shed seating 2 people from the same ‘bubble’. Learn more here.
While tours remain on hold, the Caorunn Bothy Shop is open to the public once again. All the necessary health, safety and tracking systems and measures have been put into place so visitors can enjoy a safe and socially responsible visit to the shop, which is based on the Balmenach Distillery grounds, one mile from the Speyside village of Cromdale in the Scottish Highlands. Learn more here.
Discover more Scottish Gin Distilleries & Experiences here. Be sure to contact the brands before visiting as many tours and experiences are still unavailable or unlimited.
ISC (International Spirits Challenge) 2020
Now in it’s 25th year, the ISC is founded on rigorous and independent judging, attracting entrants from all spirit categories across the world. The judging process is a highly controlled operation held over twelve days of intense blind tastings by panels of more than 50 respected and experienced industry professionals. The Gin Cooperative members’ winning gins are listed below.
Darnley’s Navy Strength Gin was awarded a prestigious Double Gold medal, one of only 3 given in the gin category across the whole competition. A Gold medal was awarded to BrewDog Distilling Co.’s LoneWolf Gin.
Silver medals were awarded to Glaswegin, Caorunn Original, Master’s Cut, Scottish Raspberry and Highland Strength Gins, Loch Lomond Group’s Ben Lomond Gin, BrewDog Distilling Co.’s Zealot’s Heart Gin, Isle of Harris Gin, Colonsay Beverages’ Wild Island Distiller’s Cut Gin, Edinburgh Gin’s 1670 Gin.
Bronze medals were awarded to The Old Curiosity Distillery’s Wild Gin, BrewDog Distilling Co.’s LoneWolf Cloudy Lemon Gin, Edinburgh Gin’s Lemon & Jasmine, Bramble & Honey, Rhubarb & Ginger and Classic Gins, Isle of Raasay’s Hebridean Gin.
IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition) 2020
The 2020 awards results for IWSC were published during August. IWSC judges include experts and distillers from across the global spirits trade. Each spirit is judged by a whole panel in sync, allowing for group discussion and they practice a ‘double-blind’ method, which means samples are tasted in pre-poured numbered glasses to ensure judges never see a bottle. The Gin Cooperative members’ winning gins are listed below.
Silver medals were awarded to Isle of Barra Distillers’ Barra Atlantic Gin, Electric Spirit Co.’s Achroous Gin, Loch Lomond Group’s Ben Lomond Gin, GlenWyvis Cask Matured GoodWill Quercus Alba Gin, The Teasmith Spirit Company’s Broich Single Estate Gin, Cairngorm Gin Company’s Cairngorm Gin, Glaswegin, Edinburgh Gin’s 1670, Bramble & Honey and Classic Gins.
Bronze medals were awarded to Darnley’s Original Gin, Raven Spirits’ Hrafn Thought & Memory and Hrafn Valhalla Gins, Kinrara Distillery’s Highland Dry and Distillers Edition Rose & Cardamom Gins, BrewDog Distilling Co.’s LoneWolf Cactus & Lime and Cloudy Lemon Gins, Edinburgh Gin’s Elderflower & Gooseberry, Rhubarb & Ginger and Seaside Gins, Red Door Gin, Little Brown Dog Spirits LBD Gin, Esker Spirits’ Premium Gin, The Gael Spirits Company’s The Gael Gin.
International Scottish Gin Day
We were delighted to welcome Flexi-Hex as an official Sponsor of International Scottish Gin Day 2020 during August. We tend not to get excited about packaging but what these guys are doing is making a real difference. Not only is the protective honeycomb sleeve biodegradable (composts in 6 weeks!) but all other components are 100% recyclable and they adapt to fit all shapes and sizes of bottles. Plus, let’s face it, they just look cool, like pieces of sculpture.
Any additional exposure The Gin Cooperative can provide in pursuit of #plasticfree is a pleasure as far as we’re concerned, so we’re really excited about this partnership. Founder Will Boex said: “With the number of Scottish gin distilleries growing, we are proud to support a movement to increase the visibility of an innovative sector. Having a dedicated day to celebrate Scotland’s gin makers on a global scale is a fantastic way to highlight the passion, people and processes behind the brands.”
Learn more about Flexi-Hex here.
We’ve added to the downloads section of our International Scottish Gin Day website, by creating media packs for the on-trade & hospitality, off-trade & retail and the gin community. Each pack provides more information about how businesses and individuals can get involved with International Scottish Gin Day as we celebrate Scottish Gin on 24th October 2020 – everyone is welcome! Learn more here.
The Gin Cooperative Features August 2020
Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in August 2020.
Scottish Gin News Round-Up July – read it here.
Meet the Distiller, Sandy Morrison, King’s Hill Gin – read it here.
Experience Scottish Gin, The Bothy Experience – read it here.
For the Love of Gin, Jo Brydie & Emma Bouglet – read it here.
G is for Gin (and Good), Pentland Hills Gin – read it here.
A New Chapter in Scottish Gin, Isle of Barra Distillers – read it here.