Last weekend The Herald rocked the gin scene by revealing some of the Scottish gins made in England.
The Herald reports that gins distilled entirely or mostly in England include Tyree Gin, Barra Atlantic Gin, Gordon Castle Gin, Glasgow Gin, Leith Gin, Dundee Gin, Mull’s Whitetail Gin and Shetland’s Blackwoods Gin.
What most people may not realise is that none of these brands are breaking the rules. The truth is that there are no rules. Unlike Scottish whisky or French champagne, there are no governing rules or laws to protect the labelling and production of Scottish gin.
That means English-made brands can name and market their gins however they wish. Any gin brand can technically name itself after a location without any ties to the locale.
Membership to the Scottish Craft Distillers’ accreditation scheme is voluntary.
Whilst The Herald reports that several of the distillers shared their plans to move production north of the border, the distillers make no claims that their gin is distilled in Scotland.
With many gins trading on local provenance — the very Scottishness of Scottish gin — it raises some important questions about authenticity.
Even if Scotland-marketed gins are distilled in England, does your average gin drinker care?
There are many advantages to outsourcing gin production for brands. The greatest benefit from the get go is the simplicity of producing gin in already existing distilleries. Scottish gins made in England can still be made from local botanicals nonetheless.
So without having to raise capital to build a distillery, gin producers can hit the ground running. On the other hand, critics say this hurts Scottish gin’s reputation and the country’s job creation.
What’s your take on Scottish gins made in England?