Scottish Gin NewsRound-Up May 2022.
Published: 2nd June 2022
It’s been a funny old start to the year. The less said about the economy and political climate the better. World events like Covid, Brexit and Ukraine have taken their toll on just about every industry and Scottish Gin is no different. There’s no magic wand when it comes to on trade, hospitality and supply chain. The pandemic has filled us with uncertainty and insecurity. The knock on effect with consumer confidence and cost of living is evident and it’s fair to say that we’re still figuring out what the post-pandemic era looks like. It’s entirely likely that the global tourist industry will have to evolve to meet the needs of “Gen-C”, the post-Covid generation.
We’re hopeful we’ll continue to see positive change and innovation for businesses, city centres, hospitality, events and local communities. With summer just around the corner, at the very least, we’re looking forward to enjoying some longer, warmer days. What better way to enjoy them with a Scottish G&T!
We recently launched our very own awards programme dedicated to Scottish Gin and it provided us with a great opportunity to review our website and streamline our navigation, allowing our visitors to really understand and explore the contents of our website, which is an educational resource first and foremost but also provides an excellent opportunity to explore and shop Scottish Gin. Read on for May’s Scottish Gin highlights.
New Scottish Gins
Holyrood Distillery’s Height of Arrows Scottish Gin Range
May saw the release of two new expressions in the Height of Arrows Gin range from Holyrood Distillery. Just like the original Height of Arrows Gin, these expressions are stripped back to the core, featuring only juniper, beeswax and sea salt. Height of Arrows Bright Gin uses triple the amount of juniper, beeswax and sea salt as the original Height of Arrows Gin, which makes for a hugely flavoursome, bright gin. Height of Arrows Heavy Gin includes roasted juniper likened to dark malted barley, extracting more flavour to build a robust juniper heavy expression. It’s sweetened with a little sugar to achieve an Old Tom style of gin that is powerful yet beautifully balanced.
Learn more about Holyrood Distillery here.
Isle of Cumbrae Distillers Maura
This special edition Maura, meaning ‘Star of the Sea’, celebrates Scotland’s women and west coast. The distillery team worked with Scottish painter Hope Blamire to create something which pays tribute to the legends, stories and history of Scotland; a design fitting of their business and special island location. Maura will be available to buy from the 15th of June so lookout for the official launch with batch 1 consisting of only 150 bottles. The team will reveal the various details and characters that feature in the Maura artwork over the next two weeks, before its official release over social media.
Learn more about Isle of Cumbrae Distillers here.
Glaswegin Cask Aged Gin Series
Glaswegin released not one but five cask aged Scottish Gins in May. The brand’s signature London Dry Glaswegin has been laid to rest in a variety of casks, resulting in a limited number of bottles from each cask, with only around 500 bottles of each available from this first cask series. The range features Rioja, Virgin Oak, Islay Peated, Bourbon and Tequila.
Learn more about Glaswegin here.
Pentland Hills Party Gin
Pentland Hills Gin Party Gin was released just in time to celebrate and honour the Platinum Jubilee of HM the Queen. It’s described as a lighter gin at 38% ABV; a soft expression with a touch of sweetness from wild strawberries and brambles. There is a slight peppery note, derived from Kampot Pepper’s Cambodian (and sustainably sourced) peppercorns, with a hint of mint. Refills are available through the brand’s return and refill service, as are all the gins in their core range.
Learn more about Pentland Hills Gin here.
Avva’s Annual Cask Finish Scottish Gin
This annual release from Avva is back for the 5th year running, with their signature Avva Scottish Gin having aged for 6 months in a Heaven Hill Bourbon cask imparting colour and flavour from the bourbon cask upon the London Dry style gin.
Learn more about Avva Scottish Gin here.
LinGin Cask Aged Gin #4
LinGin are back with their 4th cask aged edition gin, with a total of 338 bottles available. Aged in a Bunnahabhain Whisky cask for 7 months and 10 days, the ageing process brings out subtle notes from the Whisky cask, balancing beautifully with the LinGin Dry recipe.
Learn more about Linlithgow Distillery here.
Scottish Gin News
The Secret Garden Distillery
Following their rebrand in 2021 from The Old Curiosity Distillery to The Secret Garden Distillery, the team have been working hard to bring an updated look and experience to the distillery, including new branded signs and a refurbished gin lounge for their tours and tastings. Now the team’s newly launched gin garden and distillery tours are now available to book on their website here.
Learn more about The Secret Garden Distillery here.
Summerhall Distillery and Pickering’s Gin
Pickering’s Gin will now form part of the portfolio of spirits from newly branded Summerhall Distillery. Still owned and operated by the original founders and team behind Pickering’s Gin, the new Summerhall Distillery brand will be the focal point on social media for the promotion of the Pickering’s Gin brand. With the brand positioning of Summerhall Distillery as a distillery and producer of spirits, this new identity provides space for the distillery to grow its portfolio of spirits including The Broody Hen Blended Scotch Whisky, which was very recently launched.
Learn more about Pickering’s Gin here.
Lind & Lime Gin Distillery
Following a busy five years at the Tower Street Stillhouse, production and operation of Lind & Lime Gin has moved to a new dedicated distillery space, aptly named Lind & Lime Gin Distillery, in Coburg Street, Leith. The space is significantly larger than their last distillery and will provide ample room for production, storage, tours and tastings, and their growing team, of which there are currently 12. Visit their website to book a tour and experience it for yourself.
The new distillery is also home to Electric Spirit Co – a first collaboration of its kind in Scottish Gin. This collaborative approach has continued from the old Tower Street Stillhouse, where Electric Spirit Co founder James Porteous shared the distillery space with the Lind & Lime Gin team. Now exporting to 12 countries, and as one of the earlier Scottish Gins on the market that delivered on flavour and visual presence, it’s been inspiring seeing James, his business and his signature Achroous Gin continue to grow.
The Gin Cooperative Awards Launch
We launched our very own The Gin Cooperative Awards 2022 in May, a new competition for Scotland’s gin makers and brand owners. Our programme for Scottish Gin looks at the qualities of the Scottish Gin category from a different angle. The Gin Cooperative Awards recognise the spirit in the bottle and the time and investment that goes into how Scottish Gin is presented; looking closer at how gin is enjoyed and purchased.
Our judging panel consists of 60 judges made up of 20 industry judges, 20 community judges and 20 consumer judges. Our industry judges include Chris Jarret, Bar Operations Manager for the Pollocks Pub Co, one of the largest independent restaurant groups in Cornwall. Sam Heughan, Scottish actor, producer, author and owner of Sassenach Spirits, home of the award-winning The Sassenach Blended Scotch Whisky and Sassenach Select Tequila. Eleonora Biason, Head Bartender at Holborn Dining Room’s Gin Bar in London. Max Hayward, award-winning Head Bartender at Lab 22 Cardiff, which placed number one on the Top 50 UK Cocktail Bars list for 2022. Learn more about our judges here.
The Gin Guide Awards
The annual awards programme run by The Gin Guide showcases and celebrates products, distilleries and people within the gin industry, attracting international entrants across all gin categories. Having been part of the judging panel for the second year in a row, we were looking forward to discovering the winners and some of our personal favourites from the blind tastings. Congratulations to our members on their wins listed below.
Highly Commended & Geographic High Scorers
The Gin Cooperative
Behind The Scenes
There’s always lots going on behind the scenes and May was no different. We took part in a couple of interesting events and discussions (one still under wraps), which included a Martini Club UK online special and the annual celebration of gin that is ‘Gin A Day May’… we wish we could have posted more ourselves but we enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. Thanks to the North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards for inviting Natalie to be part of the judging panel for distilled and brewed products. It really was fantastic to see exciting stuff being made in the north east of Scotland. We look forward to the winners presentation dinner on Thursday 9th June at The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen.
Lind & Lime Distillery
No sooner had the paint dried on the walls and we were sure to visit the new Lind & Lime Gin Distillery, which has relocated from the now defunct Tower Street Stillhouse to the Lind & Lime Gin Distillery in Coburg Street. Staying true to their Leith roots, the supersized distillery makes for a pretty real-life distillery tour, where everything is open plan so you can see the still, the packaging, the botanicals and lots lots more while you enjoy a G&T and cocktails at the bar and sit round their DIY tables, made from repurposed IBCs (intermediate bulk containers that hold large volumes of spirit). As before, production of Achroous Gin has also moved to this new distillery as the Electric Spirit Co. business continues to co-habit with the Lind & Lime gang and collaborate as two Edinburgh based gin brands. Thanks to James and Ian for the tour and gin chat. Watch our behind the scenes video of Lind & Lime Gin Distillery, and others, on our YouTube channel here.
The Gin Cooperative Shop
We’ve continued to carefully curate the brands we stock in our online shop, which now features over 300 Scottish Gin products, the largest selection of Scottish Gin to be found online from an independent retailer. True to our original ethos of The Gin Cooperative, we try and work directly with the producers and brands who are part of The Gin Cooperative membership so we can continue to build our business that actively showcases Scottish Gin through our content but also provides a content rich shop with a wealth of detail about the products and brands, something we believe is sorely missing in the digital e-commerce space when it comes to how Scottish Gins and brands are presented.
In the last month alone, we’ve added Isle of Harris Gin, five new Cask Aged expressions from Glaswegin, Holyrood Height of Arrows Bright and Holyrood Height of Arrows Heavy and more as we continue to build and create a Scottish Gin shop that provides consumers with a wealth of information to help them learn, discover and buy Scottish Gin. Visit our shop here.
April Scottish Gin Subscription
Our April Scottish Gin Subscribers were treated to Downpour Scottish Dry Gin from North Uist Distillery. Although the gin itself has been on the market for over three years, we were delighted to get our hands on the new bottle, another exclusive for our discerning subscribers.
Distilled using locally foraged Scottish heather and a variety of traditional gin botanicals including citrus, Downpour Scottish Dry Gin is distilled using a method that retains visible traces of the botanical oils and essences, which results in a slightly cloudy appearance when mixed with tonic. A classic juniper flavour profile that has a big hit of juniper, punchy citrus and a slightly sweet undertone from the use of the Scottish Heather.
We enjoyed meeting co-founder Jonny Ingledew last week together with our subscribers, where they had the exclusive opportunity to learn more about the gin, brand and business, production, distillery and get some fascinating insight first hand from the business owner and distiller.
Learn more about North Uist Distillery here.
Learn more about our Scottish Gin Subscription here.
News & Features
Here’s a look back at the editorial features we published in May 2022.
Scottish Gin News Round-Up April – read it here.
The Gin Cooperative Awards 2022 Launch – read it here.
The Scottish Gin Bible, Sean Murphy – read it here.
Look through our archive of Scottish Gin news here.