Scottish Gin Society reveals Scotland’s favourite gin in consumer survey

The Scottish Gin Society has revealed Scotland's favourite gin following an annual online survey of Scottish gin drinkers. 

Published 19th Feb 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The consumer poll, which was organised by the Society - a not-for-profit organisation that promotes and celebrates the Scottish gin industry, named Isle of Harris Gin as Scotland's favourite for the second year running.

Over 6,400 votes cast, almost double that of the responses received in 2018, with Isle of Harris receiving 21 per cent of the votes.

Scotland’s favourite gin

Self-described as ‘The Social Distillery’, Isle of Harris Gin is only available directly from the island distillery in order to support local jobs and the island economy.

A spokesperson for the Society said: "After receiving 1 in 5 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."

Scotland's favourite gin
Picture: Scottish Gin Society

Simon Erlanger, MD, Isle of Harris Distillers,  stated that the community-led distillery team were delighted to take the crown for the second year running, he added: “It is especially good news to know that our gin, despite being only three years old, continues to gain recognition on a national scale and our ethos has really captured the public’s imagination.

"We are so pleased and proud to know that gin lovers enjoy the flavour and unique story of our world-class gin as much as we do.”

The Top 50 

Picture: Scottish Gin Society

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

Whilst brands such as Edinburgh Gin, Caorunn Gin and Hendrick’s appeared in the top ten in 2018, the most recent survey shows a departure from the big names in favour of many of these smaller distilleries.

In 2019, the sustainably sourced Kintyre Botanical Gin takes second place, whilst Redcastle Gin lies in third position.

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

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  1. Isle of Harris Gin (Tarbert, Isle of Harris)
  2. Kintyre Botanical Gin (Campbeltown, Argyll)
  3. Redcastle Gin (Angus)
  4. Kirkjuvagr Gin (Orkney)
  5. The Teasmith Gin (Udny, Aberdeenshire)
  6. Crag & Tail Gin (Angus)
  7. Kinrara Highland Gin (Aviemore)
  8. The Old Curiosity Gin (Edinburgh)
  9. Lussa Gin (Ardlussa, Jura)
  10. McLean’s Gin (Strathaven, South Lanarkshire)

The Scottish Gin Society’s survey also asked consumers what they prefer to drink with their gin.

Unsurprisingly, nearly 50 per cent of respondents voted for tonic as their favourite mixer, with a further 21 per cent specifying a diet tonic and 13 per cent even going as far as to select a flavoured tonic.

With an impressive 65 per cent share of the vote, the nation’s runaway favourite tonic brand is Fever Tree.

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 twice as many responses in 2019.

"The results show that the popularity of Scottish gin is still growing, especially with all the 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.”

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With it now being estimated that around 70 per cent of UK produced gin comes from Scotland, The Scottish Gin Society has pushed to create a dedicated online resource listing all of the gins and distilleries that are made in Scotland.

Their interactive online distillery map features nearly 70 entries, while their A-Z of Scottish gins (which includes compound, cuckoo and contract distilled gins) now lists 139 separate gins from across the country.

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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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