Crossbill gin, Aviemore, Gin review

The current desire for small batch, hand-made, locally sourced produce is driving the demand for everything from clothes to food. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the drinks market, where British manufacturing is once again becoming more and more highly sought.

Published 1st Feb 2016
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

First seen in the craft beer movement and now reflected in spirits, small batch gin is fast becoming a prized commodity. With this in mind we went to the Good Spirits Company on Glasgow’s Bath Street, to speak to spirit expert Matthew McFadyen and mixologist Khi Leonard – a former finalist in the Diageo World Class – about their thoughts and recommendations on some of Scotland’s up-and-coming gins.


Producing their first small batch of just 200 bottles in 2013, Crossbill are now running at full production and a good thing too as demand for their highly acclaimed gin is now taking off.

Named after the indigenous bird that can only be found in the ancient forests of Scotland, Crossbill gin claims to be the only gin distillery to use 100 per cent Scottish juniper and rosehip. Indeed the distillers claim to have revived Scotland’s fragrant juniper production. Most of the reviewers describe Crossbill as a real ‘gin lover’s gin’, definitely one to check out now it’s becoming more readily available.


Big juniper, hints of spruce and highland evergreens, fresh and punchy.


Neat: Balanced, elegant almost, little oily. Big hints of juniper with a quite sharp, dry finish. Rosehip lines a citrus edge to the finish.

With tonic (one part gin to two parts Fever Tree): Less expressive, restrained, mellows out the tonic, dryness and quinine dominate. Slightly more earthy finish.

Recommended garnish: Orange peel

Matthew says: “Very drinkable neat but struggles to overcome the tonic, would perhaps suggest using less tonic and garnish with orange to enhance the zestiness.”

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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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