The finalists in the first annual Scottish Gin Awards have been announced with 28 producers and 56 gins progressing to the finals of the new national competition.

The new awards, which are sponsored by The Scottish Gin Society, aim to recognise the very best gins and producers the country has to offer and cover both taste and business performance.

The entrants were judged earlier this month by a highly experienced judging panel consisting of some of Scotland’s foremost gin and distilling experts.

Eight distilleries will also fight it out for the top prize, Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year.

Arbikie, Balmenach Distillery; Dunnet Bay Distillers; Eden Mill; Edinburgh Gin Distillery; Glasgow Distillery; Isle of Harris Distillery; and Summerhall Distillery have all been selected following the strict independent judging process.

In choosing the finalists, the distilleries had to score high marks in the written submission for Distillery of the Year while also reaching the finals of the taste categories.

75 Scottish gins were marked by 12 judges in a blind tasting adjudicated by the international sensory management consultancy, Cara Technology.

More than half of all the entered gins have been selected in the taste categories as finalists as they scored the highest.

The top three performers will be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in each of six categories.

Of the finalists, Edinburgh Gin leads the race with the highest number of gins in the finals.

Eden Mill, Gin Bothy and Summerhall Distillery, the makers of Pickering’s Gin, follow with five gins each followed closely by The Glasgow Distillery, the makers of Makar Gin, with four.

Chair of the judging panel, Stephen White, founder of the Scottish Gin Society which sponsors the competition, stated that judging the awards was a challenging task but on the panel “absolutely thrived on”, he said: “We reviewed a total of 60 written entries which we debated thoroughly, ensuring the process was rigorous, fair and crucially, free from any commercial influence.

“The evidence we reviewed showed that the Scottish gin industry is a vibrant, creative and high quality centre for the delivery of premium product which is among the best in the world.

“I expect that we will see many of our top producers gain the recognition that will come from winning one of these sought after awards.”

The winners will be announced at the Scottish Gin Awards dinner and celebration on Thursday 14 September 2018 held at the Doubletree by Hilton, in Glasgow.

The Finalists:

London Dry Gin of the Year

Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin

Eden Mill Original Gin

Edinburgh Gin – Christmas Gin

Edinburgh Gin – Original Gin

Edinburgh Gin – Seaside Gin

Ginerosity

Isle of Harris Gin

LoneWolf Gin

Makar Glasgow Gin

McQueen Super Premium Dry Gin

NB Gin

Pickering’s Gin

Rock Rose Gin

Shetland Reel Ocean Sent Gin

Stirling Gin

Wild Island Botanic Gin

Verdant Dry Gin

Distilled Gin of the Year

Arbikie Kirsty’s Gin

Eden Mill Love Gin

Edinburgh Gin – Valentine’s Gin

El-Gin

Gin Bothy Original

Heather Rose Gin

Hills & Harbour Gin

Kirkjuvagr Gin

Persie Zesty Citrus Gin

The Teasmith Gin

Navy Strength Gin of the Year sponsored by Cara Technology

Avva Navy Strength Gin

Edinburgh Gin – Cannonball Gin

Navy Strength Rock Rose Gin

NB Gin Navy Strength

Oaked Highland Distillery Strength

Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin

Shetland Reel Up Helly Aa Gin: 2017 Edition

Cask Gin of the Year

Arbikie Cask Aged Kirsty’s Gin

Eden Mill Oak Gin

Firkin Gin

Makar Cask Aged Gin – Matured In Mulberry Wood

Makar Cask Aged Gin – Matured In Oak

Pickering’s Islay Cask Gin

Speciality Gin of the Year

Eden Mill Hop Gin

Gin Bothy Gunshot Infused Gin

Johnsmas

Makar Old Tom

McQueen Spiced Chocolate Orange Gin

Persie Sweet & Nutty Old Tom Gin

Rock Rose Spring Edition

Gin Liqueur of the Year

Eden Mill Strawberry & Black Pepper Liqueur

Edinburgh Gin – Elderflower Liqueur

Edinburgh Gin – Raspberry Liqueur

Edinburgh Gin – Plum & Vanilla Liqueur

Edinburgh Gin – Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur

Gin Bothy Raspberry Liqueur

Gin Bothy Chilli Liqueur

Gin Bothy Amaretto

Gordon Castle Raspberry Gin

Growth Business of the Year sponsored by Blackadders

Dunnet Bay Distillers

St Andrews Brewers – Eden Mill

Shetland Distillery Company

Stirling Gin

 

Excellence in Marketing

St Andrews Brewers – Eden Mill

Isle of Skye Distillers

Orkney Distilling Company

Summerhall Distillery

The Teasmith Spirit Company 

Excellence in Branding sponsored by Wolffe

St Andrews Brewers – Eden Mill

House of Elrick

Isle of Harris Distillery

LoneWolf

Lussa Drinks Company

Spirits for Good, Ginerosity

The Teasmith Spirit Company

Colonsay Beverages, Wild Island Gin

Innovation of the Year

Crafty Distillery

Esker Spirits

Gin Bothy

Spirits for Good

Summerhall Distillery

Scottish Gin Bar of the Year sponsored by TLT Solicitors 

56 North

Gin 71

Heads & Tales

One Square

Scottish Gin Event of the Year

Solid Liquids – Juniper

Stirling Gin Festival

 

Scottish Gin Destination of the Year

Dunnet Bay Distillery, John O Groats (Rock Rose)

St Andrews Brewers – Guardbridge, Fife (Eden Mill)

Ian Macleod Distillers, Edinburgh (Edinburgh Gin)

Balmenach Distillery, Grantown on Spey (Caorunn)

Shetland Distillery Company, Unst, Shetland (Shetland Reel) 

Scottish Distillery of the Year sponsored by The Scottish Gin Society

Arbikie

Balmenach Distillery

Dunnet Bay Distillers

Eden Mill

Edinburgh Gin Distillery

Glasgow Distillery

Isle of Harris Distillery

Summerhall Distillery

The Judging Panel

Gin Awards

The Judging Panel. Picture: Scottish Gin Awards

Stephen White, Founder Scottish Gin Society and Chair of the judging panel

Mike Aikman, Bar Owner & Entrepreneur

Sarah Brown, Gin Enthusiast & Blogger

Geraldine Coates, Editor, gintime.com

Dr Annie Hill, Associate Professor & Programme Director in Distilling, Heriot Watt University

Karin McGivern, Author, This is Gin

David Moore, CEO, Flavourly

Tom Nichol, Distiller

Matthew Pauley, Assistant Professor in Distilling, Heriot Watt University

Peter Ranscombe, Editor, BQ Magazine

Bill Simpson, Executive Director, Cara Technology

Andrew Wolffe, Founder and Director, Wolffe Design

Alex Nicol, Director, the Spencerfield Consultancy (Taste session only)

Martin Duffy, Director, Solid Liquids (Taste session only)

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