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Scottish Gin News

Round-Up September 2020.

Published: 1st October 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.

September has been a busy month at The Gin Cooperative HQ, working behind the scenes on an exciting new project, preparing for the second annual International Scottish Gin Day, which takes places on Saturday 24th October 2020, and celebrating Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight and Negroni Week. It’s extremely encouraging to report on a very busy and exciting month for the Scottish Gin industry too, with news of several new Scottish Gins, special collaborations, gin schools and returning tours, landmark deals, tv appearances, awards and much, much more!

With International Scottish Gin Day (ISGD) now less than one month away, we hope retailers, bars and others in the trade and hospitality will use the day as a valued means of generating footfall for their businesses in these tough times. There’s no limit to the possible ideas and we hope to see a number of venues embrace ISGD 2020, using the day to help generate revenue for their businesses and create a positive Scottish Gin experience for their customers. 

There are media packs available to download from the website, providing more information about ISGD and potential ways to celebrate, whether you’re on trade, off trade or a consumer. We’ve also created a variety of marketing materials and assets, which are available to download for free and can be used to help promote participant’s ISGD 2020 events. These include pre-designed posters, social media graphics and more. Visit the downloads section of the ISGD website here.

New Scottish Gins

Highland Liquor Company’s Seven Crofts ‘Fisherman’s Strength’ Gin

After a successful launch of their core Seven Crofts Gin last year, the distillery has released their second core Scottish Gin entitled Fisherman’s Strength; a nod to their home town of Ullapool, which has a thriving fishing community. It’s a Navy Strength edition, coming in at 57% abv and it’s of no surprise to see the beautiful ombre bottle return, this time with a beautiful coastal blue hue. The flavour profile is described as juniper led with forest floor notes coming through and hints of ripe blueberry, cracked black pepper, pink pepper and a touch of spicy coriander. The gin will be officially released on 9th October but is available to pre-order from the Highland Liquor Company website here.

Learn more about Highland Liquor Company here.

Linlithgow Distillery’s LinGin Colour Range and Oak Aged Gins

The Linlithgow Distillery team have had a busy couple of months with the release of 5 new products! Their most recent release is a Cask Aged LinGin. They took their signature LinGin and aged it for 93 days in a Glen Moray Whisky butt, originally used to age Bourbon and the resultant flavours are described as tones of chocolate, vanilla and burnt toast. The cask produced less than 200 bottles but founders Ross and Alyson are hoping this will be the first of many cask aged projects. Get your hands on a bottle of this limited edition Cask 1 Scottish Gin project here.

They also added the LinGin colours range to their portfolio. Designed to bring various tastes, smells and colours of summer to their customers, the range can be enjoyed individually or can be blended with other gins in the range to create any number of potential combinations to suit individual taste. The range includes LinGin Raspberry (pink), Coconut (blue), Lime (green) and Yuzu (yellow). Order from their website here.

Learn more about Linlithgow Distillery here.

Farmhouse Gin

Farmhouse Gin is inspired by Scotland and the Middle East. The gin features juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, oris root, lime peel, orange peel and sumac. It’s the sumac that adds an extra layer of citrus, an almost lemon and lime tartness with an exotic twist. A classic London Dry Gin, Farmhouse Gin is crisp with juniper notes and bold citrus and a warming spice on the finish with hints of earthy pepper and a subtle smokiness. The team have also created fully recyclable refill pouches in a variety of sizes, which means their ceramic bottle can be kept at home and conveniently refilled time and time again. Both bottles and pouches are available to order from their website here.

Learn more about Farmhouse Gin here.

Roehill Springs Blue

A new colour changing gin from Roehill Springs Distillery, which uses their signature No. 5 as the base, with the addition of the magical butterfly pea flower botanical. What starts out as a blue gin, with the addition of tonic, changes from blue to purple or pink, depending on the pH of the mixer. Described as fruity with light floral notes on the nose, citrus and spice to taste with a lingering sweetness and a hint of butterscotch on the finish. Available to pre-order from the Roehill Springs website here.

Learn more about Roehill Springs Distillery here.

Orkney Distilling craft Northwest Passage Expedition Gin 

Northwest Passage Expedition Gin has been created at the Orkney Distillery, home to Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin, to mark and fund a very special expedition. Proceeds will fund the Last Great First, which is a maritime navigation of the Northwest Passage sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific – a 3,700km odyssey, powered entirely by a small group of modern day adventurers. Ultimately, the Northwest Passage Expedition Gin supports the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, which aims to end ocean pollution.

The unique flavours are drawn from Sugar Kelp, Angelica Archangelica, Ramanas Rose and Burnet Rose, found on the twin shores of the mighty Hudson Bay and the Orkney Islands. The Angelica root adds a hint of sweetness, that is balanced by a subtle, floral note from the roses. The addition of lemon peel and calamondin citrus brings the bright, citrus notes to the gin and sugar kelp brings a mild saltiness to the palette, connecting the gin to the sea. Learn more about the Last Great First here. The gin will be available to purchase from mid-October via the Orkney Distilling website here or the distillery in Kirkwall itself.

Learn more about Orkney Distilling here.

Scottish Gin News

Happy Birthdays 

Congratulations to Isle of Harris Distillers, who celebrated their 5th birthday on Thursday 24th September, five years to the day since they officially opened the distillery doors. The grand opening in 2015 was celebrated with a huge warehouse cèilidh, which saw staff and locals dance the night away, in the largest gathering in the island’s history! Managing Director Simon Erlanger noted that the “…anniversary passed almost un-noticed… with these strange times of COVID. A sense of sadness, countered by gratitude knowing that all are safe and well and that we are confident that there is a bright future to look forward to.

“What the team have achieved in the last 5 years has exceeded our wildest dreams. We’ve created a destination for spirit lovers, we’ve welcomed nearly 400,000 people through our doors, we’re selling our gin in 20 countries across the globe and we’ve increased our capacity to make more single malt for future generations. We’ve even been named Scotland’s favourite gin 3 years in a row. But most importantly, we’re providing sustainable employment for over 30 intensely proud local people.”

Learn more about Isle of Harris Distillers here.

Arcturus Torridon Gin celebrate their 3rd birthday today, Thursday 1st October. Owner Dan Rose-Bristow reflected “Last year at The Torridon we added a Gin Garden to our Kitchen Garden, which grows some of the botanicals that feature in the gins. This addition has elevated the experience for our guests to be able to walk around the garden and then experience the gin in the bar. In 2020, fans of Arcturus are still sharing their experiences with us in person and enjoying from afar. We are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Arcturus and many more years to come.”

Learn more about Arcturus Torridon Gin here.

City of Aberdeen Distillery Taste & Vote

Due to the ongoing demand for their Taste & Vote sample pack, City of Aberdeen Distillery has extended the availability and voting for what will become their signature Scottish Gin. Having made a number of experimental gins over the last nine months since opening, they’re putting it to the people of Aberdeen (and beyond!) to decide which of their four most popular gins will fill these beautifully designed, ready-and-waiting bottles as their official signature gin! Order your tasting pack and learn more about the voting process here.

Learn more about City of Aberdeen Distillery here.

Isle of Harris Gin Bar 

Following a short ‘teaser’ campaign, Isle of Harris Distillers revealed their collaboration with Cafe Gandolfi in Glasgow, launching their ‘Sense of Harris’ experience. The gin bar, discreetly tucked away in the attic space above the city centre cafe, will open “for a series of special evenings full of stories, Isle of Harris Gin cocktails, Scottish seafood and more”. As anticipated, tickets are selling fast and there’s limited availability so be sure to secure your sitting here.

Learn more about Isle of Harris Distillers here.

Rock Rose Refill Rewards Club

Dunnet Bay Distillers, the distillery behind the Rock Rose range of Scottish Gins, launched a refill rewards club during September. Following the launch of their recyclable refill pouch earlier this year, the entire range is now available in refill pouches and the club will utilise and recycle this new offering. Once you’ve picked your favourite gin, they simply post a box to you monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly and it arrives with refill pouch, mixers, garnish and even a surprise or two to enjoy alongside your gin! It’s free delivery and the pouch can be returned free of charge too, with the distillery taking care of the recycling. The October box proved so popular that they stopped taking orders for September but you can now sign up for the next box here.

Learn more about Dunnet Bay Distillers here.

McQueen Gin secure landmark Aldi deal

A collaborative Rhubarb & Ginger Gin produced by McQueen Gin Distillery for Aldi was launched last week and marks a major milestone for the Callander distillery, as the total value of contracts with the major supermarket reached £2 million. The successful partnership only began three years ago but it has allowed the distillery to significantly expand their distillery and increase capacity by over 1000%! Co-founder Dale McQueen spoke of the partnership, “It’s great to work with a team who share our mindset and passion for Scottish produce. They and their customers hold true appreciation for the Scottish gin category, along with a strong desire to support innovation and experiment with new flavours and products, which makes for a very fulfilling partnership.”

Learn more about McQueen Gin here.

Pickering’s Gin Tours resume

The team at Summerhall Distillery have taken the time to reflect, renovate and offer a new tour and schedule, available from today, Thursday 1st October. Not only have new measures been put into place, taking into consideration social distancing and safety of guests, but there’s a brand new tour room, the ‘Old Workshop’. Guests enjoy a G&T on arrival and learn all about Pickering’s Gin and the gin making process, then end the ‘Gin Jolly’ with a tutored tasting of three award-winning Pickering’s Gins. Learn more and book here. 

Learn more about Pickering’s Gin here.

Kintyre Gin School coming soon

Following major construction at Torrisdale Estate, home to Beinn an Tuirc Distillers, the distillery team are nearly ready to unveil their Kintyre Gin School. Not only will the gin school experience, which lasts around 3 hours, include a background into the origins of gin, but it will include an introduction to some core gin botanicals with the opportunity to blend your own spirit, made to suit your own taste. You can then sample your own creation with a perfect serve G&T and a packed Kintyre Gin-themed goodie bag to take home, including 2x 20cl bottles of your unique blend of Scottish Gin. Read more about it here.

Learn more about Beinn an Tuirc, makers of Kintyre Gin, here.

Fidra Gin’s TV Appearance 

It was fantastic to see co-founder Jo Brydie of Fidra Gin showcase their beautiful East Lothian location and share the story, botanicals and taste of Fidra Gin with Susan Calman, presenter of Channel 5’s Secret Scotland programme. It aired at 8pm on Friday 18th September. Watch the full ‘Falkirk and the Lothians’ episode here or catch the Fidra Gin highlights here.

Learn more about Fidra Gin here.

Christmas Calling

LoneWolf Advent

BrewDog Distilling Co, have launched their Christmas Advent: 12 LoneWolf Gins of Christmas. As well as 4 returning flavours, they’ve created 8 new gins for the advent, which is available exclusively through the BrewDog website here and dispatched automatically from 2nd November 2020. If you dig deep enough on the website, you can get a sneak peak of the new flavours and they sound sublime.

Learn more about BrewDog Distilling Co here.

Pixel Spirits Virtual Gin Making Parties

Following the success of their remote online gin school launch during lockdown, Pixel Spirits are offering virtual gin school parties, which cater to larger groups, making them ideal for a Christmas parties, while the COVID-related restrictions continue to limit the number of social gatherings. 

This virtual group experience is for up to 20 people, who go on to create a gin recipe in smaller groups and follow the distillation live online. It includes a recipe development session with owner distiller Craig Innes, with a huge selection of botanicals to choose from and each participant receives a bottle of their final and unique gin, delivered direct to their door. A safe and entertaining way of meeting up and having fun together! For more information and pricing, visit the Pixel Spirits website here.

Learn more about Pixel Spirits here.

Co-op Deals

As part of Co-op’s ongoing support of local businesses and to promote tourist spots across Scotland, they’ve recently announced several new listings. Kevin Buchan, Co-op Local Sourcing Buying Manager in Scotland said, “Co-op is all about connecting communities, making a difference and creating value locally, and our work to celebrate and support local suppliers and great Scottish food and drink is a cornerstone of this approach.” Congratulations to Esker Spirits, Beinn an Tuirc Distillers and Lost Loch Spirits among others who have seen some of their products land on shelves in up to 50 stores across Scotland.

Awards

Great Taste 2020

The annual Great Taste awards are run by The Guild of Fine Food, who promote excellence in fine food and drink. With a panel of over 500 experts, it’s a great way to get honest and impartial feedback from chefs, buyers, food writers and retailers. It is generally acknowledged that 1, 2 or 3 star accolades are highly respected seals of approval. The Gin Cooperative members’ winning gins are listed below.

Highland Liquor Company’s Seven Crofts Gin, Darnley’s Navy Strength and Smoke & Zest Gins were the only three Scottish Gins to be awarded the much sought after 2 gold stars. The few awarded the coveted 1 gold star were Orkney Gin Company’s Johnsman & Mikkelmas Gins, Dunnet Bay Distillers’ Rock Rose Pink Grapefruit Old Tom Gin, Bigger Original & Navy Strength Gins, Deerness Distillery’s Sea Glass & Scuttled Gins, The Wee Farm Distillery’s Drovers Gin, Isle of Skye Distillers’ Misty Isle Gin, Lenzie Gin, Lundin Distilling’s Gorse & Ripple Gins, Pentland Hills Gin and Darnley’s Original Gin.

International Scottish Gin Day 

With International Scottish Gin Day (ISGD) now only a few weeks away, we want to give a special mention to our Sponsors and Supporters, without whom, ISGD would not be possible.

We look forward to bringing you more features in our Meet the Sponsors series, in the run up to ISGD 2020. The support of our official Sponsors of ISGD not only highlights their commitment as key partners and suppliers in the Scottish Gin industry but provides us with the opportunity to help our audience discover more about the many brilliant businesses involved in Scotland’s thriving and successful Scottish Gin category. 

Learn more about the ISGD Sponsors here.

Similarly, there are some great cocktails, events and reviews coming through thick and fast from our official supporters, who are helping us celebrate ISGD in style during October. Their dedication and support has been immense and we look forward to seeing everything they get up to over the next few weeks and beyond.

Learn more about the ISGD Supporters here.

The Gin Cooperative Features September 2020

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

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

Meet the Sponsor, Friends of ANCHOR – read it here.

Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, Local Legends – read it here.

Negroni Week – read it here.

Meet the Sponsor, Flexi-Hex – read it here.

Distilleries About Membership