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-after.

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┬áto spirit expert Matthew and mixologist Graeme about their thoughts and recommendations on some of Scotland’s up-and-coming gins.

Caorunn gin, created at Balmenach distillery in Speyside, is another of the big whisky distillery gins, though its reputation has been built on the back of its excellent taste rather than its provenance. Using small batches of pure grain spirit which are triple-distilled for smoothness, the gin is created using the distillery’s unique Copper Berry Chamber, which was constructed in the 1920s. It is infused with five celtic botanicals (including Coul Blush Apple and Bog Myrtle), six traditional botanicals and only the freshest Scottish spring water. Caorunn gin is hand crafted by Balmenach’s Gin master, who personally oversees every step of the process.

Smell:

A light, citrus fresh, with floral and earthy tones pushing through from the Heather and the myrtle.

Taste:

When neat:

It’s very easy to drink. Light, crisp and very citrus-y. The floral notes shine.

With tonic (one parts gin to two parts Fever tree) and garnish (red apple):

The apple flavours are beginning to appear, probably enhanced by the garnish. The flavour remains clean and dry, not masked by the tonic. The after taste is sweet and rich, almost candied.

Matthew says: “Lovely, elegant gin, works extremely well in a Gin and Tonic, definitely use the recommended red apple for garnish though as lime or lemon would possibly kill it.”

Graeme’s cocktail choice: “A Gibson, a Martini garnished with pickled onions, it’s quite a light gin so didn’t want to overpower it. The retro style of the Gibson really suits this gin.”

Gibson recipe:

  • 60ml Caorunn gin
  • 15ml Dolin dry vermouth
  • Pickled onions for garnish
A Gibson

The Gibson

Caorunn Gin website

Caorunn, Speyside, gin review
Neat77%
With tonic85%
81%Overall Score

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-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 six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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