Scotland’s long term love affair with its legendary local whisky is suddenly under threat – challenged by the soaring popularity of the country’s cool, new craft gins.
More than 170 types of gin are now being produced in Scotland – that’s at least three awesome new varieties to try every week for a year! And the expert tasters at ginsofscotland.co.uk must have had a brilliant time researching their list of Scottish Gins To Try Before You Die…
Here are some of their winners…
Pronounced Ka-Roon…according to the distillers’ poetic blurb, this all-round belter combines ‘rugged Speyside charm and the urban finesse of modern Scotland!’
From: Grantown-on-Spey, Highlands
Botanicals: 11 – including rowan berries, heather, bog myrtle, apple
The 20-year-old daddy of them all. Once described by The Wall Street Journal as the “Best gin in the world”.
From: Girvan, Ayrshire
Botanicals: juniper, rose, cucumber
The Botanist Gin
Further to our #WorldGinDay celebrations, @rosewoodlondon will be hosting a gin and foraging masterclass with the fab @abigailclephane in their new Botanist Greenhouse on Saturday 9th June! An event not to be missed – sign up by following the link in our bio. #bethebotanist #botanistgin #rosewoodlondon #gin #cocktails #london #weekend #londoners
The fresh tasting Botanist is the only dry gin from the Isle of Islay, made with a whopping 31 botanicals
From: Isle of Islay
Botanicals: 31 including 22 local botanicals
Rock Rose Gin
Sold in a statement design bottle. Every season, Rock Rose also release a special limited edition – distilled in a copper pot called Elizabeth.
From: Thurso, Caithness
Botanicals: Varies per season, including rhodiola rosea, sea buckthorn, rowan berries
Eden Mill Gin
St Andrews is the home of golf – and of clean, sweet Eden Mill Original gin. Romantics should also try their pale pink Love Gin – produced at Scotland’s first single site distillery and brewery.
From: St Andrews, Fife
Botanicals: 13 including rose petals, hibiscus, coriander seed, raspberry leaf
Boe Superior Gin
The original is named after Professor Franz de la Boë – who created gin back in 1658, while Boe Violet Gin is Infused with violets, giving it a vibrant colour with a delicate floral taste.
Botanicals: 13 including coriander, ginger, orange peel. lemon peel, liquorice, almonds
Arbikie AK’S Gin
Have you tried the gins of Scotland’s @arbikiedistillery? Their field-to-bottle story is really rather charming, but more importantly they taste pretty darned good in a cocktail, such as Arbikie’s AK’s Gin in this Bramble at @artemis.sg as part of our @ginjourney a couple of weekends ago. To learn more about Arbikie, click on the link to our website.
Distilled using fresh honey and wheat farmed at Arbikie – with black pepper, mace and cardamom. Arbikie Kirstys’ Gin – made from potato vodka – has a unique taste and is named after master distiller, Kirsty Black.
From: Arbroath, Angus
Botanicals: Four including kelp, carline thistle and blaeberrie
Makar Glasgow Gin
The history of Old Tom Gin 🍸#Didyouknow Old Tom Gin was a popular recipe in 18th-century England? At this time, the British government tried to stem the flow of gin with prohibitive taxes and licensing, which drove the scene underground. Old Tom Gin emerged in an era of heavy drinking and primitive distilling, when spirits were harsh at the best of times. Keen to increase profit margins, the unscrupulous distillers of this era would add to this by cutting their spirits with turpentine and sulphuric acid, creating gins that were barely palatable and often deadly. In order to make it drinkable, distillers sweetened the juniper-laced spirit with liquorice or sugar, thus creating a whole new category. The name Old Tom Gin purportedly came from wooden plaques shaped like a black cat (an “Old Tom”) mounted on the outside wall of some pubs above a public walkway in 18th-century England. Under the cat’s paw sign was a slot to put money in and a lead tube. From the tube would come a shot of gin, poured by the bartender inside the pub.
Makar Original is the first gin to be distilled in the city of Glasgow. And the seven sides of the bottle represent the seven carefully-selected botanicals. Makar Mulberry is a subtle, fruity option,
Botanicals: Seven including lemon peel, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cassia, liquorice, rosemary, angelica root
Try the fragrant elderflower version – or stick with the original, zesty dry gin: its distillers recommend: Garnish with a generous wedge of 80’s Power Ballads…And sing like no-one’s watching!
Botanicals: 13 including lavender, pine buds, mulberries, lemongrass, lime peel
So say YEY! to a wicked night out, sampling a selection of Scotland’s best new gins at the chic and buzzing Radisson RED: the gleaming Glasgow gantry you’ll just have to go back to. A-gin and a-gin…