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Winners unveiled at the first ever Scottish Gin Awards

Scotland's best gin producers, events and businesses have been announced following the first ever Scottish Gin Awards which took place at a near sell out event in Glasgow.

Published: September 15, 2017
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The new awards, which are sponsored by The Scottish Gin Society, began in January this year with the aim of recognising the very best gins and producers the country has to offer and cover both taste and business performance.

The top award, Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year, was presented to Arbikie Distilling after their mission to create spirits “from field to bottle” was praised by the judging panel.

The Arbroath-based farming family fought off seven other distilleries to win the award. They also collected the bronze medal position in the Cask Gin taste competition for “Cask Aged Kirsty’s Gin”.

The winners celebrate with their awards. Picture: KD Media

However, it was a new gin from Dundee which was the surprise star of the night. Verdant Dry Gin which created its first batch in May of this year fought off competition from 16 other contenders to win the gold medal in the London Dry category and went on to win the judges prize for the best gin in the competition.

Other big winners were Edinburgh Gin who collected five medals and the Glasgow Distillery, makers of Makar Gin, which won two gold medals for Makar Old Tom and Makar Cask Aged Gin, Matured in Oak. Popular and established producers such as Caorunn and Eden Mill also won medals, while some smaller batch new arrivals in the market barged into gold medal positions after scoring very highly. NB Gin’s Navy Strength won gold for their super strength product while El-Gin from Elgin won gold for Distilled Gin of the Year.

Awards were also presented for business performance covering business growth, innovation, marketing with the popular Isle of Harris Distillery winning the highly sought-after Excellence in Branding award.

Chair of the judging panel, Stephen White, founder of the Scottish Gin Society which sponsors the competition commented: “Very many congratulations to the winners in the first ever Scottish Gin Awards, I hope that all the medallists and winners take the opportunity to promote their wins in what was a very tough competition.

“We've worked very hard to establish the credibility, integrity and impartiality of the Scottish Gin Awards and the turnout from the Scottish distillers has reflected the importance in which they already place the programme.

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"Winning a Scottish Gin Award is a huge opportunity to further the promotion of Scottish gin brands at home, across the UK and abroad.”

The competition, designed and operated by PR and Events company, KDMedia, combined a section on written entries with a taste competition.

In the taste sessions, 75 Scottish gins were scored by 12 judges in a blind tasting adjudicated by the international sensory management consultancy, Cara Technology. The top 50 per cent of all scores were promoted to a finalist position with the top three performers awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in each of six categories.

The awards which will now become an annual fixture and will be hosted in Edinburgh next year, also raised funds for two charities on the night, the New Opera in Scotland Events (NOISE) and It’s Good 2 Give, the small charity which has recently opened a world class respite home named The Ripple Retreat, for families who have children with cancer.

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Navy Strength

Gold: NB Navy Strength Gin
Silver: Navy Strength Cannonball Gin
Bronze: Navy Strength Rock Rose Gin

Cask Aged

Gold: Makar Cask Aged Gin – Matured in Oak
Silver: Firkin Gin
Bronze: Cask Aged Kirsty’s Gin

Distilled Gin

Gold: El:Gin
Silver: Edinburgh Gin - Valentine's Gin
Bronze: Kirkjuvagr Gin

London Dry

Gold: Verdant Dry Gin
Silver: Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin
Bronze: Edinburgh Gin - Seaside Gin

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Gold: Edinburgh Gin - Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur
Silver: Edinburgh Gin - Plum & Vanilla Liqueur
Bronze: Gin Bothy Amaretto Infused Liqueur

Speciality Gin

Gold: Makar Old Tom
Silver: Persie Sweet & Nutty Old Tom
Bronze: Eden Mill Hop Gin

London Dry Gin of the Year

(sponsored by Flavourly)

Gold: Verdant Dry Gin
Silver: Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin
Bronze: Edinburgh Gin Seaside Gin

Distilled Gin of the Year

Gold: El-Gin
Silver: Edinburgh Gin Valentine’s Gin
Bronze: Kirkjuvagr Gin

Navy Strength Gin of the Year

(Sponsored by Cara Technology)

Gold: NB Gin Navy Strength
Silver: Edinburgh Gin – Cannonball Gin
Bronze: Navy Strength Rock Rose Gin

Cask Gin of the Year

(Sponsored by Wolffe)

Gold: Makar Cask Aged Gin - Matured In Oak
Silver: Firkin Gin
Bronze: Cask Aged Kirsty's Gin

Speciality Gin of the Year

Gold: Makar Old Tom
Silver: Persie Sweet & Nutty Old Tom Gin
Bronze: Eden Mill Hop Gin

Gin Liqueur of the Year

Gold: Edinburgh Gin - Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur
Silver: Edinburgh Gin - Plum & Vanilla Liqueur
Bronze: Gin Bothy Amaretto

Growth Business of the Year

(Sponsored by Blackadders)

Winner: Eden Mill
Highly commended: Dunnet Bay Distillers

Excellence in Marketing

(Sponsored by MediaSpark)

Summerhall Distillery

Excellence in Branding

(Sponsored by McLaren Packaging)

Isle of Harris Distillery

Innovation of the Year

(Sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons)

Summerhall Distillery, Pickering’s Gin Baubles

Scottish Gin Bar of the Year

(Sponsored by TLT Solicitors)

Winner: 56 North
Highly Commended: One Square

Scottish Gin Event of the Year

(Sponsored by Blue Parrot Company)

Juniper Gin Festivals and Events

Scottish Gin Destination of the Year

(Sponsored by Barr Printers)

Caorunn Balmenach Distillery, Grantown on Spey

Scottish Distillery of the Year

(Sponsored by The Scottish Gin Society)

Arbikie Distilling

Gin of the Year

(Sponsored by Geraldo’s)

Verdant Dry Gin

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