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15 of the best new Scottish gins to check out

Looking to try something different? We've picked out 15 exciting new Scottish gins - including Scotland's Gin of the Year - for you to try. 

Published: October 18, 2019
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From innovative takes like full-strength fruit gins to traditional styles like London Dry, Scotland's gin scene has never been more vibrant or diverse.

So, should you be looking to try some Scottish gin then why not support one of these excellent producers?

Lenzie Gin 

(Producers: Billington’s of Lenzie, Distillers: Distillutions, Angus, Price: £37, abv: 42%)

Picture: Gin Co-op

Scotland's Gin of the Year for 2019, Lenzie Gin was created by the owners of Billington’s of Lenzie, Mark and Sue Billington, who worked with Distillutions in Angus to produce a delightful London Dry style gin that features the key botanicals of Bilberry and Cranberry.

Expect a big hit of summer fruits coupled with a refreshing zest of juniper in this gin, which recently wowed the experienced judging panel at the Scottish Gin Awards.

Tobermory Gin

(Distillers: Tobermory Distillery, Price: £34, abv: 43.3%)

Picture: Tobermory Gin

Following the recent trend for some of the bigger whisky distilleries to get involved in the gin market (see Benromach), Tobermory Distillery's offering is created using Hebridean tea, heather, elderflower and a splash of spirit from the Tobermory whisky stills, on a traditional John Dore & Co copper still sourced from South Africa.

Expect fruity and floral notes in abundance and touch of rich maltiness on the palate.

Ben Lomond Gin

(Producers: Loch Lomond Group, Distillers: The Glasgow Distillery Co., Price: £35 abv: 43%)

Housed in an eye-catching blue bottle, inspired by the colours of the local heather in bloom, Ben Lomond Gin has been created as a celebration of the unique flora, fauna and scenery of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

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Featuring some of Scotland’s most renowned berries including hand-foraged blackcurrants and the mystical rowanberry, gathered from the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, expect complex notes of sweetness and a refreshing finish.

Best of all when you drink this gin you'll be supporting leading conservation charity, the John Muir Trust.

Isle of Raasay Gin

(Distillers: Raasay Distillery, Price: £35, abv: 46%)

Picture: Raasay gin

This new handcrafted gin was launched at a special event on the island of Raasay on the west coast and is distilled in a Frilli copper pot still using an expert blend of ten botanicals.

The Raasay Distillery team, who are also set to produce a single malt, say the result is a “complex but well balanced” dry gin with a lasting aftertaste “encapsulating Raasay’s style, character and impressive geological variety”.

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Sweet hits of rhubarb and orange zest will vie with the juniper for your attention, creating a complex gin that's very rewarding.

• READ MORE: In pictures: Scotland’s top gin makers and gins crowned at this year's Scottish Gin Awards

Downpour Gin

(Distillers: North Uist Distillery Co., Price: £38, abv: 46%)

new Scottish gins

Picture: Downpour Gin

Crafted to “capture the spirit of Hebridean Island life”, Downpour, which launched in April this year, is the first release from North Uist Distillery.

Described as a “bold-flavoured” premium gin, Downpour has been created using Wild Hebridean Heather which has been foraged from across the island.

Interestingly, the team have embraced the natural cloudy appearance of its processing, left behind by the rich oils of its botanicals. Juniper forward, the faint heather notes provide a fun background for this tasty gin.

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South Loch Gin

(Distillers: 56 North, Price: £34.95)

Picture: South Loch

From the vastly experienced gin fanatics at 56 North comes this new gin, named for the lost loch, which once inhabited The Meadows and provided much of the city’s drinking water at one time, the gin is created on the bar's own copper stills.

After experimenting with different recipes, James and his team launched two exciting flavours, the Citrus & Lime Flower Gin and the sweeter Black Raspberry Old Tom Gin. We highly recommend trying both.

1881 Gin 

(Distillery: Peebles Hydro, Price: £35-£39)

Not only has the iconic Peebles Hydro just launched its own distillery and the UK's biggest gin shcool, the hotel has also created four different gins and four different tonics to match them.

Using the water from the famed Shieldgreen spring, the London Dry Classic, Pavilion Pink, Navy Strength and Subtly Smoked each offer something for every one, and you know, you can always got to the source to try them properly.

• READ MORE: Scottish Gin Society reveals Scotland’s favourite gin in consumer survey

Mackintosh Gin

(Producers: Mackintosh Gin, Distillers: Distillutions, Price: £37, abv: 42%)

best new Scottish gins

Picture: The Gin Co-op

Hugely passionate about gin, James and Deborah Mackintosh have created this eponymous gin to reflect the stunning region in which they are based. Produced in rural Angus by the pair and their three daughters, alongside the team at Distillutions, this tasty gin is made using botanicals such as fresh grapefruit and locally foraged elderflower.

Filled with floral and citrus notes, this London Dry gin has been getting a lot of plaudits and rightly so, just ask the Scottish Gin Awards judging panel, who recently awarded it silver in the London Dry category.

Ellis Pink Shimmer gin

(Producers: Ellis Gin, Distillers: Illicit Distillers, Glasgow,  Price: £29, abv: 40%)

Ellis Gin Pink Shimmer

Picture: Ellis Gin

The team behind Glasgow-based Ellis Gin have added the latest gin, the third they’ve released, to their premium gin range.

Ellis Gin No.4 is a pink shimmer gin created using the same base botancials as their No.1 Gin by contract distiller Darren Edmond at Illicit Spirits, and is designed by Ellis founder Carol Jackson to be a gin for people who “need a bit of shimmer in their lives”.

Black Thistle Black Mist Gin 

(Distillers: Black Thistle distillery,  Price: £37, abv: 41%)

This new gin, which is called Black Mist Gin, which has been created by Black Thistle distillery in Brechin, is made with the three cornerstones of gin; Juniper, Coriander and Angelica Root along with a select few other botanicals.

Designed to stand out, it features a bewitching black shimmer when shaken – which the distillery team say is perfect for exciting cocktails or G & Ts.

Hrafn Gin

(Producers: Raven Spirits, Distillers: Deeside Distllery, Price: £39, abv: 45%)

best new Scottish gins

This exciting spirit by creators Brothers Callum and Peter Sim, is named Hrafn (the Old Norse for Raven - pronounced Ra-vn) and has a punchy recipe that features traditional botanicals complemented by key ingredient mandarin fruit.

Fresh on the nose, light and smooth on the palate, with a distinctive warm and slightly spicy finish that lingers, it's a rich spirit that will entice people seeking a fuller flavour.

Eight Lands Gin

(Distillers: Glenrinnes Distillery,  Price: £39, abv: 46%)

best new Scottish gins

Picture: The Gin Co-op

Situated at the foot of Ben Rinnes, and located within the rolling landscape of Speyside, Glenrinnes Distillery launched earlier this year, with their Eight Lands Gin as one of their first offerings.

This intriguing London Dry gin, has been made using the distillery's organic base spirit, botanicals including sorrel and cowberries grown on the estate, and of course, the water that flows from the slopes of Ben Rinnes.

Red berry , citrus, hints of black tea and spice - all led by wonderful hits of refreshing juniper, this gin will have you coming back for more.

Edinburgh Gin Bramble and Honey Gin

(Distillers: Edinburgh Gin, Price: £27, abv: 40%)

best new Scottish gins

Following the rise and rise of flavoured gins and gin liqueurs, Edinburgh Gin have bucked the trend for the lower abv liqueurs, and created a full strength flavoured gin range.

Described as "luxuriously indulgent", the Honey and Bramble joins the Rhubarb & Ginger Gin and the fragrant Lemon & Jasmine Gin already launched this summer.

Fruity and filled with bold flavours, the team say it is the perfect alternative to a traditional G and T.

Avva Pink

(Distillers: Avva Gin Distillery, Price: £30, abv: 40%) 

best new Scottish gins

Picture: Avva

Taking its flavour and colour from its fruity combination of Scottish Strawberries & Raspberries from Wester Hardmuir fruit farm at Nairn, the latest release from expert gin maker Jill Brown is the perfect way to hearken back to the warmer days of summer.

Delightfully fruity, it's perfect for those looking for something a little lighter with their G and T (or even better gin and pink lemonade).

Barra Gin

(Distillers: Barra Distillery, Price: £39, abv: 45%)

best new Scottish gins

Picture: Gin Co-op

Founders Michael and Katie Morrison are delighted to now be able to make their gin in the first distillery on the island - Scotland's most westerly - after they were granted a full distillers licence along with full bonded warehouse facilities, meaning they no longer have to get it contract distilled elsewhere.

Designed to represent the island on which it is made, Barra gin is distilled using 17 botanicals including locally island foraged Carrageen, giving it a balanced profile with juniper, citrus and of course, a little sea salt.

30 of the best Scottish gins including the Scottish Gin of the Year

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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