Scottish Gin Society reveal top ten gins for 2020 - did your favourite make the list?

The votes are in and Scotland's top gins have been revealed by the Scottish Gin Society.

Published 11th Feb 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Just over 19,000 votes were received in the 2020 Scottish Gin Society consumer choice awards poll - treble the amount from 2019, showing that the interest in Scottish gin isn't waning.

The winner

Once again the Isle of Harris Gin has been voted the nation's favourite for the third year in a row.

Scooping 9.7 per cent of the total vote, the Isle of Harris Gin is only available direct from the distillery (or click and collect partners).

Self-described as The Social Distillery, the island distillery was created in order to support the local community and economy with jobs.

After receiving almost 1 in 10 of the votes cast, this unique distillery ethos has clearly captured the imagination of gin lovers across Scotland and built impressive customer loyalty for this award-winning brand.

Iona Cairns, brand ambassador for Isle of Harris Distillers said: “Our team at the Isle of Harris Distillery are absolutely delighted and very honoured to hear that our Isle of Harris Gin has been voted the nation’s favourite in The Scottish Gin Society’s survey for the third year in a row.

"We are extremely grateful to all the gin lovers who voted for us and to our loyal customers for their continued support as we mark the fifth year of producing our Outer Hebridean spirit.”

Best of the rest

Smaller gin brands also enjoyed success throughout the survey, reflecting the loyal following of many smaller brands, and the diverse landscape of the Scottish gin industry in general.

For the second year in a row, Kintyre Gin took second place.

Niall Macallister Hall, Director at Kintyre Gin says: “We are delighted to have once again achieved second place in this consumer poll. It feels even more special this year given the large increase in voter numbers and also the vast array of Scottish gins in the market.”

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Once again the poll shows the range of diversity that exists in the Scottish gin industry, with thousands of the votes cast supporting small rural distilleries as well as the big names.

The top ten gins for 2020

Scottish Gin Society
Picture: Harris Gin

The full top ten list of gins as voted for by the Scottish gin-loving public are:

Isle of Harris Gin (Tarbert, Isle of Harris)
Kintyre Botanical Gin (Campbeltown, Argyll)
Rock Rose Gin (Dunnet Bay, Caithness)
Goodwill Gin (Dingwall)
Redcastle Gin (Angus)
Downpour Gin (North Uist)
Glasgow Gin (Glasgow)
Kinrara Highland Gin (Aviemore)
Hills & Harbour Gin (Galloway)
Crag & Tail Gin (Angus)

Favourite mixers

Consumers were also asked what their favourite mixer was for their gin.

Unsurprisingly, 55 per cent of respondents voted for tonic as their favourite, with a further 16% per cent specifying a diet tonic and 11 per cent selecting a flavoured tonic.

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But what brand was voted best? With an impressive 54 per cent share of the vote, the nation’s runaway favourite tonic brand is Fever Tree, with Schweppes getting 16 per cent, but smaller tonic brands such as Walter Gregor’s and Cushiedoos also received a good number of votes from the public.

How much are people spending?

Scottish Gin Society
Picture: Kintyre Gin

With craft Scottish gin averaging about £30 per bottle, how much are the public willing to spend?  The poll asked what people would usually pay for a bottle of gin and 45 per cent of people said they’d pay over £30, with a further 40 per cent saying they pay £20 – £30.

This highlights the popularity of premium gins and the possibility that people are consuming less so are prepared to pay a bit more.

To gauge how loyal the gin drinkers are, the poll also asked how many brands of gin people drink regularly. The most popular response was two or three, with 45 per cent of the vote and 14 per cent of people stick with just one brand.

Stephen White, Founder of The Scottish Gin Society said: “We believe The Scottish Gin Society survey to be the largest of its kind and are delighted to have received more than three times as many responses in 2020 as last year.

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"The results show that the popularity of Scottish Gin continues to grow, especially with even more new entrants appearing in this year’s survey. We would like to congratulate the brands involved as they are all producing exceptional products and look forward to the bright future of the gin industry in Scotland.”

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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