Scottish Gin NewsRound-Up February 2022.
Published: 1st March 2022
We’re happy to report new Scottish Gins, award wins, the re-opening of Scottish Gin distilleries and experiences and definitely delighted to see producers working collaboratively with food & drink partners, organisations and universities to improve sustainability in a long term and meaningful way. In what is typically a quieter month for the industry, we managed to get on the road and visit five Scottish Gin distilleries and complete another productive photoshoot, plus we celebrated one year of our Scottish Gin Subscription.
New Scottish Gins
Pixel Spirits Drookit Hoose
The latest to launch in their core range of Scottish Gins is Drookit Hoose from Pixel Spirits, the North Ballachulish based Scottish Gin Distillery & Gin School, in the West coast of the Scottish Highlands near Glencoe and Fort William. It joins the spicy Devil’s Staircase and zesty Drookit Piper in the signature London Dry style range of gins, bringing flavours of tangy rowan berries, calming heather, nectarous silver birch sap, zesty grapefruit, aromatic rosehip and a hint of pungent pink pepper.
Learn more about Pixel Spirits here.
Edinburgh Gin Experimental Series
On trend with the increasing demand for limited edition Scottish Gins, November 2021 saw Edinburgh Gin launch the first in a series of experimental-style small batch gins, with only 500 bottles of their Old Tom Gin available on their website and in their shop. February saw them follow with Nos 2 and 3 in the exclusive series, namely Cranachan Gin and Salt ’n’ Sauce Gin, both including some very interesting botanicals.
Learn more about the experimental series and Edinburgh Gin here.
Scottish Gin News
Scottish Gin producers aiming for Net Zero
Arbikie Distilling, North Uist Distillery and Dunnet Bay Distillers have been awarded a share of £160k of funding to support their continued efforts to improve sustainability as part of a Scottish food and drink industry-wide commitment to net zero. Launched by Scotland Food & Drink Partnership and Interface in October 2021, the Net Zero Challenge Fund is a key initiative of the Scottish Government-backed industry Recovery Plan. 17 businesses, including the 3 Scottish Distilleries, have secured the funding and will work collaboratively with Scottish Universities, world-leading experts and academics in engineering, manufacturing, biotechnology and data science to accelerate their journeys to net zero.
Raasay Distillery awarded Knowledge Transfer Partnership
In more positive green news, Raasay Distillery was awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to work with the University of Strathclyde. In partnership with the University’s Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, the project involves recruiting an engineer to help turn whisky by-products into hydrogen, which can then power the distillation process.
Learn more about Raasay Distillery here.
Scottish Gin Distilleries & Experiences re-open for business
Keep your eyes peeled for Scottish Gin Distilleries & Experiences re-opening their doors to the public as restrictions ease even more so in the aftermath of Covid-19. It’s been great to see the likes of Linlithgow Distillery and Dunnet Bay Distillers resume their tours and tastings, Beinn an Tuirc Distillers planning for distillery open days and Crossbill offering more gin school classes, among many others. And Edinburgh Gin officially opened their new city centre shop on Hanover Street and the new Leith based distillery for Lind & Lime Gin is well underway. Lots of exciting Scottish Gin experiences to be discovered and revealed this year!
Learn more about Scottish Gin Distilleries & Experiences here.
World Gin Awards 2022
Contemporary Style Gin
London Dry Gin
Navy Strength Gin
The Gin Cooperative
At last count, we’ve visited over 85 Scottish Gin distilleries across Scotland. Rural highland and island distilleries, urban distilleries, distilleries with small teams and big. The one thing that always comes across at every visit is that the people making Scottish Gin are passionate, skilled and invested. It’s been one of the many highlights… getting to know the people behind the bottle as people. Our love of Scottish Gin is just one aspect we all share along with a shared idea of what it means to produce a Scottish Gin, to be part of the Scottish Gin family and community, ambitions for where we want to see Scottish Gin as a spirit category go. We’re proud that The Gin Cooperative is the home of Scottish Gin, unlike anything else in the Scottish Gin sector, and that we get to work with, visit and collaborate with so many fantastic people and brands.
Avva Distillery, Elgin
We last visited the Avva distillery back in 2018, shortly after we established The Gin Cooperative. We knew we wanted to learn more about the distillery, the products and discover what inspired owner and distiller Jill Brown to launch her own Scottish Gin business. Fast forward close to four years later and we made our way back to Elgin for a long overdue catch-up with Jill. It was insightful to hear and see first hand how the Avva Scottish Gin range had continued to grow in that time and learn more about the newest addition to range – the forgotten cask Avva Gin.
Learn more about Avva Scottish Gin here.
Illicit Distillery, Glasgow
Darran Edmond was the very first distiller we visited in Glasgow and was one of the very first distillers we met in person just after he launched his signature Illicit Gin in 2018. It was one of the many things that inspired and excited, was visiting an urban distillery. Tucked away in a railway arch and seeing the glisten of a copper pot still, the smell of gin, and Darren’s passion for producing Scottish Gin and spirits that were true to his ethos of crafting quality products that bear the Illicit name. Since our last visit, Darran had expanded capacity along with producing a range of new Scottish Rums. We were also given some samples of some very exciting projects Darran has been working on over the last two years and look forward to seeing these come to market.
Learn more about Illicit Spirits here.
Crossbill Distillery and Gin School, Glasgow
Located in the famous Barras Market, Crossbill Distillery and Gin School greets you with a large sign featuring a Scottish Crossbill, an endangered native bird only found in some parts of Scotland. Safe to say the contrast between between the market and the distillery is obvious and yet it feels like it has always been there. We were greeted by the Crossbill team and shown around the distillery developments since our last visit, with the distillery now operating out of a second unit, providing further room for the gin school and production. As a brand, it’s well placed in Glasgow for visitors and with on-going investment in the area, along with restrictions on hospitality lifting, the gin school bookings were filling up fast. It was clear the new Crossbill team were enthusiastic and excited to have guests back in making their own Scottish Gins and helping share the story of Crossbill.
Learn more about Crossbill Distilling here.
Shoogle Spirits Distillery, Glasgow
One of Scotland’s newest Scottish Gin distilleries, is a family business that was established by husband wife Chris and Leigh Payne. Inspired by a love of gin and the loss of Jimmy, the family patriarch in 2018, the couple discovered a treasure trove of old documents and a bottle of beer that had survived from the 1960s. It turned out the bottle was in fact a special edition beer that had been presented to a great-grandfather who had spent his career working for Glasgow brewery J & R Tennent. There was a story and history, a family connection to what at first glance appeared to be an old bottle of beer. It started the wheels in motion that if a simple bottle of beer could have such a meaning to the owner that it was kept unopened for close to 60 years, was there an opportunity for the current generation to create a legacy that paid tribute to Jimmy and a new business around something the family enjoyed and always seemed to come up in conversation – gin!
We’d met Chris, Leigh and the family at The Gin To My Tonic Show in Glasgow back in 2021, and more recently hosting them at The Gin Cooperative HQ for a chat about their backgrounds, family and love of gin. Having originally worked with Lawrence at Inspirited, who helped them develop their recipe and distill their gin, the couple always knew long term they wanted to have their own distillery. Located in the newly renovated Morris Park estate on the outskirts of Glasgow, we were delighted to see just how far in a short amount of time the business and brand had progressed. It’s obvious when you meet Chris, Leigh and their family they love what they’ve created and are passionate, considered and committed to growing their business for all the right reasons.
Learn more about Shoogle Spirits here.
Glasgow Distillery Company, Glasgow
Amongst the first of the new wave of Scottish Gins from 2014, Glasgow Distillery Company has continued to grow its range of Scottish Gins with its Makar Gin expressions, along with its own whisky and rum and vodka range. This was our second official visit to the distillery which is always abuzz with distilling, bottling and on this occasion we got to meet and see the in-house cooper at work as he worked on a range of casks.
We caught up with Sebastian Bunford-Jones, the head marketing executive, and were given a tour of the newest edition to the distillery – a bespoke tasting room. The new space was created at the start of the first lockdown to provide a space for video conferencing and virtual tasting events for trade featuring a wall that tells the story of the distillery along with a bar and seating area. We chatted with Sebastian about how the last two years had been for the business, the challenges that every distillery had faced and optimism for the future of Scottish Gin and Scottish spirits. Sebastian knows the brand and products inside out, and as long time members of The Gin Cooperative, it was great to meet some of the newer members of Glasgow Distillery Company, hear their stories and see the distillery’s continued growth and development.
Learn more about Makar here.
Photoshoot The Albyn, Aberdeen
It’s always been a key aspect of The Gin Cooperative and something that forms part of our membership, is creating original content that helps educate and inspire consumers and trade to seek out Scottish Gin. Being able to shoot original photography for our editorial features and social media activities is something we’re proud of and passionate about.
Having recently visited the recently refurbished and newly reopened The Albyn bar and restaurant in Aberdeen, we knew the bar would make a wonderful setting for our next photoshoot. We were delighted that the team at The Albyn were able to accommodate us for our latest photoshoot with the bar and venue providing a beautiful backdrop for a range of Scottish Gins and serves. A big thanks to The Albyn for hosting us and making us feel so welcome behind the bar.
January Scottish Gin Subscription
Our January Scottish Gin was Strathaven Hedgerow; a London Dry style gin that uses botanicals exclusively foraged from within a five mile radius of the McLean’s Gin Lab. Limited to approximately 1,000 bottles annually, every release will have slight variations based on the availability of botanicals and changing of the seasons. The first release included brambles, gorse flowers, hawthorn berries, Scots pine needles and golden chanterelle mushrooms. We met with our subscribers and McLean’s Gin founder and distiller Colin McLean online during February to discuss this very local gin and his wider range, which includes a mix of cold compounded and distilled gins.
Sending January’s box saw us officially celebrate one year of our Scottish Gin Subscription service. We want to give a special shout out to our subscribers, new and old, current and past, who have supported us throughout the first year of our subscription. Our approach to helping others explore Scottish Gin is as much about the people, the stories and influences that have helped shape the gin in each subscription box, as it is about the gin; helping them discover the true story of Scottish Gin. As well as sending Scottish Gin and mixers each month, we host an online meet-the-maker event, allowing our subscribers to hear directly from business owners and distillers, providing a fantastic and unique opportunity to learn directly from the talented people working in the Scottish Gin industry.
Learn more about our Scottish Gin Subscription here.
News & Features
We’re currently working behind the scenes updating our Scottish Gin A – Z directory. As the world’s largest, most in-depth and content rich directory of its kind, it is practically a full-time job keeping on top of new releases, making sure profiles are still current and correct, along with continuing to look at ways we can keep it the go-to resource for consumers and trade looking to discover Scottish Gin.
Learn more about our A – Z of Scottish Gin here.
Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in February 2022.
Scottish Gin News Round-Up January – read it here.
Look through our archive of Scottish Gin news here.