Scottish Gin- A Taste of Things to Come
Image courtesy of VisitScotland Is gin overtaking whisky as Scotland’s national drink? Too bold a claim, maybe. But when you consider 70% of all UK gin is now produced north of the border and it is shipped to 139 countries, Scottish gin deserves to be recognised as a serious industry.
Image courtesy VisitScotland
With the UK’s love affair with Mother’s Ruin showing no signs of slowing down, VisitScotland is quenching the thirst of gin fans with the creation of its very first interactive gin map.
Taking you on a virtual tour, Scotland’s Gin Map, currently holds details of over 40 producers with more expected to be added in the future. You can explore the spirit by region, find your favourite brands, learn where you can ‘make your own’ gin or embark on a distillery tour. This interactive map, which can be updated easily, is designed to support the growing interest in Scotland’s gin, helping visitors plan their gin journey, learn about producers and enjoy tours and tasting experiences.
From Shetland’s most northerly isle to Dumfries, there are new distilleries, exciting events and unique gin-themed experiences popping up the length and breadth of the country. The spirit’s increasing popularity, especially for craft and artisan products, is worth around £1.2bn to the UK economy, with that figure set to soar to £1.5bn by 2020.
Thanks to a huge surge in craft spirit production, Scotland’s gin credentials are on the rise,” said Steve Duncan, VisitScotland Marketing Manager. “While we may be best known for whisky, we also have a long history of producing really good and award-winning gins, which is clearly borne out by the rise in the number of Scottish producers over the last few years. Some of the world’s best-selling gin brands are made in Scotland and the number of producers is rising every year.”
Scotland produces 70 per cent of the UK’s gin so if you are looking for some ginuine ginspiration, look no further…. The new kids on the block Beinn An Tuirc Distillers One of the youngest Scottish craft gin producers, Beinn An Tuirc Distillers produce Kintyre Gin. Based on the beautiful Torrisdale Castle Estate, close to the equally beautiful village of Carradale, the gin is also sustainably produced thanks to the use of hydro-electricity and fresh local spring water. Crafty Distillery Based in Newton Stewart with an enviable view of the Galloway Hills, this new gin distillery creates tasty spirits using new technology and locally sourced ingredients. Perfection takes time, though, and over 100 different recipes were tried and tested before creating their gin. This modern and custom-built distillery is now providing tours of their grain-to-glass production process. Verdant Spirit Company Fresh from being award Gin of the Year at the 2017 Scottish Gin Awards, the first distillery in Dundee for almost 200 years only opened its doors in April with the launch of its Verdant Dry Gin. It combines a carefully curated blend of botanicals that is inspired by Dundee’s rich trading history, reflecting the routes once sailed by traders to and from the city. The classics
Edinburgh Gin Edinburgh Gin, which boasts two distilleries in the capital, celebrates the city’s historic gin heritage with a chance to explore the atmospheric working distillery. If you are new to the delights of the spirit, try the Gin Discovery Tour, learn about the history of the drink and discover Edinburgh’s distilling past. For those who fancy becoming a gin expert, the Gin Connoisseur Tour ends with a tutored tasting of a selection of gins.
Photo courtesy Edinburgh Gin
Pickering’s Gin - Summerhall Distillery In another corner of the city, nestled amongst the galleries, workshops, theatres and studios (there’s even a pub in the middle of it) of Summerhall, you’ll find Pickering’s Gin. This small but perfectly formed distillery is staffed by a friendly and passionate team ready to show you around. If you like your gin coupled with a slice of adventure then try your hand at LockedIn the Distillery with Pickering’s Gin– this unique escape game challenges gin fans to solve the clues, save the distillery and most importantly save the gin! Eden Mill With a history spanning over 100 years, Eden Mill was the first original single site combined brewery and distillery in Scotland. Its story began at St Andrews in 1810 when the legendary Haig Distillers first laid down whisky at the site. The distillery still honours its links to the Home of Golf by using hickory wood from retired traditional golf clubs to produce its golf gin. Their special gin tours start with a refreshing G&T and continue with a detailed history of the site before ending with a gin tasting session. The Hendrick's Gin Distillery Ltd Best served with a slice of cucumber, Hendricks distinctive infusion of rose and cucumber has earned it universal acclaim. Hailing from the seaside town of Girvan in Ayrshire, the Hendrick’s distillery overlooks the mysterious island of Ailsa Craig. Distilled under the supervision of Master Distiller, Miss Lesley Gracie, Hendrick’s employs two distillation methods to weave local water from the Penwhapple reservoir with alcohol and 11 botanicals sourced from around the world. A dash of the rest The Shetland Distillery Company Holding the title of the most northerly distillery in the British Isles, the Shetland Distillery Company is home to Shetland Reel Gin. The range of island inspired gins produced here is distilled with local apple mint and foraged bladderwrack seaweed and capture the true essence of Shetland. Darnley’s Gin at Kingsbarns Distillery Heritage is the key ingredient of the gin-making process at Kingsbarns Distillery. Darnley’s Gin is made in a traditional pot still using the centuries-old London Dry method. They make their gin this way, as it pulls on the heritage and skills of their master distiller and produces a gin with uncompromising quality and flavour. Learn all the secrets by taking one of their gin tours. Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd Located in the spectacular Bay of Dunnet in the far north of Scotland, this distillery is becoming a popular spot for those touring the North Coast 500 route, Scotland’s equivalent to Route 66. Rock Rose gin gets its wonderful flavour from a carefully selected combination of local and traditional botanicals- each one meticulously chosen for their flavour properties to create the perfect taste. Lilliard Ginnery Lilliard Gin is made in and inspired by the heart of the Scottish Borders. It is made with ingredients that can be found just outside the distillery and is intended to reflect the soft rolling hills of this part of the Teviot Valley. As well as weekend tours, you can also enrol in their special Gin School to create your very own gin. Arbikie Distilling Ltd For that true farm-to-bottle experience, pay a visit to Lunan Bay in Angus, home of Arbikie Distillery, where the team distils their spirit from scratch, using potatoes and wheat grown on the farm. Named Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year at the Scottish Gin Awards 2017, Arbikie produces two gins. Named after the distillery’s Master Distiller, Kirsty’s Gin is a smooth gin with floral and citrus hints - best served in a G&T garnished with blueberries. AK’s gin has an earthy and spicy flavour - local honey adds a smooth sweetness. Porter’s Gin Based inside one of Scotland’s best cocktail bars, Langstane Distillery is a unique micro-distillery focusing on a modern style of ‘cold’ distillation. This is the home of Porter’s Gin, and is Aberdeen’s first gin distillery in over 100 years. The small team also partner with the UK’s oldest gin distillers, G & J, to distill some of the spirit. This partnership is fundamental to Porter’s, which combines modern and traditional techniques to create a ‘modern classic’ style of gin. The Glasgow Distillery Company Vibrant and exciting, just like its home city, Makar Original Dry Gin is the first super-premium gin to be distilled in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. Deriving its name from the ancient Scots word for ‘the maker’ or craftsman, the attention to detail when producing this handcrafted gin spreads right down to its presentation in a seven-sided bottle representing seven distillations and seven carefully selected botanicals. To explore the ginteractive map and learn more about Scottish gin visit: www.visitscotland.com/scottishgin