Scottish Gin News

Round-Up December 2021.

Published: 31st December 2021

We’d like to take the opportunity to wish our readers a Happy New Year and lang may yer lum reek. Like everyone, we hope 2022 is filled with hope, happiness, health and more positive headlines!

It’s hard to remember what happened before Christmas, with festivities well and truly taking over the last couple of weeks. We hope the short break provided many of you with the opportunity to enjoy a few Scottish gin and tonics.

Reflecting now on December’s Scottish Gin news, it’s encouraging to see continued investment and growth in Scotland’s gin brands, including a couple of bottle redesigns and some fantastic stories focussed on sustainability and giving back, including a Plant Conservation Edition Gin, a Replanting Native Trees initiative following Storm Arwen, a new gin refill pouch scheme and gin breaks providing much needed respite for unpaid carers. Read our full round-up in detail below.

New Scottish Gins & Special Releases

The Botanist Plant Conservation Edition

Every bottle of this limited design Plant Conservation Edition Gin will contribute to urgent projects saving rare and endangered plant species worldwide. Featuring the same liquid as The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, this limited edition bottle will raise money for Botanic Gardens Conservation International, a charitable organisation delivering meaningful plant conservation and biodiversity work all over the world. This exclusive edition is only available to buy directly from the distillery on Islay and each bottle will be sent in 100% plastic-free and compostable Flexi-Hex packaging. Learn more about this project here.

Learn more about The Botanist Gin here.

The Limited Edition Plant Conservation Edition Gin from The Botanist has been created to highlight Botanic Gardens Conservation International charity. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Little Brown Dog Spirits Project Quercus Acer spent 6 months ageing in a Maple Syrup cask and is the first release in a series of experimental cask aged gins and spirits. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

Little Brown Dog Spirits Project Quercus Acer – Maple Syrup Gin

This is Little Brown Dog Spirits Signature/Unlimited Gin having spent 6 months in a Maple Syrup cask. There’s birch sap in the distillate and maple sap in the cask, giving this a beautiful mouthfeel and silky taste. Part of the distillery’s Experimental Spirit Series, “this is cask strength, single cask, non chill filtered, natural colour, no added nothing, single cask gin.” It could be described as being like an old tom style gin but it’s still a dry distilled gin with no added sugar or syrup. There are only 400 bottles from the cask and we’re lucky enough to have a few in our online shop. Like all Little Brown Dog Experimental Spirit Series, this is a one-off project, no to be repeated.

Learn more about Little Brown Dog Spirits here.

Kinrara Distillers Edition Forest Fruits Gin

The Distillers Edition range of gins from Kinrara Distillery have proved very popular by offering something different from the traditional London dry gin style. Others in the range include Rose & Cardamom, Lime & Lemongrass and Oaked Spice Gins. This latest edition in the range offers a sweeter style of gin with aromas of raspberry ripple and strawberry bonbons. To taste, it’s rich and fruity with flavours of summer berries and fresh brambles, balanced with the traditional pine elements of juniper, giving way to delicate woodiness on the finish.

Learn more about Kinrara Distillery here.

Kinrara Distillers Edition Forest Fruits Gin is the latest release in the Distillers Edition series of gins. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
1881 Winter Edition Gin captures a range of warming and fragrant botanicals. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

1881 Distillery Winter Edition Gin

This Winter edition was released early December in time for the festive season. There are warming notes of cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, alongside fresh, sweet orange and piney fir flavours, evoking the aromas of Winter and bringing a festive feel to the palate. On the nose, subtle spices with a slightly resinous note from the fir. To taste, headier spiced notes follow and are matched with bolder orange and nutmeg flavours. To finish, overall the spices linger on the tongue.

Learn more about 1881 Distillery here.

New Scottish Gin Packaging

Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin Custom Bottle  

Congratulations to the team at Orkney Distilling, makers of Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gins, on the unveiling of their new bottle, available in a range of ombre effect colours across their range of products. The custom glassware, which has been over a year in the making, retains the signature Orcadian wave design but has been integrated into the cut of the glass, creating a beautiful sculpted texture. “Vegvisir”, the mythical Norse compass, also remains; stamped into the bottle and etched atop the closure. The consolidated product range consists of their signature “Origin”, their Navy Strength “Arkh-Angell”, their spiced “Aurora” and their Pink Old Tom “Beyla”, made with rare Orcadian honey and fresh Scottish raspberries. 

Learn more about Orkney Distilling here.

The new bespoke Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin glass bottle was over 12 months in creation from the initial concept to the finished glass. (Pic: Courtesy of Orkney Distilling)
Something Blue was originally created as a wedding favour for McLean’s Gin founder Colin McLean’s wedding. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

McLean’s Gin Something Blue Redesign 

McLean’s Gin launched their new Something Blue bottle design during December. Since its release in 2018, the gin has proven extremely popular with couples ‘tying the knot’ and it’s taken over as their best seller. It was founder Colin’s own marriage that inspired the gin, having been originally created for his own wedding as favours for guests. The new bottle design includes a custom decorative lace effect white varnish print on top of the deep blue opaque glass bottle colour. If you look closely you can even spot some botanicals in the floral lace pattern and it’s finished with a foiled and varnished label.

Learn more about McLean’s Gin here.

Scottish Gin News

Little Brown Dog Spirits Buy One Get One Tree

Within days of releasing their new LBD Maple Syrup Gin and following Storm Arwen in early December, the distillery team announced they were going to plant a native tree for every customer and retailer sale placed in November and December, helping to regenerate the North East’s forestry following the storm’s devastation. So for every bottle sold of Unlimited Edition Gin, Latitude Strength Gin and Project Quercus Acer Maple Syrup Gin, a tree will be planted in Aberdeenshire.

Learn more about Little Brown Dog Spirits here.

Buy one get one tree campaign from Little Brown Dog will see trees planted in the Aberdeenshire area as part of a regeneration programme following the damage left by Storm Arwen. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Darnley’s Gin furthering their green credentials with a new gin pouch refill service featuring the three core gins from the Darnley’s Gin range. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

Darnley’s Gin Refill Pouches

Darnley’s Gin have joined an increasing list of Scotland’s gin makers to make their supply chain, production and retail processes and experiences more sustainable by developing and launching gin refill pouches. Currently available across their core range of Original, Spiced and Navy Strength gins, the pouches save the customer £4 for every 70cl purchased and once they’ve been decanted and enjoyed, they can be popped back in the post to the distillery team, who will recycle them for you. 

Learn more about Darnley’s Gin here.

Respitality at Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels

Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, including Peebles Hydro and 1881 Distillery & Gin School, is one of a number of Scottish businesses who have taken part in Respitality throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, offering unpaid carers in Scotland the rare chance to enjoy a short break from their routine, in an effort to improve their physical and mental health. Funded by the Scottish Government and supported by local businesses, the initiative currently operates in 19 local authority areas in Scotland and since launching, Respitality has facilitated breaks for over 3000 carers with the support of over 350 businesses. Between June and December 2021, more than 100 unpaid carers in Scotland have enjoyed time at Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, including complementary visits the the 1881 Distillery & Gin School, since it pledged its support to Shared Care Scotland’s Respitality initiative six months ago. Well done to everyone involved!

Learn more about 1881 Distillery here.


The enormity of the gin category is evident in the growth experienced in The Spirits Business Gin Masters 2021. In 2020, the competition was split into two parts because of Covid‐19 challenges. However, this year, because of the sheer volume of entries – plus the number of new products launching on a regular basis – the competition was divided into two instalments. The Gin Masters First Tasting took place in June this year, when nearly 500 entries were put to the taste test. The second set of entries were judged in October by professional tasters assembled at the Novotel Hotel in London Bridge, UK. Congratulations to Team Lussa for taking home Gold in the Ultra Premium Category and Raven Spirits for also achieving Gold in the Premium Category for their Hrafn Cranachan Gin. Look back on the first round of Scottish Gin winners here.

Lussa Gin distilled on the Isle of Jura was awarded Gold in The Spirits Business Gin Masters 2021 Ultra Premium Category. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
The team at Raven Spirits picked up a Gold in the The Spirits Business Gin Masters 2021 Premium Category for their Hrafn Cranachan Gin. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

It was double honours for the team at Dunnet Bay Distillers at this year’s Highland Business Awards. The Dunnet based distillery collected Winners awards for Innovation and Environmental Sustainability at the event organised by Inverness Chamber of Commerce. They were also finalists in the Employer of the Year category, having been nominated by one of their employees. Congratulations on the wins.

Dunnet Bay Distillers were recognised for their work around innovation and environmental sustainability at the 2021 Highland Business Awards. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Our Cherry Christmas Negroni featured Makar Cherry Gin from Glasgow Distillery. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

The Gin Cooperative

Cherry Christmas with Negronivent

Thanks to Negroni Club UK for inviting us to be part of their 12 Negronis of Christmas Advent. We really enjoyed taking part and sampling some interesting twists on the classic cocktail. Representing day seven of the Negronivent, we opted for a Makar Cherry Negroni with a couple of decadent Christmas touches. We wanted a juniper packed Scottish Gin for our Negroni and this is something The Glasgow Distillery Co. definitely delivers on. Their Cherry Gin is created by infusing fresh cherries and a sprinkling of pink peppercorn with the Makar Original Dry Gin. Our ‘Cherry Christmas’ Negroni recipe is:

December Scottish Gin Subscription

For the final box of 2021, we sent our subscribers a bottle of 43% Original Speyside Dry Gin from Inshriach Distillery. The gin is made on the Inshriach Estate near Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands and consists of 200 acres of natural woodland and pasture bordered on the north by the river Spey and to the south by the foothills of the Cairngorms and just a few miles away from the famous Lairig Ghru long distance walk; all in all, a beautiful part of the country. The distillery came to fame in 2015 by winning Channel 4’s Shed of the Year, featuring an eclectic mix of vintage Americana meets traditional Scottish and whole lot more. The distillery has grown and undergone a number of improvements since its inception in 2015, including the recently installed biomass plant, which not only heats the distillery but also the onsite cottages, farm flat, workshops, bottling room and barn… with the big Inshriach House due to go green in Spring 2022. The 43% Original Speyside Dry Gin itself is made using some locally foraged botanicals including Scottish juniper berries, juniper shoots, rosehip and Douglas fir needles providing a sweet, floral, piney flavour.

We look forward to catching up online with our subscribers and owner/distiller Walter Micklethwait in early January, providing our subscribers the opportunity to meet the maker and learn more about this fascinating place.

Learn more about our Scottish Gin Subscription here.

Inshriach 43% Original Speyside Dry Gin featured in December’s Scottish Gin Subscription Box (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)
Every Scottish Gin Subscription box is packed by hand using Flexi-Hex, the leading eco-friendly packaging solution. (Pic: ©The Gin Cooperative)

The Gin Cooperative Features December 2021

Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in December 2021.

Scottish Gin News Round-Up November – read it here.

Women of Gin, Bronwyn Jenkins-Deas, Isle of Cumbrae Distillers – read it here.

French 75, A brief history and recipe – read it here.

Look through our archive of Scottish Gin news here.

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