Whisky icons team up to release Wolfcraig gin

Two icons of the whisky world have joined forces to produce Wolfcraig Distillers’ first gin.

Published 27th Jun 2023
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Master Blenders Richard Paterson OBE and Ian MacMillan may be best known in the world of whisky, but they also have expert credentials when it comes to gin, and have recently released Wolfcraig gin.

After judging together on some of the most prestigious gin awards panels, they have now put their decades of experience into creating their own original premium gin.

Richard Paterson, affectionately known as ‘The Nose’ for his renowned palate, retains legendary status within the whisky industry, largely on account of his career at Whyte & Mackay, where he served as Master Blender since 1975, and at The Dalmore Distillery. As well as being inducted into the Whisky Hall of Fame, he was named an OBE on the Queen’s Honour List in 2021.

Ian MacMillan is an award-winning distiller with over 40 years’ experience, revered for having created some of the sector’s most recognised single malts working for the likes of Bunnahabhain, Tobermory and Deanston.

His gin pedigree is impressive, with globally celebrated gins such as Tanqueray and Gordons on his resume. He also worked at Burn Stewart’s Deanston distillery, producing their range of gins, including a special formula for M&S. 

Since uniting at the helm of Wolfcraig Distillers, Ian and Richard have launched a 30 Year Old Premium Blend composed of hand selected rare finds which is now also available to buy. 

Speaking ahead of the gin’s release, director pf Wolfcraig, Jamie Lunn said: “Anyone in the whisky world will understand what a big deal Richard and Ian bringing their decades of experience into creating their own original premium gin is. 

“There are a lot of gins in the market but we expect there to be a lot of curiosity around what two of the most respected names in the whisky world can do with their first collaboration in gin. This is just the start of Wolfcraig's journey.

“It is exciting to have our Wolfcraig Gin as part of our original portfolio to set the bar for our products in the drinks space, and we are looking forward to receiving feedback on our juniper-led sophisticated gin as people choose Wolfcraig as their drink of choice coming into the summer months.”

Wolfcraig gin botanicals

Wolfcraig gin

The inaugural gin release is a complex and sophisticated premium Scottish spirit with tantalising notes of juniper, orange peel, vibrant lemon and cassia, elegantly infused with 17 botanicals, including raspberry and wild thyme, from Stirling to inspire a ‘wildly Scottish spirit’.

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What’s more, the bespoke bottle is designed to reflect wolf’s fur, paying homage to the Wolfcraig legend. 

The distillers’ mission is to produce an innovative and premium spirits brand out of the heart of Scotland. 

Ian and Richard spent several years developing the perfect flavour profile, using the ‘most authentic’ method of gin creation – where all the botanicals are combined and distilled in a copper still rather than added in afterwards. 

Ian said:  “Our gin has been designed to impress even the most discerning gin drinkers. Whether paired traditionally with citrus fruit or part of a classic short cocktail, we are really excited about gin lovers exploring its different expressions for the first time through the summer

“I’m known as a bit of a traditionalist and this is a true pot still distilled premium gin, created by observing the time-honoured methods – this is a unique formulation of botanicals which complement each other in a way that can only be achieved through this most authentic method.

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“It was important to Richard and I that our first gin collaboration was high-quality but versatile so it could be enjoyed by everyone from seasoned gin drinkers to casual consumers.”

Award-winning gin distiller Matthew Pauley, who has worked on Oxley, Bombay Sapphire, Harris, and Raasay gins. , has supported the development of the new gin. 

Wolfcraig Gin is priced at £39.95 per bottle, which you can buy directly from the Wolfcraig website here.

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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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