Highlands

Avva Gin

Where is it from?
Elgin

What's in it?
Juniper, dandelion, mint, red clover, nettle and Rowan berries.

What's the damage?
£45.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
43% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Created by the founder of Elgin-based Moray Distillery who make the Berry Good range of liqueurs, Avva Scottish Gin is made using a combination of classic gin botanicals as well as botanicals foraged in Speyside and the Highlands. Meaning respected mother, it provides a link with the reputation that gin had as ‘Mother’s Ruin’ from the Hogarth era. Orange and lime peel hits first on the nose, and is quickly backed up by refreshing, vegetal herbs. A crackle of peppery juniper lasts throughout.

Caorunn

Where is it from?
Speyside

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, rowanberries, apple, heather, bog myrtle and dandelion.

What's the damage?
£30 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
41.8% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Caorunn is Gaelic for rowanberry. It includes 11 botanicals – as well as some traditional gin botanicals, there are five more unusual ones: rowanberries, apple, heather, bog myrtle and dandelion. The five-sided bottle represents the five Celtic botanicals and the perfect serve recommended is a thin wedge of red apple (to match the coul blush apple used to make the gin). Balmenach Distillery uses an unusual vapour infusion method where a pure grain neutral spirit is heated to vapour in a special still called a Copper Berry Chamber.

Crossbill

Where is it from?
Aviemore, Strathspey

What's in it?
Juniper and Rosehip

What's the damage?
£38 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
43.8% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Crossbill is a handcrafted dry gin produced uniquely with 100% Scottish juniper and rosehip. It is distilled in a copper pot still. The gin takes its name from the Scottish Crossbill, a native bird, which, like its juniper supply, can only be found in the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Scotland.

Crossbill 200

Where is it from?
Aviemore, Strathspey

What's in it?
Juniper and rosehip

What's the damage?
£85.00

Is it Strong?
59.8%

What makes it interesting?

On discovering that one of the Crossbill's juniper specimens is over 200 years old (very rare in Scotland), the team has brought out a single specimen juniper gin. As a result, this release is extremely limited. The ABV of just under 60% enables maximum flavour penetration with fresh pine and juniper essence. 

El:gin

Where is it from?
Elgin, Morayshire

What's in it?
Juniper, Scottish oats and local fruits

What's the damage?
£35 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
40% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Crafted in the heart of malt whisky country, the team behind El:gin wanted to move away from a 'ginny' gin, so used Scottish oats as a key botanical. This gives the gin a cranachan creaminess with a malty end note. Oats are added before distillation in a small copper pot still over a direct heat, which means the gin is gluten free.

El:gin Moray Berry

Where is it from?
Elgin

What's in it?
El:gin, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and fuchsia berries.

What's the damage?
£26.00 for 50cl

Is it Strong?
25% ABV

What makes it interesting?

From the makers of El-Gin, this berry liqueur is made with a combination of local strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, infused with fuchsia berries and blended with El-Gin.

Firkin Gin

Where is it from?
Sutherland

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander seed, angelica root and orris root.

What's the damage?
£45.00

Is it Strong?
46% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The team at Gleann Mor Whisky Company say whisky and gin are two of their favourite things. So with this in mind, they wondered what would happen if gin was influenced by a juicy American oak cask. With batches of 100 made at one time, the result is a golden hue with notes of toffee and caramel, hints of vanilla and a sweet oak flavour.

Firkin Islay Gin

Where is it from?
Sutherland

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander seed, angelica root and orris root

What's the damage?
£49.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
46% ABV

What makes it interesting?

As initial experiments with Firkin proved the success of whisky cask-aged gin, the team was keen to try an ex-Lagavulin cask. The nose takes in spicy, warming juniper with some honey and resin, while the palate has a spicy, fruity kick with a silky, smoky exterior from the Lagavulin cask.

GlenWyvis Gin

Where is it from?
Dingwall, Ross-shire

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, angelica root, cinnamon stick, orange and lemon peel, almond powder, orris root and hawthorn berries

What's the damage?
£37.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
40% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The brainchild of the local Flying Farmer, this limited edition gin launched in summer 2015 and is the first from the new Dingwall distillery now under construction. The distillery name is an amalgam of former distilleries in the area - Glenskiach and Ben Wyvis. As 'skiach' means 'hawthorn' in Gaelic, this is the key botanical. The team aims to have the strongest green credentials for a distillery in Scotland; they currently deliver their gin by electric car. 

Gordon Castle

Where is it from?
Speyside

What's in it?
Juniper, mint, lavender and gooseberry.

What's the damage?
£32.99 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
43% ABV

What makes it interesting?

This small-batch, hand-crafted gin is from the Gordon Castle sporting estate on the River Spey, which is home to luxury holiday accommodation and function suites, plus a shop, cafe, walled garden and salmon fishing. It features botanicals grown in the estate's walled garden and has a fresh, floral palate.

Gordon Castle Raspberry Gin

Where is it from?
Speyside

What's in it?
Juniper, mint, lavender, gooseberry and raspberries.

What's the damage?
£28 for 50cl

Is it Strong?
27.4% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Gordon Castle's award-winning gin has been infused for a period of months with fresh raspberries from the Walled Garden on the Estate to create a smooth and fruity gin liqueur.

Inshriach Gin

Where is it from?
Aviemore

What's in it?

What's the damage?

Is it Strong?
43% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Inshriach Distillery is set in a 200-acre estate in Cairngorms National Park and came to fame in 2015 when it won Channel 4’s Shed of the Year. Home of Crossbill Gin, the owners of the estate have gone solo with a new line of Inshriach Gins which they plan to make in make in a disused railway station – once the highest and smallest station in the UK. There are two gins: Original and Navy Strength. 

Lassies' Toast Gin

Where is it from?
Dunnet Bay, Caithness

What's in it?
Juniper, blaeberry leaves, strawberry leaves, heather tops, speedwell and wild thyme.

What's the damage?
£34.00 for 50cl

Is it Strong?
41.5% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The team behind Rock Rose Gin has crafted a special white spirit dram for those of us who prefer a nip of gin to whisky on 25 January celebrations. Lassies' Toast Gin was inspired by the Moorland tea recipe that Robert Burns reputedly enjoyed. It is designed to mark the end of the Burns' Night supper with a traditional toast to the lassies.

Loch Ness Gin

Where is it from?
Loch Ness, Inverness-shire

What's in it?
Locally foraged juniper and other botanicals.

What's the damage?
£45.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
43.3% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The team behind Loch Ness Spirits is proud that their family has worked on the banks of Loch Ness for 500 years, so they are grounded in the traditions of the area. Everything in the gin is from the ancestral home of Loch Ness. They gather their premium 'black gold' juniper by hand from their own rare native crop, and combine this with the full-bodied water of the loch, giving a depth and richness to the gin. 

Rock Rose Gin

Where is it from?
Dunnet Bay, Caithness

What's in it?
Juniper, rhodiola rosea, sea buckthorn, rowan berries.

What's the damage?
£34.00

Is it Strong?
41.5% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Rock Rose Gin will herald a new vintage each year as local botanicals are dependent on the climate and will subtly change year on year. Dunnet Bay Distillers named the gin after their first botanical forage along the Caithness cliffs, where they discovered a rose in the rocks.

Rock Rose Artists' Edition

Where is it from?
Dunnet Bay

What's in it?
Juniper, Scottish wildflowers and citrus

What's the damage?
£38.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
41.5% ABV

What makes it interesting?

This limited edition of Rock Rose Gin comes from the ‘Design a Rock Rose Gin Label’ competition. The winner used a scalpel blade to intricately cut the ornate detail from the original Rock Rose label, in order to create a delicate paper-cut window to frame the painted flowers. The gin the winner requested was citrus-forward with a floral character.

Rock Rose Autumn Edition

Where is it from?
Dunnet Bay

What's in it?
Juniper, blackberries, raspberries, blaeberries, coriander, nasturtium

What's the damage?
£38.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
41.5% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The Rock Rose Autumn Edition is a warm gin bursting with berries and light spice. It is bursting with blackberries and raspberries from Caithness Summer Fruits, and blaeberries from the Dunnet area. In addition, grown in the distillery’s very own geodome, Vietnamese coriander and nasturtium flowers add to the spice of the gin.

Rock Rose Navy Strength

Where is it from?
Dunnet Bay, Caithness

What's in it?
Juniper and rock rose.

What's the damage?
£40 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
57% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Following requests from bartenders, the Rock Rose team has produced a cocktail gin to the same recipe - but with an ABV 15.5% higher than usual. This gives a bolder flavour and uncovers some of the deeper notes hidden in the original recipe.

Rock Rose Spring Edition

Where is it from?
Dunnet Bay, Caithness

What's in it?
Juniper, sycamore sap, dandelion, coltsfoot, water mint

What's the damage?
£37.50 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
41.5% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Distilled using ingredients foraged from the local area, Rock Rose Spring Gin has a cool, fresh taste. Each botanical has an important role to play: the sycamore sap brings a sweet and nutty flavour; the coltsfoot - once used in confectionery - provides a little extra sweetness; and the dandelion gives earthy liquorice flavours for balance. Finally, water mint brings a freshness to the smell.

Rock Rose Summer Edition

Where is it from?
Dunnet Bay, Caithness

What's in it?
Juniper, lemon balm, clover, lemon thyme, pineapple sage and elderflower.

What's the damage?
£38.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
41.5% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The Rock Rose team's challenge was to make a citrus-forward gin using botanicals growing in the distillery gardens - with no peel! After extensive research, Hanna the gardener planted, harvested and dried the key botanicals, including lemon balm, clover, lemon thyme, pineapple sage and elderflower. 

Rock Rose Winter Edition

Where is it from?
Dunnet Bay

What's in it?
Juniper, spruce tips

What's the damage?
£38.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
41.5% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The hero botanical in the Rock Rose Winter Edition is spruce tips. The gin has been created with thoughts of bracing walks, roaring fires and dark nights in mind. The original Rock Rose elements have been scaled down to allow the delightful earthy and slightly citrusy notes from the spruce tips to shine through.

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