Over 600 people traveled to the Double Tree By Hilton in Glasgow, to celebrate Scotland’s gin industry and to discover who the winners were across 18 categories including Taste and Business awards.
The most anticipated award of the night, the title of Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year, was presented to Isle of Harris Distillers whose mission to create a “social distillery” bringing jobs and increasing tourism to the island was praised by the judging panel.
The Hebridean distillery fought off competition from four other distilleries to win the award.
St Andrews-based Eden Mill, who won the most awards of the night collecting five awards in total, took home the coveted taste award, the Gin of the Year.
Eden Mill’s Original Gin triumphed in the highly competitive London Dry gin category fending off 30 other gins before going on to win the judges’ prize for best gin in the overall competition.
Eden Mill founder Paul Miller said: "I am thinking that the credibility of the judging panel involved makes this a really great recognition of our distilling team.
"Some local botanicals, including sea buckthorn berries (a superfood in itself mixed with a classic London Dry Gin recipe distilled in 1000 litre small batches is the simple recipe distilled and crafted by our qualified and passionate distilling team."
Other big winners were Edinburgh Gin who took the title for Growth Business and Innovation of the Year for Edinburgh Gin 1670, a collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.
They then won silver and bronze taste medals for their Cannonball Navy Strength gin and their Pomegranate and Rose liqueur.
Chair of the judging panel, Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi Distillery said: “Congratulations to all the Scottish distilleries and supporting companies who have won at the Scottish Gin Awards. The Scottish gin sector can be very proud. These medals will help retain our precious reputation as a global centre in the production of high-quality spirits.
“With a phenomenal 80 Scottish gins in the finals and 18 taste medal winners presented, the results will provide winning distilleries with a real boost in advance of the busy Christmas season. For the discerning gin drinker, these awards provide welcome guidance when choosing from the large range of Scottish gin now on the market.”
The competition founded and operated by PR and Events company, KDMedia, launched its second year in February and conducted a Scotland-wide search for the best gins and gin businesses.
In the taste sessions, 116 Scottish gins were scored by 22 judges in a blind tasting adjudicated by the international sensory management consultancy, Cara Technology. 80 gins progressed to the finals with the top three performers awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in each of six categories. There was a 53% increase in the number of gins entered in the competition this year compared to last year.
The awards which are now a firm fixture in the spirits sector in Scotland also raised funds for Edinburgh based charity, It’s Good 2 Give, which last year opened a world class respite home named The Ripple Retreat in the Trossachs for families who have children with cancer.