Scottish Gin NewsRound-Up May 2020.
Published: 1st 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re well over 100 days into lockdown now and although there appears to be light at the end of this very long tunnel for society in general as the restrictions ease off, there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to public spaces and the reopening of on and off trade businesses and hospitality and tourism sectors. As always, we remind everyone that the best way to support small business and the Scottish Gin industry right now is to support local and buy from the producers around you. Our directory and free downloadable resources will point you in the right direction.
Once again, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who’s played their part by staying at home and especially to those working day and night across the UK to keep us all safe, fed and watered, and well looked after.
There’s been a noticeable shift in May, with a number of new Scottish Gin expressions launched, although most were later than originally planned and we know there are still a lot “on hold” that might have been released otherwise. Lockdown trends suggest that the closure of bars has resulted in more home drinking and increased online and direct business to consumer spirit sales, which goes some way to easing the pressure for producers. We continue to be impressed with the number of offers, such as gin & tonic packs, local contactless home delivery, virtual gin tastings, tours and even gin schools, not to mention all the product and shipping discounts.
New Scottish Gins
Little Brown Dog Spirits’ LBD Gin
Following a number of limited experimental project spirits, including AFG (politely translated as Aberdeenshire Foraged Gin), the duo behind Little Brown Dog Spirits has finally released their first core gin, quite simply LBD Gin. They’ve taken “the best bits” from their various projects and created an unlimited gin they can be proud of, described as a modern dry Scottish gin. Packed full of juniper, waves of citrus, floral and woodland notes, with a hint of petrichor. We enjoyed co-founder Andrew’s tasting notes, “like sookin’ sherbert lemons, dipped in beeswax, while sitting in a scots pine forest after the rain”. They forage a number of botanicals from their doorstep, including birch sap, parsnip, wood sorrel and rhubarb.
Currently available from Inverurie Whisky Shop, The Grail Doune and The Good Spirits Co but more widely available from early June.
Learn more about Little Brown Dog Spirits here.
The Biggar Gin Company’s Biggar Strength Gin
The team from Biggar Gin launched their latest expression in May, Biggar Strength, which is a Navy Strength gin coming in at a hearty 57% ABV for those who like their gin to pack a punch. Botanicals include Hawthorn Berries and Pink Peppercorns. So good that batch 1 is already sold out but you can…
Pre-order a bottle of batch 2 Biggar Strength Gin here.
Learn more about The Biggar Gin Company here.
Pickering’s Flavoured Gins
Following the sell-out success of their Festively Flavoured Gin bottles at Christmas, Pickering’s Gin have been working hard behind the scenes to create a new range of all-natural flavoured expressions. They ran a poll with their “gin friends” mailing list and received close to 4000 suggestions for new flavours. So this demand has been met…
Introducing Blood Orange & Caraway, Strawberry & Black Pepper, Lemon & Basil and the returning Forget Me Not Gin.
Normally priced at £12 for a 200ml bottle, they’re running a special but limited promotion so you can pick these up for £10 each on their website here and in Scottish Sainsbury’s stores.
Learn more about the new range here.
Ellis Gin’s No.5 Lemon Gin
Ellis Gin has launched No.5 in their series of beautifully coloured and naturally flavoured Scottish Gins: Lemon Gin. Whilst many of their supporters and retailers are closed for business, they have taken the opportunity to crowdfund so gin lovers can not only get their hands on batch 1 and take part in a number of exclusive virtual tastings, experiences and events with the brand, but they’ll also be donating 10% of money raised to NHS Charities Together.
Learn more about their crowdfund here.
Learn more about Ellis Gin here.
BrewDog Distilling Co.’s LoneWolf Cactus & Lime Gin
Launched on 5th May to mark the annual celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the team from BrewDog Distilling Co. bring you the latest LoneWolf expression, packed with botanicals and flavour. This Cactus & Lime Gin uses lots of lime and juice from pressed cactus and Queen of The Night, an elusive and fragrant cactus flower that only blooms at night, said to provide notes of watermelon and lychee.
Buy BrewDog Distilling Co.’s LoneWolf Cactus & Lime Gin here.
Learn more about BrewDog Distilling Co. here.
Miss G’s Gorgeous Scottish Gin
Three years in the making, and following a pre-launch in mid-May, Gorgeous Scottish Gin is now available to purchase. Inspired and designed by founder Gail’s late husband, the brand is a legacy for their family and a dream finally made a reality.
Buy Miss G’s Gorgeous Scottish Gin here.
Learn more about Gorgeous Scottish Gin here.
Orkney Distilling’s Kirkjuvagr Orkney Foy Gin
This special edition has been brought back for the Orkney Folk Festival, which celebrates and enjoys tourism and traditional music in Orkney. Despite postponement of the popular annual event, it’s fantastic to see Orkney Distilling support the special event with the return of this dedicated festival gin. A proportion of profits go directly to the festival, which will return in 2021 for their 38th event.
You can pick up a bottle of the 2020 Special Edition Kirkjuvagr Orkney Foy Gin here.
Learn more about Orkney Distilling here.
Scottish Gin News
San Francisco World Spirits Competition
The final round of 2020 medalists were announced in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Congratulations to Electric Spirit Co. for winning Double Gold for their flagship Achroous Gin in the Gin category. And by complete coincidence, their stillhouse-mates, Port of Leith Distillery, also bagged a Double Gold for their Lind & Lime bottle in the Design category. The Edinburgh based brands both distil out of Tower Street Stillhouse in Leith; the only shared, entirely collaborative gin distillery space in Scotland. There were over 2500 entries from around the globe into this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and while there were 400 medalists, only 30 were awarded the coveted Double Gold medal. Well done to everyone involved!
Learn more about Electric Spirit Co. here.
Learn more about Lind & Lime Gin here.
World Spirits Competition
Congratulations to Fairytale Distillery who won awards for all 5 of their Highland Gin entries in the World Spirits Competition 2020, based out of Austria. A special mention to their No.6, which was awarded Double Gold and ultimately Spirit of the Year. They also came home with two Gold medals for their Highland Gin No.4 and Highland Gin No.7 and two Silver medals for their Highland Gin No.1 and Highland Gin No.29 Old Tom. To top everything off, they also won Distillery of the Year! To celebrate, Fairytale Distillery has released a special Golden triple pack with all their Gold award-winning gins, No.6, No.4 and No.7.
Learn more about Fairytale Distillery here.
Independent Distilleries call for property tax relief
Holyrood Distillery, Kingsbarns Distillery, Isle of Raasay Distillery, Isle of Harris Distillers and a number of other independent distilleries have written an open letter to the Scottish Government to call for a 1 year property tax holiday because their respective distilleries are closed to the public, which ultimately provide significant revenue for these younger spirit brands. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in Scotland have been granted 100% relief from non-domestic property rates for 1 year under emergency measures to support businesses through the pandemic. But the tax relief has not been extended to a number distilleries in Scotland, despite the fact that retail and hospitality operations form a significant element of their business.
While no direct response has been shared as yet, the Scottish Government responded to say they recently extended the small business grant scheme to £185 million and the Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund to £30 million and they are continuously exploring new ways to provide support.
The Botanist Gin celebrates B Corp Certification
After a rigorous, year-long submission process, The Botanist Gin announced that their Bruichladdich Distillery, home of The Botanist Gin, is B Corp certified. This makes them the only whisky and gin distillery in Europe to meet the stringent requirements set by B Corp; adhering to their detailed standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
Set up in 2006, the B Corp certification process was organised to help mission-driven businesses protect and improve their positive impact over time. Acknowledging that governments and non-profits can only go so far in driving change, the distillery join numerous for-profit businesses that balance profit and purpose, helping to tackle some of the challenges our modern societies face.
As of Tuesday 19th May 2020, only 3,327 companies, in 150 industries, across 71 countries are certified. Bruichladdich Distillery was able to demonstrate their competitive staff benefits package and their diverse employer status, with a sound training and development program, including 50%+ female management and an age range of staff spanning from 19 to 75 years of age.
Their progressive attitude towards community and sustainability also helped them qualify. Establishment of The Botanist Foundation in 2016 has encouraged many projects supporting research in environmental fields and conservation. They also fund a PHD student who is helping investigate ways to support Scotland’s juniper population. And they’ve supported pollinator programmes and partnered with the Botanic Gardens Conservation International in a four-year long project.
Congratulations to everyone at Bruichladdich Distillery on this remarkable achievement.
Learn more about The Botanist Gin here.
Mental Health Awareness Week
With the current global pandemic and our normal way of life disrupted, we are all feeling additional pressure at this unprecedented time in our lives; you are not alone. With Mental Health Awareness Week taking place in May, we want to make sure our audience is aware we have a note on our Facebook Page that provides the links to a number of brilliant charities and resources who are there to help with all manner of issues you may be facing, now or at any time in the future. Read it here.
Doing things differently
We highlighted last month, as is the case with most businesses, that our short and medium term plans have changed with the current lockdown restrictions. We’ve been mindful of keeping Scottish Gin in people’s eyelines whilst being sensitive of the impact of COVID-19 and creating content that is appropriate to the current situation people find themselves in. Some of our new activities include our ongoing #SupportScottishGin campaign, ‘A Round of Scottish Gin’ LIVE Facebook Q&As and Scottish Gin Hour on Twitter. We’ve also enjoyed taking part in #GinADayMay this month, a month long celebration of gin, and a fun and welcome distraction, created and run by Sarah Miller of Gin A Ding Ding.
The Gin Cooperative Features May
Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in May 2020.
Scottish Gin News Round-Up April 2020 – read it here.
Beautiful Botanicals – read it here.
Raising the Bar, Jesse Vida, ATLAS Bar Singapore – read it here.
Discovering Scottish Gin, Lussa Gin – read it here.
A brief history of the Martini – read it here.
In the Mix, Karen Knowles, Bon Accord Soft Drinks – read it here.
Growing with Gin, Dan Rose-Bristow, Arcturus Torridon Gin – read it here.
Talking Scottish Gin, Pixel Spirits, Beinn an Tuirc Distillers, Tyree Gin and The Botanist Gin – read it here.