Scottish Gin News

Round-Up May 2021.

Published: 1st June 2021

It’s been wonderful to see an increase in activity of Scottish Gin brands in recent weeks, including new releases, exports, experimentation, awards, collaborations and more. Following an understandably quiet time and cautious approach by Scotland’s gin makers to the pandemic and recovery coming out of lockdown, it’s clear that the industry wants to come back with a bang and we suspect things will get even more exciting over the next few months. The return of hospitality and the reopening of brand experiences has been very welcome for Scotland’s gin makers and we encourage you to support your local bars, distilleries and gin makers if and when it’s safe to do so. Watch this space as we get back on the road and bring you some behind the scenes action over the summer months. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

New Scottish Gins & Special Releases

10 years in the making – The Botanist Islay Aged Gin

Produced and casked in 2011, this single cask aged gin has been sitting, resting and maturing in the Bruichladdich Distillery’s warehouse on Islay for the last 10 years. The cask, which was originally filled in 2011, the same year The Botanist was launched, has been left to tease and imbue the colours and flavours of the red wine cask along with the influences of the Islay marine climate.

There are only 418 bottles available of this 350ml super limited edition of The Botanist. Adam Hannett, Head Distiller said, “It’s something special to have a single cask of The Botanist, matured from the first year that we realised it out into the world. We describe The Botanist as the unique expression of the heart and soul of Islay but obviously the island is best known for whisky. Curiosity and patience led us to this unique experiment. We think it’s been worth the wait.” 

Tasting notes of honey, brown sugar, toffee and oak from the cask blended with citrus and sweet-scented juniper have resulted in a truly one of a kind Scottish Gin, and one of the oldest cask aged gins on the market. With its complex and rich flavours, it’s best enjoyed neat over ice.

The Botanist Islay Aged Gin was released as part of the Bruichladdich Distillery’s Fèis Ìle 2021 celebrations, which this year saw a series of virtual events taking place on 30th of May 2021. The focus this year was some of the milestones achieved by the distillery’s rich 140 year history.

Douglas Taylor, CEO of Bruichladdich Distillery said, “This single cask of The Botanist Islay aged gin is the embodiment of our curiosity, craft and philosophy. To think that it has been maturing quietly on Islay, from the very beginning of the brand’s existence to this point, is really special. I’m delighted to toast The Botanist’s tenth birthday with this incredible and unique spirit.”

The Botanist Islay Aged Gin went on sale from 30th of May 2021 and because of the extremely limited numbers sales will be via a ballot. You can register to buy here.

Learn more about The Botanist here.

Raven Spirits Hrafn Gin Valkyrie

Hrafn Gin Valkyrie is described as a lighter, more modern take on the classic London Dry Gin style. This Scottish Gin has been distilled with a number of traditional botanicals with the hero botanical being the exotic Jara citrus fruit. Described as light and sparkling on the nose, delicate and smooth on the palate with a deep spiced and opulent citrus finish. Available to purchase from the Hrafn Gin website here.

Learn more about Raven Spirits here.

Edinburgh Castle Gin

Historic Environment Scotland released the first ever Edinburgh Castle Gin, created by the caretakers of the near 1000 year old Edinburgh Castle and produced by neighbours and award-winning distillers Edinburgh Gin. The gin itself was inspired by Edinburgh’s rich history of gin and its gorse clad spring landscape. 

To taste, the gorse adds fresh coconut and floral notes with pink grapefruit and yuzu bringing sweet, tart citrus flavours and pink peppercorn delivering a long lasting kick of heat on the finish. 

The gin will be served at official events at Edinburgh Castle, as well as being available as a gin flight in the castle’s ‘Queen Anne Tearoom’. Available to purchase from Edinburgh Castle shops and online here.

Learn more about Edinburgh Gin, makers of Edinburgh Castle Gin, here.

Shetland Reel Countdown Gin

Countdown Gin has been created to celebrate the UK’s first ever vertical satellite launch, which is set to take place in Unst in 2022. Unst is Britain’s most northerly inhabited island and it’s been chosen as Europe’s premiere spaceport with the creation of the Shetland Space Centre, introducing an exciting new industry for the Shetland Islands and all the economic opportunities that will bring. Available to purchase from the Shetland Reel website here.

Learn more about Shetland Reel here.

Balmoral Estate’s Ballochbuie Gin

Following a long standing collaboration with The Teasmith Spirit Company, the Balmoral Estate announced in May the release of Ballochbuie Gin, which uses botanicals found on the Queen’s Estate in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, including native juniper.

The gin is available to pre-order on the Balmoral Estate website here and will be ready for UK delivery in early June.

Learn more about The Teasmith Spirit Company here.

Red Door Gin with Summer Botanicals

The second release in their seasonal edition expressions, Red Door Gin with Summer Botanicals was created with summer in mind; the botanicals carefully selected to create a deliciously dry, crisp gin. The gin is described as beautifully bright with fresh flavours of aromatic bergamot, rose petals, holy thistle and the sweetness of Scottish raspberries. These summer botanicals are complemented by the signature notes of Red Door’s original gin, which include sea buckthorn, bitter orange peel, juniper berries, angelica root and coriander seed. Available to purchase from the Red Door Gin website here.

Learn more about Benromach Distillery, makers of Red Door Gin, here.

Scottish Gin News

The Secret Garden Distillery Rebrand

Previously known as The Old Curiosity Distillery, the team based at The Secret Herb Garden on the outskirts of Edinburgh, has renamed and rebranded the business to The Secret Garden Distillery. Aligned with their philosophy and vision for the future, “Rooted in Nature”, the gardens provide the botanicals and inspiration for their business, brand and gins. Their Gin Garden and Distillery Tours have returned, which come highly recommended. Learn more here. With over a thousand juniper bushes, complemented by 500 herbs and floral varieties such as scented lemon verbena, geraniums, irises and roses, the gin garden is the ultimate tribute to nature’s magic.

Learn more about The Secret Garden Distillery here.

Seven Crofts goes International

Scottish Gin continues to be in demand as the team behind Highland Liquor Company confirmed their first international orders, which see Seven Crofts Gin travelling to Canada and Eastern Europe for distribution. The new contracts have seen 4,000 bottles of gin sent initially, with the prospect of further orders later in the year, less than two years after the company’s first spirit, Seven Crofts, was launched.

Commenting on the latest listings, Robert Hicks, Co-founder of the Highland Liquor Company, said, “It’s a dream come true to see demand emerging from premier brand distributors overseas, something we always hoped for but has happened far quicker than expected. It’s testament to the hard work of our team, particularly over what has been such a difficult time for the industry.”

Learn more about Highland Liquor Company here.

Showcasing Cairngorm Gin

Congratulations to Jack and the team at Cairngorm Gin Company on the release of their fantastically produced video all about Cairngorm Gin, also showing off the beautiful Scottish Highlands and their immediate surroundings in the famous Cairngorms National Park. It provides a genuine and real insight into the inspiration, location and production, including hand collecting water from the River Spey. View the video here.

Learn more about Cairngorm Gin Company here.


Scottish Edge Awards 2021

A select group of businesses from around Aberdeen, Moray and Caithness were celebrating last week after winning awards at the Scottish Edge Awards. The awards are the UK’s biggest funding competition, which looks to reward, honour and incentivise potential high growth businesses. Congratulations to Ice & Fire Distillery for winning £70,000 in the latest round. We can’t wait to see what developments are in store for the Caithness Distillery following the well deserved injection of money into the business.

Learn more about Ice & Fire Distillery here.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021

The annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition is a well respected spirits awards programme in the International drinks scene. Since its inception in 2000, the process and judges associated with the competition have gained a fantastic reputation as for setting a real standard of excellence. Congratulations to our members for winning the following medals:




International Spirits Challenge 2021

Now in its 26th year, the ISC looks to promote outstanding quality spirits from across the globe. The competition is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, which serves to encourage the high calibre of spirits. Receiving more than 1,800 entries from nearly 70 countries worldwide makes the ISC a truly global competition. Congratulations to our members for winning the following medals:




Swiss Spirits Review

Founded in 2016, the awards has grown in recent years from gin and rum to include whiskey and from this year, all spirits categories. The review aims to check, assess and appraise international products and record the diversity of available spirits in Switzerland. Congratulations to our members for winning the following awards out of 100:

The Gin Cooperative

We were delighted to send our subscribers eeNoo Scottish Gin in May’s box, alongside Love Tonic and one of our brand new The Gin Cooperative gin pins. We look forward to meeting co-founder and distiller Peter Dignan in the latest of our exclusive online meet the maker events next week.

Learn more about our Scottish Gin Subscription here.

The Gin Cooperative Features May 2021

Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in May 2021.

Scottish Gin News Round-Up April – read it here.

Talking Scottish Gin with Lussa Gin, Pickering’s Gin, Port of Leith Distillery and Electric Spirit Co. – read it here.

Experience Scottish Gin with Crossbill Distilling – read it here.

Gimlet, A brief history and recipe – read it here.

Meet the Distiller, Duncan Morrison, Roehill Springs Distillery – read it here.

Beautiful Botanicals with Shoogle Spirits, Farmhouse Gin, Tyree Gin, LBD Spirits and Isle of Barra Distillers – read it here.

G is for Gin (and Good), Douglas Taylor, The Botanist Gin – read it here.

Look through our archive of Scottish Gin news here.

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