Smögen Distillery messaged Scotland's Twin River Distillery to congratulate them, saying that it was inevitable that at some point, their gin, Strane Uncut, would be "knocked off the ‘strongest gin’ podium".
Robert Ransom, the UK importer of the Swedish gin, said: "News has reached us over the weekend of the release Twin Rivers Naked Uncut Gin, bottled at 77 per cent. Whilst I am yet to try this new gin, I congratulate Twin Rivers on the launch, and concede that Strane Uncut London Dry Gin 76 per cent is no longer the strongest gin on the UK market.
"We are simultaneously flattered that Strane Uncut has been copied, and surprised that with the current interest in gin, that Strane Uncut was the strongest gin available in the UK for so long, for three years from 2015 to 2018."
Twin River's Naked Gin ‘Uncut’ edition launched at Gin Festival: North East in in Inverurie over the weekend, with a limited run of just 101 bottles created.
The strongest gin on the UK market before the new release from the Banchory-based distillery had been Strane Uncut London Dry Gin, which was first bottled back in 2014, and came about, according to the team at Smögen Distillery, as a consequence of the unusual way Strane is produced, and not as a "deliberate attempt to produce the strongest gin".
Looking to preserve the intensity of the flavours in gin distillation, Pär Caldenby, distiller/proprietor of the Smögen Distillery, explained that he created the 'Uncut' version of their Merchant Strength London Dry Gin (47.4% abv), after becoming accustomed to sampling Strane straight from the still as part of the process in creating the aforementioned Merchant and Navy strength (57.1% abv) versions of their gins.
The Swedish distiller stated that ‘Uncut’ refers not just to the consequential high strength, but also to the intensity of flavour.
Robert Ransom added: "We first imported Strane Uncut London Dry Gin, at that time 75.3 per cent abv, to the UK in the spring of 2015.
"Initially we were careful not to claim that it was the strongest gin, but as we received feedback from gin journalists and gin bars, it became clear that the next strongest gin in the UK market at the time was less than 70 per cent vol."