It can be hard choosing a new gin out of the hundreds on the shelves. I have compiled a list of the 5 best new Scottish gins that will not fail to impress.
I got into gin a good few years back, when Gordon’s and Bombay were about your only choices at the bar! Nowadays you are bombarded with new gins on the market weekly, and the supermarket shelves groaning under an increasing selection of spirits. It can be hard knowing what’s good and what is just another gimmicky product made by someone jumping on the bandwagon. (God forbid you buy that Unicorn dust stuff!)
I have my go-to favourites and I bet you do too, it would be easy just to pick up a bottle of Harris or Hendrick’s, but if you are looking to buy something special for yourself or as a gift, then I have you sorted with 5 of the hottest new Scottish gins out there this year. I have covered the field in terms of flavour so there is something to suit all palates. Here are my top recommendations for Christmas 2018.
Made in Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands, their distillery only opened this year. Gordon and Vanessa hope to share their passion for the area by showcasing the local flavours in their spirit. They handpick an array of botanicals from the surrounding area. This gin is subtly floral on the nose. The initial taste is bold and of juniper. Which for me is always a winner and something that is missing in so many of the gins on the market, some forget that this should be the dominant flavour of gin. It is a super smooth drink yet has a bit of body, it has a slight lavender taste on the tongue and a clean and subtle finish. Their bottle is beautiful and reflects the landscape that is their inspiration. One for someone who likes their gin traditional. You can read up more on their back story and find your nearest stockists here – Badachro Distillery
SHETLAND REEL ORIGINAL
Produced in Saxa Vord Distillery, the most Northerly distillery in the UK, this traditional style gin is seriously unique – in the best way. In a market saturated with try-hard spirits, it shines bright. Standing out with a flavour that is distinct and yet still so clear a gin. Using locally harvested apple mint and bladderwrack seaweed this gin is all about Shetland. It has an initial burst of juniper, the taste is subtle at first with the juniper and citrus mingling. It has bright sweet characters coming through and leaves you with a fresh mouth feel. One for someone who enjoys something a little different. I haven’t come across anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it after tasting! To find out more and order online, go to – Shetland Reel.
A personal favourite of mine. This distillery is nestled in the Dumfriesshire countryside and only opened last year. They are winning awards and getting their name out there, already being served in some prestigious bars. A total game changer in the gin market, these guys don’t go down the locally sourced route. This gin is the creation of a (slightly) mad scientist, Ray. Oro has been created based on scientific understanding of how different flavours and ingredients work together. The result is a sublimely smooth gin, think top notch Martinis! It has a slightly lemon citrus nose with bold juniper. This feels like liquid velvet and it has unique lemongrass notes. Crisp and complex; this will not disappoint. One for someone who likes a classic. To find out more, head to – Oro.
GARDEN SHED GIN
This gin was the brainchild of two Scottish rugby players and their wives. Sitting in their garden in Glasgow, looking around at the weeds whilst drinking a gin and thinking ‘I can make something better than this!’ and they did just that. Quickly discovering that it could not infact be produced in their garden shed, they have it distilled at Eden Mill. Having net them at a tatsing event their passion and ethos pours out of them and they are rightly proud of what they have created. This gin includes Glasgow grown blackberrys and dandelion root. The smell is earthy and has depth. Initial taste is juniper and lavender and the gin is extremely smooth on the tongue. Sweet and subtle aftertaste. They donate some profits to two charities, Trees 4 Scotland and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and their whole ethos is about being ethical and environmentally aware. One for someone who wants to feel good while enjoying their gin. You can find out more at – Garden Shed Gin.
Founded just this year they are just starting to think about their second batch, so you could be ahead of the pack if you pulled this out at Christmas. Founded by husband and wife, James and Deborah up in Angus, this gin was the creation of two gin enthusiasts who wanted to see what they could come up with. You can tell they have passion for the spirit. They don’t hide the fact that they source their botanicals from all over the world, caring less about making it a local spirit and more about creating a taste to be enjoyed. This outlook is refreshing and has made me think a lot about certain brands. This gin is juniper led and gives a heady whiff. The fresh grapefruit starts all your tastebuds engines, and a warming spice make this a well balanced gin and a delight to drink. A proper London Dry style with character. It is crisp and leaves a burst of citrus behind. One of the few gins I enjoy neat! One for the person who wants to be suprised. You can find out more here – Mackintosh Gin.
What are your go-to Gin brands? What are the main things you look for when searching for a new drink? Will you be considering something new this Christmas? Let me know what you think and send any recommendations my way!! As always I love hearing from you.