Scottish Gin NewsRound-Up January 2020.
Published: 1st February 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.
New Scottish Gins
GoodWill Cask Matured Quercus Alba Gin by GlenWyvis
The team at GlenWyvis released their second limited edition cask aged gin. This Quercus Alba Gin takes the signature GlenWyvis GoodWill Scottish Gin and rests in a ‘white oak’ single American Standard Barrel, releasing light vanilla notes during maturation. Tasting notes include hints of butterscotch, Turkish delight and parma violet! Visit their website here to order.
Learn more about GlenWyvis here.
Baile Mhoireil at The Balmoral, by The Old Curiosity Distillery
Bar Prince, which is located in Brasserie Prince, a French Restaurant in the glamorous The Balmoral Rocco Forte Hotel in Edinburgh has collaborated with The Old Curiosity Distillery to create their very own Scottish Gin. Named Baile Mhoireil, Gaelic for ‘Majestic Dwelling’, the gin features a string of local botanicals including rosemary, dill, sage, chamomile, anise and lemon verbena, all hand harvested exclusively from The Old Curiosity Distillery’s botanical gardens to create a unique and refreshing flavour with hints of subtle citrus notes. The gin is available exclusively at The Balmoral.
Learn more about The Old Curiosity Distillery here.
Forget Me Not Gin by Pickering’s Gin
Hot off the press, Pickering’s Gin have released a limited edition Valentine’s Day themed Forget Me Not Scottish Gin, which is available in a handy 200ml bottle. This gin uses real flower petals, which have been dried and distilled together with heather, lemon myrtle and eight of their signature Bombay botanicals, making this distinctively Pickering’s. Tasting notes describe the gin as light floral on the nose, mild spice to taste and sweet citrus, reminiscent of sherbet lemon, on the finish. Visit their website here to order.
Learn more about Pickering’s Gin here.
Valentine’s Pink Gin by Stirling Gin
The team at Stirling Gin Distillery just released a limited edition seasonal Valentine’s Pink Gin, just in time to surprise someone special for Valentine’s Day. It sounds absolutely delicious; distilled with pink grapefruit and pink peppercorn, with a twist of habanero chilli and balanced with cardamom and rose. The lovely natural pink hue comes from hibiscus flowers. Some of you may recognise the label from their old branding, giving them something old and something new as a nod to the special day. The design from three years ago, drawn by local artist Richie Collins, has been converted into this special edition label especially for Valentine’s day. Visit their website here to order.
Learn more about Stirling Gin here.
Crabbie’s Scottish Rugby Gins
Following announcement of their sponsorship of the Scottish Rugby team, just in time for the Guinness Six Nations, Crabbie’s Gin have released two very special edition Scottish Gins to mark the occasion. Both are full strength flavoured gins – Raspberry & Ginger and Citrus Orange – and named after John Crabbie’s two great grandsons, Jack & George Crabbie respectively. Visit their website here to order.
Learn more about Crabbie’s Gin here.
Scottish Gin News
Raasay Distillery features on SAS: Who Dares Wins
The popular Channel 4 TV Show SAS: Who Dares Wins follows 25 contestants as they’re put through some serious paces, SAS-style. The group actually stayed on Raasay in October 2019, but the show is currently airing now and available on catch up. Lead presenter Ant Middleton is ex-SAS and his team of fellow ex-SAS instructors are responsible for pushing contestants to the extreme, both physically and mentally. Previous locations for the show include the Andes Mountains in Chile and the Amazon rainforest, so it’s fitting that the most recent series would take place in Scotland, the birthplace of SAS founder David Stirling. The show was set in the old Raasay Home Farm Steading, which is right next to Raasay Distillery and the contestants can be seen shifting the Raasay Distillery barrels in one of their many challenges.
Learn more about Raasay Distillery here.
Beinn an Tuirc Distillery unveil development plans
The Beinn an Tuirc Distillery, home to the award winning range of Kintyre Scottish Gins, has revealed plans to develop a gin school and cafe on the site of their existing shop and offices. The Campbeltown based distillery already provides visitor experiences in the form of tours and tastings, as well as selling their products in the nearby farmhouse. The distillery is located in a former piggery building on the Torrisdale Castle Estate, which is run and owned by the Macalister Hall family since 1872. The contemporary plans for the project reflect the sustainable ethos of the business, whilst retaining the traditional charm of the building. The aim is to power both buildings from the 100kw hydro scheme, which currently powers the gin still. And it’s predicted the expansion will create additional employment in a relatively remote location where opportunities are often scare.
Learn more about Beinn an Tuirc here.
Hendrick’s Gin collaborate with Oscar winning designer Annie Atkins
Hendrick’s Gin has collaborated with Oscar winning graphic designer for film, Annie Atkins, to create a curious limited-edition gift. Atkins is most famous for creating production designs from many bygone eras but her favourite is Victoriana London, making Atkins an ideal collaborator for Hendrick’s Gin, as its iconography and indeed its flavour profile is heavily inspired by this age, which was an era of freethinking innovators and visionaries.
Atkins was given creative free rein to craft something spectacular and chose to create a Zoetrope, an early form of animation technology that seems to bring still images to life when observed through the vertical slots of a cyclical drum. The extremely limited edition gift, sent to 200 Hendrick’s loving unusualists, will surprise and delight as, upon first glance, it may look like a bottle of Hendrick’s Gin encased in a sumptuous rose and cucumber-inspired box, but it is, in fact, so much more than meets the eye.
Discussing the coup de grace of her design, Atkins said: “When we hit on taking the cork out of the Hendrick’s Gin bottle and using it as a handle to spin the Zoetrope, so that it becomes something to use when you’re enjoying a Hendrick’s Gin, it tied the whole piece together.”
Learn more about Hendrick’s Gin here.
Early Valentine’s Gift Ideas
There have been some wonderful Scottish Gin inspired Valentine’s gift ideas appearing online in the last few weeks. Some include…
Edinburgh Gin’s Botanical Bouquets
Edinburgh Gin have three ‘Botanical Bouquets’ to choose from, which all include a full size bottle of gin and matching colourful flowers from Mud Urban Flowers. Pick from Classic Gin, Rhubarb & Ginger Gin or Valentine’s Gin. Visit their website here to order.
Learn more about Edinburgh Gin here.
Makar Cherry Gin & Sugarsnap Chocolates
The team at Makar have teamed up with Sugarsnap Glasgow to create two awesome Valentine’s bundles, which include their award winning Makar Cherry Gin and handcrafted gin-infused chocolates. Visit their website here to order.
Learn more about Makar Gin here.
Special edition I Love Harris Gin packaging
For a limited time only, Isle of Harris Distillers will be decorating their bottles with a special I LOVE HARRIS GIN label. The bottle is also presented in an eco-friendly presentation gift box with the addition of a bespoke gift card and holder. Visit their website here to order.
Learn more about Isle of Harris Distillers here.
As mentioned in our New Scottish Gins section above, there’s also a brand new limited edition Forget Me Not Gin from Pickering’s Gin and a seasonal edition Valentine’s Pink Gin from Stirling Gin, both dedicated entirely to Valentine’s Day.
Triple celebration for Rock Rose Gin
The team at Dunnet Bay Distillers had a few reasons to celebrate during January. Firstly, their signature Rock Rose Original Edition appeared on the much loved Saturday Kitchen on BBC’s morning TV show just last weekend. Host Olly Smith, who is a wine and spirits broadcaster and writer, pulled together some fantastic Scottish spirits to celebrate Burns Night, which consisted of Fierce Beer’s Pilsner, Dark Matter’s Spiced Rum, Highgrove’s Laphoaig 12 year old Islay Single Malt Whisky and Rock Rose’s Original Edition Gin. A great selection of Scottish spirits.
The team also secured a deal with Vision Wine & Spirits, a division of Martignetti Companies, which is the 6th largest distributor in the US, to distribute Rock Rose Gin in Florida. Florida joins a long list of states in this US where Rock Rose is now available, including DC, Boston, New York, New Hampshire, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Illinois with expansion plans in the works for the West Coast and Connecticut.
Last but by no means least, the team also celebrated the news that they have received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor as well as a 5 star rating from Visit Scotland for their visitor attraction. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Dunnet Bay Distillery. Book your distillery tour here.
A big well done to everyone involved, that’s an inspirational start to 2020!
Learn more about Dunnet Bay Distillers here.
World Gin Awards 2020
Well done to all the Scottish Gin brands who received prizes in the Round One Country Results for the annual World Gin Awards, which were announced on 15th January. The World’s Best Gin in each category will be announced on 27th February at the Gin Magazine Awards Dinner in London. Here are the round one winners…
Best – Tobermory Gin
Gold – Ginveraray Foxy
Silver – Pixel Spirits Drookit Piper
Best – Byron’s Gin Melancholy Thistle
Gold – Byron’s Gin Bird Cherry
Silver – Orkney Gin Company Johnsmas
Best – Pickering’s Gin Pickering’s Original 1947 Gin
Gold – Pixel Spirits Devil’s Staircase
Gold – Ginveraray Katty
Silver – Oro Oro V
Silver – Darnley’s Gin Smoke and Zest
Silver – Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin Aurora
Best – Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb & Ginger
Gold – Orkney Gin Company Rhubarb Old Tom
Silver – Edinburgh Gin Lemon & Jasmine
Bronze – McQueen Gin Blood Orange & Cranberry
London Dry Gin
Best – Hills & Harbour Gin
Gold – Oro Oro
Gold – Aquine Scottish Craft Gin
Gold – Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin
Silver – Edinburgh Gin Classic
Silver – Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin Kirkjuvagr
Silver – Downpour Scottish Dry Gin
Bronze – Pentland Hills Gin London Dry Gin
Bronze – Uisge Lusach The Gaelic Gins Uisge Lusach Sùg/Dry
Bronze – Intercontinental The George Number Nineteen
Best – Firkin Gin Oak Aged
Gold – GlenWyvis Christmas GoodWill Spiced Gin
Best – Pickering’s Gin Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin
Silver – Darnley’s Gin Spiced Gin Navy Strength
Old Tom Gin
Bronze – Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin Beyla
Scottish Gin Consumer Charter
We’re busy working on our Scottish Gin consumer charter, an idea we put forward at the beginning of 2018. We will be inviting all of Scotland’s gin makers and brands to be involved as a commitment to the consumer that their gins are being made in Scotland.
It will be available to everyone as a free download and will be updated on a regular basis. As the term Scottish Gin continues to grow and provides benefits to many brands as part of their marketing and promotional activities, we feel strongly that the term should inspire consumer confidence.
It’s only right those wishing to benefit from the combined efforts of Scotland’s gin makers, businesses, societies, groups and others championing Scottish Gin that the term should not only signify a premium spirit but a product of Scotland, made in Scotland.
As more and more of our members and the wider Scottish Gin community continue to invest in distillery experiences, new gin expressions, employment, exploring overseas opportunities and more, we feel the time is now right to seek a consensus across the industry and put it down in black and white.
The Gin Cooperative on the road
So far we’ve escaped the snow and managed to get back on the road in January, even venturing as far as the Scottish Borders, where we were able to complete a gin school and do two distillery tours.
The new 1881 Distillery is located inside the historic Peebles Hydro where the team have renovated a large downstairs section of the hotel to house the still and a rather impressive gin school. We can understand why the project took time, as the finish is beautiful, both in the final Arnold Holstein copper sill and the individual mini stills, of which there are over 20. We were treated to a fascinating history of the hotel, which included its original use as hydropathic hotel before a famous fire and complete rebuild in the early 20th century.
There were an abundance of botanicals to choose from and the distillery’s very own distiller Emma was on hand to guide us through distillation, which resulted in the creation of our very own Scottish Gin. We were also lucky enough to sample the full range of 1881 gins, which includes their signature London Dry Hydro Gin, Navy Strength Hydro Gin, Pavilion Pink Hydro Gin (a nod to their once famous tennis courts) and Subtle Smoked Hydro Gin, where the water is smoked onsite in the hotel’s very own kitchen.
Thanks very much to the team for having us and making it such an enjoyable experience.
Learn more about 1881 Distillery here.
We took the opportunity to visit Bloodline Spirits’ Distillery, which is also located in Peebles. This distillery is very much a family affair, established by locals Julie and Colin McLean. We were fascinated to learn of Julie’s ancestry as the brand now follows in the footsteps of her great great great grandfather John Usher and brother Andrew Usher, who was referred to as ‘the father of whisky blending’ and played a key role in the building of the North British distillery. Their newly released Rule Gin takes its name from the River Rule that runs through the family’s former estates in the Borders.
Although, like many start-ups, their distillery is located in an inconspicuous unit in an industrial estate, we were blown away with the interior space. Julie and Colin have obviously put in the time and effort to make their distillery personal, tasteful, welcoming and actually just pretty cool. The beautiful custom made still is called Christa Usher after Julie’s great grandmother and includes a second botanical basket, which sits above the column to introduce less intense flavours into the gin.
Thanks to Julie (and her wee ones) for giving us the tour and telling us all about the wonderful family connections to spirits and Edinburgh and the Borders.
Learn more about Bloodline Spirits here.
The Gin Cooperative Features January 2020
Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in January 2020.
Scottish Gin News Round-Up December 2019 – read it here.
Beautiful Botanicals – read it here.
A Round of Scottish Gin – read it here.
2019: A Year in Scottish Gin – read it here.
A Recipe for Gin, Auld Tam, Holyrood Distillery – read it here.
Growing with Gin, Craig Innes, Pixel Spirits – read it here.
Our People, GlenWyvis – read it here.