Scottish Gin NewsRound-Up November & December 2022.
Published: 31st December 2022
2022 ended with several new Scottish Gin releases, including festive editions and anniversary gins created to mark milestones. As we prepare to publish our 2022 Scottish Gin in Numbers infographic, it’s interesting to see the number of new Scottish Gins in 2022 is comparable to 2017. However, the number of new Scottish Gin brands and distilleries is down significantly compared to other years. We’ll publish a full round-up of the data soon as part of our annual Scottish Gin in numbers end-of-year infographic.
December 2022 also saw us celebrate our 5th anniversary in business, a significant milestone for any company. For us, this milestone has provided us with the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we’ve achieved over the last 5 years along with making plans for 2023.
We’ve also been busy behind the scenes working with D8 on the new e-commerce website and will be spending the first quarter of 2023 getting our new Scottish Gin e-commerce shop, ScottishGin.com ready for launch in February 2023, along with phasing out the old shop section on our existing The Gin Cooperative website.
The shop will focus on providing greater insight about each product we stock, along with the background behind the brand, people and what makes each Scottish Gin unique. Delivering excellent customer service along with providing the largest selection of Scottish Gin online from an independent retailer, will also be key to our new shop.
So if we appear to be quiet for the first few months of 2023, rest assured we’re still here and our commitment to the Scottish Gin industry remains the foundation of what we stand for and what we do… to educate and inspire consumers and trade to go and discover Scottish Gin. We’re excited for the year ahead as we continue growing the premium resource for all things Scottish Gin with The Gin Cooperative, along with preparing for The Gin Cooperative Awards 2023 and International Scottish Gin Day 2023.
Cairngorm Gin Distillery
Congratulations to the Cairngorm Gin team on their move to newer and larger facilities, moving from the village of Carrbridge to Granton-on-Spey just down the road. Their start-up distillery was one of the smallest in Scotland and located in the brand owner’s family home. The bespoke 50 litre copper pot still named Ginger has moved to the new and improved production space but will work alongside the new iStill, increasing production as the brand continues to grow. The distillery also includes a shop, which is open to the public and more experiences will be revealed in 2023.
Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme
As 2022 comes to a close, it has been a year filled with ups and downs for the Scottish Gin category, with a number of well established Scottish Gin brands and distilleries calling it a day. It can’t be ignored that the post-pandemic economy, compounded by Brexit and lacklustre governance have contributed to the current cost of living crisis. As consumers look to cut back on non-essential items in their weekly shop, premium spirits, luxury items and treats are often the first items on the shopping list to go. The knock-on effect for spirits is that many consumers will now look for bargains at their local supermarket and online. This delicate balance of margins may see more Scottish Gin brands decide the trading conditions aren’t viable anymore.
The last few years have been extremely tough for small craft gin producers and with the proposed Scottish Deposit Return Scheme due to launch in August 2023, this will add another layer of cost, many of which are yet to be confirmed by the Scottish Government and the appointed scheme operator Circularity Scotland.
The general feedback across the different sectors is that the current DRS will negatively impact SME drinks producers, hospitality venues and retailers the most. The end result is that consumer choice will be stripped back as products once sold in Scotland that don’t adhere to the highly complex framework cannot be sold in Scotland. With so many unanswered questions surrounding the practicalities of the current framework for everyone involved, we hope as we go into 2023, we can all get the much needed answers that we and other businesses need to ensure the Scottish DRS is a success before it launches.
All the businesses being asked to sign up have a role to play in a greener, more circular economy, and all desperately want a Scottish DRS that is simple to operate and manage. We can’t have a greener, more circular economy if there are no businesses left, as many consider what future there is beyond August. Stop. Pause. Rethink the Scottish DRS so we can all play a positive role.
New Scottish Gins
Here are a selection of the new Scottish Gins launched in November and December 2022.
Galloway Gin 2022 by Crafty Distillery
A yearly limited edition from Crafty Distillery, each year’s Galloway Gin release is unique and original. Each edition is made from 100% Scottish foraged botanicals and base alcohol crafted by the team at Crafty Distillery using local grain. The 2022 Galloway Gin edition features a range of carefully foraged and selected botanicals to create a one of a kind Scottish Gin. Scottish juniper, elderberries, crab apples, raspberries, samphire and sugar kelp feature in this 2022 edition to gave the drinker a taste of the hills, coastlines and hedgerows of Galloway. The result is a juniper-led gin with some berry sweetness and savoury coastal notes, backed up with tartness and zing from the use of crab apples; clean, fresh and distinct.
LBD Gin Project Stovies by Little Brown Dog Spirits
The 2022 edition from the distillery’s annual experimental spirit series is none other than Stovies gin, aptly promoted as the Aberdeenshire-iest gin ever! The team worked with local business, Marshall’s Farm Shop & Kitchen, to source the carrots, neeps and beetroot. Of course, Stovies wouldn’t be complete without a side of beetroot and an oatcake or two, so some black pepper and oats were also to the distillation, with the oats grown on the farm next to the distillery. The oats provide a rich and creamy mouthfeel while the root vegetables give bright, herbaceous notes and the roasted juniper ensures that juniper backbone throughout, with the black pepper delivering a warming spice finish.
Gold Cave Cask Aged Gin Volume 2 by Isle of Barra Distillers
The second in a limited edition series of aged gins by the Hebridean distillery, Isle of Barra Gold Cave Cask Aged Gin Volume 2 was aged in an ex-Sherry Butt cask for six months. Initial bottles sold contributed £5 for every sale to the Fisherman’s Mission Charity, a charity close to the hearts of many across the Outer Hebrides and the whole of Scotland.
Sonsie Gin by Arrochar Alps
Sonsie, meaning to bring good luck or good fortune, is the second release from the Arrochar Alps brand. Described as ‘Scotland in a Bottle’, this gin is infused with Scottish oats and honey and carefully combined with locally-sourced berries.
Yule Gin by Beinn an Tuirc Distillers
The Yule Festive Gin released by the Beinn an Tuirc Distillers team was extremely limited to around 150 bottles. The first 50 exclusively available to their gin club subscribers sold out in under 2 hours. Only 100 went on general sale, mainly sold at local Christmas markets.
Christmas Gin by Esker Spirits
The now sold out Esker Spirits seasonal Christmas themed gin was infused with a little honey and sweet festive spices to create a proper winter warmer. The gin includes their signature silver birch sap, creating a beautiful luxury mouthfeel.
Fireside Gin by the Kilted Chef
The Aberdeenshire based ‘Kilted Chef’ of Eat on the Green, Craig Wilson, collaborated with Gin Bothy to create a small batch Fireside Gin, which includes botanicals such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, black pepper and local honey. The result is a cosy, aromatic gin filled with warmth and depth of flavour.
Prickly Gin by Angus Alchemy
Angus Alchemy is a new Carnoustie based distillery, with the motto ‘Distillers of Divergence’. Their Prickly Gin, including a Navy Strength version, was released in December, alongside their moonshine and rum expressions, primarily available at local markets. The distillery will officially open its doors in early 2023, focusing on providing a number distillery experiences for visitors including tours of the distillery and tasting events.
Downpour Coast & Croft Gin by North Uist Distillery
The latest expression from North Uist Distillery was developed to create an authentic Hebridean gin, drenched in island flavour. Pepper dulse seaweed from the coast and wild thyme from the croft is featured. Downpour Coast & Croft Gin is described as big and bold with botanicals you can taste in every drop.
Suonare Gin (Scottish Opera 60th Anniversary Gin) in collaboration with The Biggar Gin Company
Translating ‘to play’, Suonare is a bespoke gin using botanicals inspired by operas in their 60th Season. This custom gin features a label with die-cut holes, which when removed and placed in a music box plays ‘Un bel di’ from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, a favourite of founder Sir Alexander Gibson. Botanicals were chosen from areas that have a strong connection with the operatic world, with oranges from Seville, lavender from France, bergamot from Calabria in Italy, pink peppercorn from South America and nettles from the Borders of Scotland. The flavours also reflect the international repertoire of their 60th season including Carmen (Spain), Ainadamar (South America), Il trittico and The Verdi Collection (Italy), Candide and Thérèse (France).
Christmas Old Tom Gin by Orkney Gin Company
This festive gin was limited in numbers and volume, available in the brand’s signature ceramic bottles, but only 20cl in size. Described as cosy, fruity and sweet, this gin featured winter spices and botanicals, steeped in flavour and warmth.
Scottish Canals 200th Anniversary Gin in collaboration with Purist Gin
Fittingly located alongside the Scottish Canal’s Headquarters in The Whisky Bond building in Glasgow, the Purist Gin team partnered with the Scottish Canals organisation to create a bespoke bottle of gin to celebrate the bicentenary of the Union Canal.
Jackton Rosé Gin by RAER Spirits
The latest gin release from the RAER Spirits Distillery is a pink gin featuring juicy raspberry, strawberry, rosehip, delicate rose petals and a hint of citrus; described as a rich botanical gin with a little winter warmth.
Scottish Gin Awards
November saw the industry celebrate the 6th annual Scottish Gin Awards. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. Medal winners on the night were announced as follows:
Best London Dry Gin
Best Distilled Gin
Best Cask Gin
Best Liqueur Gin
Best Old Tom Gin
Best Festive Gin
Best Pink Gin
Best High Strength Gin
Best Flavoured Gin
Best Berry Flavoured Gin
Best Herb & Spice Gin
Best Citrus Gin
Scottish Gin Subscription
Our Scottish Gin subscription saw our subscribers receive three highly regarded Scottish Gins in October, November and December 2022. October’s Gin was the latest release from The Biggar Gin Company, Biggar Herbaceous Gin. Then just in time for the festive season, our subscribers were treated to Rock Rose Navy Strength Gin along with a Rock Rose Gin enamel pin badge. Finally, December subscribers received a classic London Dry style gin made in the heart of Speyside at the Glenrinnes Distillery, Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin.
News & Features
Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in November and December 2022.
Scottish Gin News Round-Up September & October – read it here.
Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme – read it here.
Look through our archive of Scottish Gin news here.