Scottish Gin NewsRound-Up August 2021.
Published: 3rd September 2021
August saw us out and about visiting some local distilleries again as well as taste judging the Scottish Gin Awards in some fantastic company. With just over one week to go, we’re now excited and preparing for The Gin To My Tonic Show in Glasgow, a rare opportunity to meet so many of Scotland’s gin makers under one roof and catch up with friends in the gin community. These in-person experiences and events are a reminder of how far we’ve come in the last eighteen months but we know it will be a long and difficult road to recovery for many businesses; a great reason to continue to support local.
With just over four weeks until the third annual International Scottish Gin Day, we’re delighted to be supported by our Scottish Gin Members, our Supply Chain Sponsors and our Official Supporters once again, as we prepare to help spread the Scottish Gin love. The celebration is open to all and we look forward to seeing the industry, community and consumers raising a toast to Scottish Gin on Saturday 2nd October. There are a number of free downloads and assets available on the International Scottish Gin Day website here for those looking to celebrate the day.
Learn more about International Scottish Gin Day here.
New Scottish Gins & Special Releases
Tobermory Hebridean Coast Gin
Tobermory Distillery has released their latest gin expression in the form of their Hebridean Coast Gin, inspired by the beautiful, wild coast of Mull. Botanicals including scotch lovage, sugar kelp, lavender and samphire. Described as having a creamy mouthfeel packed full of juniper with citrus and floral notes with a lingering rock salt taste in the background and a sweet, slightly malty finish. Available from the distillery visitor centre and the Tobermory Distillery online shop.
Learn more about Tobermory Distillery here.
Shetland Reel Gin Bean
Congratulations to Shetland Reel on the release of their latest limited edition ‘Gin Bean’ expression, of which 500 bottles have been produced in collaboration with Cairngorm Leaf & Bean, an artisan roastery in the Scottish Highlands. The London Dry Gin has intricate hints of mocha from the coffee specialist’s El Salvador SHG ‘Cuzcachapa’ single origin coffee. Available exclusively from the Unst Distillery and the Shetland Reel online shop.
Learn more about Shetland Reel here.
Isle of Harris Distillers Gift Range
The Tarbert based distillery has released the first item from their redesigned gift range for 2021/22, using natural papers featuring debossed ripples to reflect their bottle and island location. The team has always worked hard to update their understated but elegant gift range and packaging year on year to retain an exciting and engaging unboxing experience. So far, we’ve seen the Isle of Harris Gin Gift Presentation reveal, which is a stylish eco-friendly box featuring a delicate rippled effect and kelp flakes, but there is more to come within the gift range so keep your eyes peeled for more coming soon.
Learn more about Isle of Harris Distillers here.
1881 Distillery Gin Gift Packs
The team behind the Peebles based 1881 Distillery & Gin School has released a new gin gift range, which offers each of their four core gins in a brilliantly illustrated gift box, available as 4x 5cl or 4x 20cl. Their core range includes a Hydro London Dry Gin, a Pavilion Peebles Pink Gin, a Honours Navy Strength Gin and a Rafters Subtly Smoked Gin so these gift boxes not only make for a beautiful Scottish Gin gift, but provide the perfect opportunity to sample each of their core expressions before committing to a larger bottle.
Learn more about 1881 Distillery here.
Scottish Gin News
Congratulations to the whole Shoogle family team on securing premises and creating their very own distillery. They’ve wasted no time since launching their signature gin in November 2020, which involved working with family friend and distiller Lawrence from Inspirited in nearby Strathaven. Chris Payne from Shoogle Spirits said, “We were lucky to find a local distiller we could work well with to launch Shoogle Gin but very quickly found that the more adventurous we wanted to be as a family in the gin making process, the bigger the disruption we would be causing them in their own production scheduling. That prompted us during the early part of this year to find our own facility to help us experiment and produce a range of spirits that we felt kept to our family-made, small batch ethos”.
The family found a small facility and are in the process of fitting it out ready for production within the weeks ahead. Robyn and Taylor Payne, Junior Distillers, are excited by the new premises, with Robyn explaining, “This is something that we’ve designed from the bottom up, not only to support us in continuing to make a variety of small batch quality spirits, but also in helping others to learn about the process of making their own gin and taking it to market through opening our facility to others that want to benefit from our own gin journey”. Located on the boundary between South Lanarkshire and Glasgow City, the distillery is part of a larger development that includes a rum distillery and craft brewery. “We’re lucky to have found such a great environment and a community spirit that’s helping us to launch our gin to a wider market” continues Taylor.
The Shoogle Distillery will be open just in time for International Scottish Gin Day 2021. In the meantime, you can find out more at shooglespirits.com or visit them at the Glasgow The Gin to My Tonic Show over the weekend of 10th-12th September, where they’re giving a talk on “The magical art of making and selling gin as a family”.
Learn more about Shoogle Spirits here.
Arbikie Distillery ecoTOTEs
August saw Arbikie Distillery announce a partnership between its climate positive Nàdar spirits range and ecoSPIRITS; the world’s first closed-loop distribution technology for premium spirits. ecoSPIRITS already work with around 700 leading hospitality businesses and on average, eliminates 70%-90% of the CO2 associated with the packaging and distribution of premium spirits when compared with single use glass comparators. It is estimated that by working with ecoSPIRITS, Arbikie can further improve their carbon saving by a minimum of 550g carbon per bottle. Co-founder Ian Stirling said, “This technology will lead to a major reduction in waste produced by bars, restaurants and hotels. Having less glass and cardboard in local landfills means consumers can do their part by drinking ‘green’ and feeling good about their lifestyle choices.”
Learn more about Arbikie Highland Estate here.
Happy Birthday Rock Rock Gin
21st of August 2021 was the 7th anniversary of Dunnet Bay Distillers, makers of Rock Rose Gin. Rock Rose Gin are very much considered early market leaders of the modern day gin renaissance and now export to over 20 countries around the world. Congratulations to the team on this fantastic success story and all they’ve achieved in 7 years. September also sees the return of their seasonal Autumn Edition, featuring locally harvested blackberries, raspberries and blaeberries. Some other key botanicals include nasturtium flowers, harvested from the distillery’s own biodome, adding a peppery note and the warm spicy notes are derived not from a spice but from a herb, Vietnamese Coriander, also home-grown by the distillery’s Head Gardener.
Learn more about Dunnet Bay Distillers here.
The Gin Cooperative
We were delighted to get back on the road during August, visiting a few of our members and making plans to get even further afield in September and October. Thanks to the following for hosting us in recent weeks…
After a long time planning, we finally visited Arbikie Distillery near Inverkeilor in Angus, where were were given an insightful hands on tour from co-founder John Stirling. We also met most of the production team, including distillers Kirsty Black and Christian Perez Solar. The distillery is in a simply stunning location, overlooking Lunan Bay and surrounded by agricultural farmland. The team are very close to opening their distillery doors to the public, including a range of experiences, from tours and tastings to high-end corporate events, where visitors will be afforded a unique look into the field-to-bottle process and spirits range. We look forward to returning once these visitor areas are finished and ready to be experienced.
Learn more about Arbikie Highland Estate here.
City of Aberdeen Distillery
Thanks to Alan and Dan from City of Aberdeen Distillery for welcoming us to the distillery once again as we caught up with them on their updated labels, visitor experiences and collected a few expressions for our online shop. The pair have done amazingly well to navigate through covid and restrictions at a time when distillery experiences was their bread and butter. Thankfully their central city location, adaptable distillery experiences, range of hand crafted expressions and large gin school facility has allowed them to really bounce back in recent months. They deserve every success and look forward to their continued growth.
Learn more about City of Aberdeen Distillery here.
Hot off the heels of winning Gold at the 2021 IWSC with an impressive 96 points, we revisited Shirley and Duncan Morrison on their family farm near Keith in Moray. The farm-based family distillery is where all their gins are distilled and bottled, including their signature No.5, Blue and soon to be released Navy Strength, which was sampled with pleasure during our visit. Since our last visit, the traditional copper still has been updated to a new prototype but Duncan is looking forward to working on an upgraded still from Forsyth’s in the very near future… at which we’ll be back with keen interest.
Learn more about Roehill Springs here.
Scottish Gin Awards
We were honoured to return as Scottish Gin Awards taste judges for 2021 and experienced our first in-person judging day at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, following last year’s digital judging event. It was unique opportunity to meet and chat with some amazing characters from the world of spirits, including Rob Dorsett, Tom Nichol, Desmond Payne and Ciarán Russell among many others. We look forward to the finalist announcements in the coming days before the awards ceremony takes place in October, which will be a hybrid event, hosted from Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel but available to an International audience as a live, virtual event for those unable to travel to Glasgow.
Learn more about the Scottish Gin Awards here.
Our Scottish Gin subscribers were treated to a bottle of LinGin for August; the same great taste but in a beautiful new custom bottle, influenced by some of Linlithgow’s most iconic architecture including Linlithgow Palace. We look forward to meeting the people behind Linlithgow Distillery next week for our exclusive meet the maker event. We were also excited to feature a new drinks brand with Nuisance Drinks Wild Nettle Soda making it into the box alongside a bottle of Bon Accord Soft Drinks Tonic Water.
Learn more about our Scottish Gin Subscription here.
The Gin Cooperative Features August 2021
Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in August 2021.
Scottish Gin News Round-Up July – read it here.
Starting from Scratch, Arbikie Highland Estate – read it here.
Look through our archive of Scottish Gin news here.