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Scottish Gin News

Round-Up June 2020.

Published: 30th June 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 hello@thegincooperative.com.

While we look ever closer to the re-opening of our favourite bars and restaurants, the individuals and businesses working within the drinks and hospitality industry have suffered massively over the last 3 months as a result of Covid-19. The Scottish drinks industry charity, The Ben, supports people in the trade facing financial, social and emotional difficulties all year round, but they’ve been particularly active during the recent crisis. Donate and learn more here.

While lockdown has been restrictive and frustrating for most, it’s been fantastic to see gin makers thinking outside the box and getting creative with their offerings, services and digital engagement. Even more encouraging, the consumers are reciprocating and there appears to be an increase in supporting local producers; a real positive, which we hope continues post-lockdown.

Global Gin News

World Gin Day

Emma Stokes AKA Gin Monkey is responsible for the growth and success of World Gin Day. What started as an excuse to get together with like-minded gin drinkers and friends in 2009 has become THE day in the global drinks calendar to celebrate gin. This year, perhaps more than ever, created some unexpected and extraordinary challenges with the Covid-19 Pandemic and resulting global lockdown. World Gin Day 2020 was a massive success with gin makers and brands from across the world turning to social media and digital content to help showcase their brands and products. For anyone who missed it, watch the World Gin Day video that saw global gin makers pass a G&T around the world here.

We were delighted to partner with The Times & Sunday Times Scotland for World Gin Day, giving their readership access to an exclusive double-sided pull-out poster, with Scottish Gin Distillery Map and Scottish Gin Timeline Poster, documenting Scottish Gin’s rise in popularity over the last 20 years. If you missed the printed edition, you can download our maps and posters for free by visiting the Downloads section of our website here.

Food & Safety Authority of Ireland issue Protection Guidelines

Just last week, the Irish Food & Drinks standards put forward some pretty clear and simple rules surrounding Irish Gin. The approach ensures the consumer has the real information about a gin including the proper use of place names, provenance claims and terms, all provided to ensure the consumer is not mislead when it comes to labelling. It obviously raises the question of why this can’t be done in Scotland.

Some will say the horse has bolted but we believe as the reputation of Scottish Gin continues to grow, businesses and brands shouldn’t be allowed to use the term if they don’t make their gin in Scotland. It only takes a few disgruntled consumers to start bad mouthing a brand when they find our their ‘favourite Scottish Gin’ isn’t made in Scotland, for a gloomy cloud to be cast over every business and brand in the Scottish Gin category.

And although the criteria being implemented by Irish Food & Drinks standards for the most part is already written into EU law surrounding food labelling and packaging, we believe it provides a good framework and starting point that could easily be applied to gins being in Scotland, if done correctly and supported by the majority of Scottish Gin producers.

New Scottish Gins

Badachro Raspberry Gin

Following the popular seasonal sell-out of Winter Spiced Gin, the team at Badachro Distillery has used local Highland raspberries to create a full strength Raspberry Infused Gin. This is a rare summer edition, with only 50 bottles available. The gin is deep red in colour with clear raspberry on the nose. It’s described as having initial raspberry to taste, giving way to the complex juniper and myrtle notes of original Badachro Gin.

Available from their online shop here.

Learn more about Badachro Distillery here.

Ben Lomond’s Infused Scottish Gins

Ben Lomond Gin released two new flavoured gins in June. The summery, full-strength additions are Raspberry & Elderflower and Blackberry & Gooseberry. The team worked with a local forager to draw inspiration from the wild botanicals, vibrant berries and endless flora that can be found within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs regions.

Using their signature Ben Lomond Gin as the base, the Raspberry & Elderflower Gin is described as having natural berry essences, offering a sweet and herby floral flavour, backed by unmistakeable juniper flavour, while the Blackberry & Gooseberry Gin offers a sweet yet zesty flavour; the succulent flavour of the blackberries balancing the sharp, tangy notes of the gooseberries.

Available from their online shop here.

Learn more about Loch Lomond Group, makers of Ben Lomond Gin, here.

Scottish Gin Distillery News

Lockdown has definitely provided time and perspective for a number of Scottish Gin makers to dream, plan and in some cases execute the next stage of their Scottish Gin story…

Major upgrade of McQueen Gin Distillery

McQueen Gin completed a major upgrade of their distillery during June, specifically their production and bottling line, which can now produce a finished case of McQueen Gin every 8 seconds… that’s capacity of 5 million bottles per year on a single shift 5 day pattern! The month long project is one of the biggest projects in the McQueen Gin journey so far and really sets them up as a lucrative, large scale Scottish Gin producer. Not only is the distillery upgrading production capacity but they’re committed to going green over the next few years. As part of their ongoing green pledge, they aim to have close to half of their company cars go electric by the end of 2020.

Learn more about McQueen Gin here.

Beinn an Tuirc expansion plans

Beinn an Tuirc as an estate and distillery has been looking to increase their accommodation with glamping sites, all the while working on their cafe and gin school extension, ultimately providing a unique residential and spirit experience. ‘Operation Walled Garden’ has also seen the team upgrading the outdoor space, planting potatoes and erecting a poly tunnel where they can grow fruit, veg, herbs and botanicals to use in Kintyre Gins and in the new distillery cafe. The team also revealed plans to build a whisky distillery on site so watch this space!

Learn more about Beinn an Tuirc here.

The Wee Farm Distillery install

Jenny from The Wee Farm Distillery shared images of her recently fitted gin still (yet to be named). The original second hand but sturdy ‘Morag’ was, what we believe to be, Scotland’s smallest commercial gin still at 30 litres. Definitely staying true to the small batch ethos, the distillery has taken delivery of a brand new, shiny 50 litre still, seen here. We joined the recent ‘Lanarkshire Big 5’ online tasting hosted by Jaro Design where Jenny shared their exciting plans to create a genuine Scottish farm-based food & drink experience, where visitors can sample fruits, meats and spirits grown, reared and distilled on the farm and stay in their converted farmhouse accommodation. We look forward to following their progress!

Learn more about The Wee Farm Distillery here.

Kinrara open distillery shop 

Kinrara Distillery just revealed and opened their on-site distillery shop, after two years in the planning. The shop not only sells a wide selection of Kinrara Gin products, but features a large tasting table and traditional copper pot still so visitors can sample and learn more about the range and process of Kinrara Gin. The distillery and shop is housed in the Lynwilg Farm Steading on the Kinrara Estate, which is 5 miles from the popular tourist destination of Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands.

Learn more about Kinrara Distillery here.

Lockdown Creativity 

In the face of adversity, the Scottish Gin makers have show great determination and creativity throughout lockdown. We’ve shared many of the wonderful tastings, gin delivery services, special offers and digital events over the last 3 months and we thought we would highlight a few of the more recent projects from some of Scotland’s gin makers and brand owners…

Creative cocktails

Hrafn Gin’s Shake Rattle Pour Cocktail Download

Also know as ‘The Little Black Book of Treating Yourself’, the team at Raven Spirits, makers of Hrafn Gin, has produced a free pdf cocktail book, which you can download for free from their website. Featuring an impressive number of creations, some original and some classic, we applaud the creative team at Raven Spirits for this cocktail masterclass and recommend you sift through the many cocktails on offer because there really is something for everyone. Visit their website to download the Shake Rattle Pour cocktail booklet here.

Learn more about Raven Spirits here.

McLean’s Saturday Night Cocktail Kits 

Every fortnight, McLean’s Gin has been serving up Saturday Night Cocktail Kits locally to the good people of Strathaven and the surrounding villages. For £25, you receive all the elements needed to make 4 double cocktails at home. Currently the cocktails aren’t suitable for postage or courier but if you’re in the local area, doorstep delivery is available between 10am to 3pm every other Saturday. Cocktails so far include the Bramble (in collaboration with The Dispensary Bar), Perennial Millennial (in collaboration with Strathaven Hotel), French 75, Gin Old Fashioned, one of their own creations – Floral Berry Summer Cherry, and not forgetting the Blood Orange Negroni (delivery driver/creator/Mr McLean comes with matching shirt). Email McLean’s Gin here to enquire.

Learn more about McLean’s Gin here.

Kirkjuvagr Weekend Cocktail Kits

The Orkney Distillery, home to Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin, has been bringing the bar directly to local residents with their weekend cocktail kits. Each week they concoct a new special cocktail creation and offer it via click and collect from the Distillery bar in Kirkwall on Fridays. So far we’ve seen cocktails like Beyla Blush and Gin Mojito. This week marks The Orkney Distillery’s 2nd birthday and so to celebrate, they’re offering a Birthday Chocolatini 2 person cocktail kit, which includes Kirkjuvagr Gin, Baileys and Creme de Cacao plus 2 free Kirkjuvagr martini glasses, branded with exclusive Kirkjuvagr glass charms from Laser Craft Orkney. Visit the Orkney Distilling website here to order the latest cocktail kit.

Learn more about Orkney Distilling here.

Makar DIY Cocktail Kits

The Glasgow Distillery Company has added DIY cocktail kits to their online shop, which include all the elements you need to make a refreshing summer cocktail delivered right to your door. Cocktail kits include Cherry Spritz, Citrus Drop, Espresso Martini, Ginger Riot and Glasgow Mule featuring their gin, vodka, rum, and whisky. Browse the kits here.

Learn more about Makar here.

Creative Competitions

Way back in March, Rock Rose Gin launched their Colour a Rock Rose Label competition where entrants were asked to design and colour in a Rock Rose Gin template and submit it for entry. Although the competition just closed, the public are being asked to vote for the top 5, from which a winner will be chosen by Pocket Rocket Creative. The lucky winner receives a year’s supply of Rock Rose Gin! The entries really are fantastic and we encourage everyone to vote for their favourite here. Also, a big well done to the team at Dunnet Bay Distillery for being selected as one of the winners of the Sky AdSmarts SME250 program, which sees their distillery advert appear on Sky TV.

Learn more about Dunnet Bay Distillers, makers of Rock Rose Gin, here.

Earlier in June, Eight Lands launched a home mixology competition on Instagram to mark their 1st birthday. Ultimately, the lucky winner enjoys a cocktail masterclass, six-course tasting menu for two and £100 drinks allowance at the Two Michelin-starred La Dame de Pic London at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square. Plus they’re offering some fabulous runner-up prizes. Full details can be found here.

Learn more about Eight Lands here.

A Round of Scottish Gin

We continue to chat with Scotland’s Gin makers, brand owners and other individuals working in the world of Scottish Gin and gin, in our A Round of Scottish Gin series, which stream live on Facebook. You can catch up with all our interviews here. 

The Gin Cooperative Features June 2020

Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in June 2020.

Scottish Gin News Round-Up May 2020 – read it here.

A Recipe for Gin, Achroous Gin, Electric Spirit Co. – read it here.

Meet the Distiller, Jack Smith, Cairngorm Gin Company – read it here.

Scottish Gin Geography ft. Red Door Gin, Orkney Gin Company, SOS Gin, The Wee Farm Distillery & Isle of Skye Distillers – read it here.

Hello, I’m a Ginfluencer – read it here.

Scottish Gins About Distilleries