The sky-rocketing success of the Scottish gin market has been celebrated at a lavish awards ceremony — and some of the Gin Kin’s favourite distilleries took the big prizes.
The inaugural Scottish Gin Awards were staged at the Hilton Doubletree in Glasgow.
The top award, Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year, was presented to Arbikie Distilling in Angus after their mission to create spirits “from field to bottle” was praised by the judging panel.
The Arbroath-based farming family fought off seven other distilleries to win the award. They also collected the bronze medal position in the Cask Gin taste competition for “Cask Aged Kirsty’s Gin”.
However, it was a new gin from Dundee which was the surprise star of the night. Verdant Dry Gin, who we previously featured here, year fought off competition from 16 other contenders to win the gold medal in the London Dry category and went on to win the judges prize for the best gin in the competition.
Other big winners were Edinburgh Gin who collected five medals and the Glasgow Distillery, makers of Makar Gin, which won two gold medals for Makar Old Tom and Makar Cask Aged Gin, Matured in Oak. Popular and established producers such as Caorunn and Eden Mill also won medals, while some smaller batch new arrivals in the market barged into gold medal positions after scoring very highly. NB Gin’s Navy Strength won gold for their super strength product while El-Gin from Elgin won gold for Distilled Gin of the Year.
Awards were also presented for business performance covering business growth, innovation, marketing with the popular Isle of Harris Distillery winning the highly sought-after Excellence in Branding award.
Chair of the judging panel, Stephen White, founder of the Scottish Gin Society which sponsors the competition commented:
“Very many congratulations to the winners in the first ever Scottish Gin Awards, I hope that all the medallists and winners take the opportunity to promote their wins in what was a very tough competition.
“We’ve worked very hard to establish the credibility, integrity and impartiality of the Scottish Gin Awards and the turnout from the Scottish distillers has reflected the importance in which they already place the programme. Winning a Scottish Gin Award is a huge opportunity to further the promotion of Scottish gin brands at home, across the UK and abroad.”
Gold: Makar Cask Aged Gin – Matured in Oak
Silver: Firkin Gin
Bronze: Cask Aged Kirsty’s Gin
Silver: Edinburgh Gin – Valentine’s Gin
Bronze: Kirkjuvagr Gin
Gold: Makar Old Tom
Silver: Persie Sweet & Nutty Old Tom
Bronze: Eden Mill Hop Gin
Growth Business of the Year sponsored by Blackadders
Winner: Eden Mill
Highly commended: Dunnet Bay Distillers
Excellence in Marketing sponsored by MediaSpark
Winner: Summerhall Distillery
Excellence in Branding sponsored by McLaren Packaging
Winner: Isle of Harris Distillery
Innovation of the Year sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons
Winner: Summerhall Distillery, Pickering’s Gin Baubles
Scottish Gin Event of the Year sponsored by Blue Parrot Company
Winner: Juniper Gin Festivals and Events
Scottish Gin Destination of the Year sponsored by Barr Printers
Winner: Caorunn Balmenach Distillery, Grantown on Spey
Scottish Distillery of the Year sponsored by The Scottish Gin Society
Winner: Arbikie Distilling
Gin of the Year sponsored by Geraldo’s
Winner: Verdant Dry Gin