Scottish gins are seriously tasty, which is why Scotland is the world’s leading producer of your favourite drink!
Did you know Britain's gin exports make up a whopping 70% of the international gin market and 70% of all British gin is made in Scotland? The unique botanicals on the doorstep have led to gin lovers gravitating north of the border to create the perfect wee tipple. Scotland is home to an amazing range of craft distilleries, as well as larger gin brands, like Tanqueray and Gordon’s.
We’ve tried them all at Gin Festival HQ (life is tough!) and these 7 Superb Scottish Gins are a few of our favourites.
Rock Rose Gin: Dunnet Bay
Based in Caithness and distilled with locally sourced botanicals with all the flavour of the Highlands and the Scottish shore, Rock Rose is wonderfully Scottish. Using so many local ingredients is a challenge in this unforgiving, but beautiful, environment. Each year the ingredients subtly change to reflect the wild climate. That means this is a vintage gin, with each year's bottling tasting slightly different, but equally delicious.
A fabulously zesty, dry gin, incredibly varied on the nose, aromatic with strong juniper coming through. Floral and fruity, this is one of the best modern gins.
Orkney Johnsmas Gin: Orkney
What started out as a hobby, making hand-crafted gin as a Christmas present for family and friends, is now a family-run business. The inspiration is the rugged coast and wind-swept hills of Orkney, so local botanicals form the base of their small batch seasonal gins. Johnsmas is the Orcadian midsummer, a time of year steeped in tradition. This gin reflects long, clear days when the flowers are in bloom. Botanicals used include roses and local, seasonal heather, for a refreshing gin with floral notes.
Opening with a fragrant burst of roses, heather and mint. Subtle juniper blends with the pepper and heady floral notes that dominate on the palate, followed by a luscious finish reminiscent of Turkish Delight.
Blackwoods 60% Vintage Dry Gin
Based in the beautiful wilds of Shetland, Blackwoods wait for the right weather conditions each year to harvest their unusual Shetland botanicals; sea pink, meadowsweet and marsh marigold. Using natural mineral water they distil small batches of gin in a 200 year old, copper pot.
A fantastically strong offering from Blackwoods; sharp, dry and complex. Floral notes on the nose are balanced with juniper. There is a rich mouth feel, zesty citrus flavour, followed by a long, dry finish.
Edinburgh Gin Distillery: Edinburgh
Modern wizards of distilling, Edinburgh Gin love playing with flavours to create a wonderland of gin. Though their namesake Edinburgh Gin is delicious, we think the real magic is found in their range of gin liqueurs, perfectly constructed drinks ideal for using in cocktails. Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur is a Gin Festival HQ favourite with an gorgeous warmth perfect for cosy nights by the fire or with a drop of prosecco...
The rather charming lady that stares at you from a bottle of Daffy’s Gin is Daffy, The Goddess of Gin and inspiration for this amazing spirit. Unlike the other gins on this list, they're not trying to be particularly Scottish, but instead looked to the world to create a gin worthy of a goddess. The base spirit is from France, the mint from lebanon, the juniper and coriander from the Balkans and the citrus from Spain.
Daffy's is a strong bodied gin with hints of toffee, summer fruits and some light mint.
Strathearn Distillery: Methven
Strathearn Distillery, near the village of Methven in Perthshire, is probably Scotland’s smallest whisky and gin distillery. The distillery produces hand-crafted, artisan single cask, single malt whisky by using traditional methods and ideas.Their beautiful, small, copper stills are used to create individual batches of spirit matured in small casks. In addition to gin, the distillery also produces whisky.
Strathearn Heather Rose Gin is bursting over with floral rose and fragrant heather; it is the wilds of Scotland beautifully captured in a gin. A wonderful colour that becomes a delicate pink when tonic (or prosecco) are added. Fragrant, floral and light, sweet yet spicy.
Ancient Mariner London Dry Gin: Outer Hebrides
The Hebridean Liqueur Company, based in Argyll are a small family company with a passion for high quality drinks. Made from 100% British grain produced in London, this classic, juniper-heavy gin balances a crisp smoothness with a touch of pepper and spice.
Enjoy a sharp hint of citrus on the nose, crisp juniper and a truly delicate balance of botanicals.
These are just a few of the wonderful Scottish gins out there to be discovered. If you’re interested in trying more, take a look on our gin shop!
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