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Scottish Gin News

Round-Up October 2021.

Published: 1st November 2021

October was an eventful month with International Scottish Gin Day taking place on Saturday 2nd of October and the annual Scottish Gin Awards ceremony just last week in Glasgow. There were some fantastic new releases launched in October and we suspect things will get even busier in the lead up to Christmas. Some of the relaunched special festive editions getting us in the Christmas spirit include BrewDog Distilling Co.’s 12 Gins of Christmas, the new Pickering’s Festive Flavoured Gin Range and Rock Rose Gin’s Winter Spiced Negroni. We hope it’s a successful festive period for the Scottish Gin Industry, and hospitality in general, following a tough couple of years, with the longer term implications of Brexit and Covid still very much being felt every day.

New Scottish Gins & Special Releases

Hills & Harbour Gin Bottle

Congratulations to the Crafty Distillery team on the launch of their new look gin bottle. Their signature award-winning Hills & Harbour Gin will now be sold in this light-weight, multi-functional bottle, which features a shorter, wider neck and a world’s first spirit measure stopper, made from 100% natural cork and wood. We’re delighted to see the beautiful translucent colour remain, with the addition of custom illustrations embossed and debossed in the glassware and stopper to represent the location and taste of their Hills & Harbour Gin.

Learn more about Crafty Distillery here.

The Geologist Gin

The Geologist Gin has been a long time in the making and is the flagship release from Cromarty Distillery, which is currently under planning to open its doors to visitors on the Black Isle. Cromarty was the birthplace and home to Hugh Miller, the famous Geologist and inspiration for this gin. The Geologist Gin combines a variety of botanicals including juniper, grains of paradise, cinnamon, orris root, vanilla and cocoa beans. Other botanicals include apples along with the unique tomono fruit, which are small edible berries that are similar in flavour to a toffee apple.

Learn more about Cromarty Distillery here.

Biggar Cask Aged Gin 

The Biggar Gin Company released the first in a series of new cask aged Scottish Gins during October. Their award-winning Biggar Gin has been aged in a 100 litre virgin French oak barrel, imbuing extra notes of vanilla from the vanillin in the oak. Only 200 bottles have been produced so it won’t hang around long. We recommend trying this in a Martinez or a Manhattan cocktail.

Learn more about The Biggar Gin Company here.

Hrafn Gin Voyager Gift Pack

With the recent announcement that Valkyrie was awarded a Gold Medal in the Premium category and a Master Medal in the London Dry category at this year’s Gin Masters Asia competition, Raven Spirits celebrated with the release of their Voyager Gift Pack, featuring 4x10cl bottles of Valhalla, Thought & Memory, Valkyrie and Cranachan. Released to coincide with International Scottish Gin Day 2021, the premium bespoke gift pack has been a year in the making and is a real ‘journey of discovery’ of the Hrafn Gin range.

Learn more about Raven Spirits here.

Lemon Fest Gin 

Every year, Shetland Reel release a special and limited edition gin for the festive period. On International Scottish Gin Day, the distillery launched their 2021 festive gin, in the form of Lemon Fest Gin. Fresh lemon peel, balanced with a sprinkle of cinnamon, delivers a zesty, bright and aromatic gin with piney juniper, rich sweet spice and a touch of herbal lemon balm.

Learn more about Shetland Reel here.

LinGin Navy Strength

Despite being launched in October 2021, this Navy Strength recipe was actually developed in 2019 but the team wanted to wait until the right time to release it. With so many obstacles to overcome throughout 2020 and 2021, and the recent launch of their high end custom bottle, the time was finally perfect to release this high strength edition. The distillery team have used some “secret” LinGin botanicals but revealed the addition of grapefruit and lavender really elevated this Navy Strength recipe.

Learn more about Linlithgow Distillery here.

1881 Distillery Ready-To-Drink Range

The Peebles Hydro based distillery unveiled their new ready-to-drink (RTD) perfect serve gin cans in October, one of only a few Scottish Gin brands who have created a gin and tonic “on the go”. The team chose their signature Hydro London Dry Gin and their Pavilion Peebles Pink Gin in these premixed gin and tonic cans, which boast a pretty decent gin content at 8% ABV.

Learn more about 1881 Distillery here.

Isle of Harris Gin Gifting Range 

After over a year of creative development, the new bottle and glassware sets from Isle of Harris Distillers are packed full of beautiful design details. Sustainable materials, natural papers, and clever adhesive-free construction makes this their greenest gift range yet. And then there’s the debossed ripples, high resolution photography, and hand-drawn illustrations. The unboxing journey is also something special, as they share their distillery story, botanicals, cocktail recipes, and even a guide to glassblowing! Finally, each one comes with a matching gift card, handwritten in Harris with its own personal message.

Learn more about Isle of Harris Distillers here.

Scottish Gin Awards

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 Scottish Gin Awards, which took place at Glasgow’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Wednesday night. Highlights included Isle of Harris Distillery winning the prestigious Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year and Excellence in Branding, Dark Art Distillery winning Best Newcomer, Port of Leith Distillery winning Excellence in Sustainability and Kinrara Distillery coming out on top for their Artist Edition ‘Ginny’ in the London Dry Gin category. We were delighted to attend in person, proudly seated at the one of the judges tables, and to sponsor and present the winners of the High Strength category, which saw Gold for Beinn an Tuirc Distillers’s Tarbert Legbiter Navy Strength Gin, Silver for The Wee Farm Distillery’s Farmer Strength Drovers Gin and Bronze for The Biggar Gin Company’s Biggar Strength Gin. Discover all the winners of this year’s Scottish Gin Awards in our comprehensive round-up here.

The Gin Cooperative 

International Scottish Gin Day

Saturday the 2nd of October 2021 was the third annual International Scottish Gin Day (ISGD). Having moved to the first Saturday in October, the day saw a number of Scotland’s Gin makers and brand owners open their distilleries and provide their audiences with experiences, discounts and offers. The day also saw bars around the world raise a glass in celebration, showcasing the Scottish Gins featured on their back bar, and provided a platform for the gin community and consumers to celebrate Scottish Gin. A number of retailers also ran online and in-store promotions across their Scottish Gin stock. All in all, a great day to celebrate Scottish Gin, and another fantastic reminder of the wonderful spirits being made here in Scotland. Save the date for 2022: Saturday 1st of October. Read our ISGD 2021 Highlights in full here.

Distillery Visits

We enjoyed a jam-packed trip to South Lanarkshire in October, visiting a few of our members and catching up with gin friends. South Lanarkshire has become quite an impressive gin producing region of Scotland, with a lot of distilleries and gins to be explored. Thanks to everyone below for hosting us, giving us the top tour treatment and filling us in on all their exciting plans for the future.

The Wee Farm Distillery

We last visited Jenny McKerr, founder of The Wee Farm Distillery, in 2018 and so much has happened for her business since then. Distilling gin is just one of a number of things going on at the family sheep farm. Jenny and her family renovated an old building on site to create a Distillers Cottage, which we were lucky enough to stay in, and boasts a gin tap, hot tub and a beautifully decorated interior with 3 bedrooms. Right next door is the Steak & Still Farm Shop, which is a boutique farm shop offering homegrown meats and a wonderful selection of local and Scottish produced food and drink. Jenny has also started her own fruit orchard, rears cattle for native Wagyu beef, manages the sheep farm, distils gin and creates a range of exciting liqueurs by infusing her gin with fruits, sweets and herbs. 

Learn more about The Wee Farm Distillery here.

McLean’s Gin

We also last visited McLean’s Gin in 2018, when founder Colin hosted us in his new family home, which has facilities on site for gin production. Since then, Colin has streamlined their range of McLean Gins, collaborated with local distilleries to produce some of their more recently distilled gins, including Strathaven Hedgerow and gone on to have twins with his partner and co-founder Jess. So he’s been busy! Colin was busy getting ready to release their new Colours Trio and Perfect Serve Gifts Sets, just in time for Christmas.

Learn more about McLean’s Gin here.

Inspirited 

A first time visit to the Inspirited Distillery, which is located in a modern industrial unit, housing all the production and bottling facilities, including their custom gin still, and office space. Lawrence was a great host and talked at length about his exciting plans for the business and range. As well as making their own award-winning range of Inspirited gin expressions, the team offer a unique online make your own gin experience, which involves selecting your very own botanicals and having a custom gin and label sent directly to your door. 

Learn more about Inspirited here.

The Biggar Gin Company

We were delighted to finally visit the new distillery, which now produces all the Biggar Gin expressions, including their brand new French Oak Aged Biggar Gin. The brothers behind the business, Stuart and Euan, managed the build themselves near Euan’s family home and even got stuck in with some of the construction work. Like so many things in 2020/21, building was delayed along the way but they’re finally in and already experimenting and producing some amazing spirits, including collaborating with other local producers and businesses to make some special editions.

Learn more about The Biggar Gin Company here.

Kelso Gin Company

We also paid a long overdue visit to our friends Ollie and Andrew at the Kelso Gin Company during October. The Kelso Distillery is located at the Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre in the Scottish Borders. These guys produce some really exciting spirits and love to experiment, especially with locally foraged botanicals. Andrew is known for getting into the true spirit of Kelso, dressing as the local legend ‘Crow Man’ on tours… and we were not disappointed on this occasion either!

Learn more about Kelso Gin Company here.

October Scottish Gin Subscription

We were lucky to get our hands on the new look bottle of Hills & Harbour Gin for this month’s subscription. Same great taste but a seriously upgraded bottle, featuring some amazing custom illustrative work and boasting a 25ml spirit measure cork stopper. The bottle itself is around 30% lighter than the industry average. When we spoke to founder Graham Taylor, he proudly mentioned that almost all the supply chain exists within the UK, so they’ve seriously considered their long term carbon footprint with the design and production of this beautiful new bottle. The gin itself is one of a handful in Scotland made from scratch using their own grain spirit and features some local botanicals including noble fir needles and bladderwrack seaweed.

Learn more about our Scottish Gin Subscription here.

The Gin Cooperative Features October 2021

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

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

International Scottish Gin Day 2021 Highlights – read it here.

The Business of Scottish Gin, British Distillers Alliance – read it here.

Scottish Gin Awards 2021 Round-Up – read it here.

Look through our archive of Scottish Gin news here.

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