Scottish Gin Awards

Scotland’s leading gins in running for honours

Scottish Gin Awards

116 gins were assessed by the judges

The finalists in the second annual Scottish Gin Awards have been announced with 46 companies and 80 gins progressing to the final stage of the national competition which celebrates Scotland’s booming gin industry.

In a wide-ranging competition covering 18 categories, the awards assessed taste and business performance and were judged earlier this month in two sessions by one of the most experienced gin tasting panels ever assembled in the UK.

Twenty-two tasters including Master Distillers from some of the UK’s biggest gin brands and the UK’s leading professors in distilling, blind tasted and graded every sample under strict technical conditions, adjudicated by sensory management experts, Cara Technology. 

In total, 116 gins, all distilled in Scotland, were assessed, a 52% increase in the number of gins entered last year.

Eden Mill lead the race with a total of 10 finalist nominations. The McQueen Gin range follows closely behind with 9 nominations and Crafty Distillery, Crossbill Distillery, Edinburgh Gin, Makar Gin, Firkin Gin and Pickerings Gin are all in close running to win awards at this year’s event.   The Scottish islands also feature highly with Isle of Harris Distillers, Isle of Skye Distillers and Orkney Distilling all in contention. 

Chairman of the judging panel, Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi Distillery, said: “Congratulations to all the finalists announced today in the 2nd annual Scottish Gin Awards.   The competition has been very tough but everyone can be assured that the process of judging is independent and free from commercial influence. 

“All the finalists have progressed purely on merit and thanks to the support of a highly experienced judging panel.  We look forward to celebrating with the entire Scottish gin industry in Glasgow on the 20th September 2018.”

Kirsten Speirs, director of KDMedia and founder of the Scottish Gin Awards, commented:“One of the very many positive outcomes of the Scottish Gin Awards is that it provides excellent technical guidance to the new distillers creating and launching products for the first time. 

“A place in the finals is reassuring as it says that these gins have reached a quality standard expected by some of the most knowledgeable gin experts in the UK.  Sharing and promoting this ultimate list of high quality Scottish gins helps to grow Scotland’s unique reputation as home to the best distilleries in the world.”

The top prize in the competition is Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year and last year this was presented to Arbikie Distilling.  Iain Stirling, co-founder of Arbikie commented: “Being awarded the Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year in the first Scottish Gin Awards was a great accolade for Arbikie particularly when 70% of UK gin is made in Scotland. 

“The winners medal has delivered a significant boost to sales.  It is used across our marketing on our packaging, in presentations and on social media. It really helps to set us apart from our competitors in the very competitive global gin sector.”

The Scottish Gin Awards 2018 will be held on Thursday 20th September at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Glasgow.

Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year

Eden Mill

Edinburgh Gin

Glasgow Distillery Company

Isle of Harris Distillers

McQueen Gin


Gin of the Year sponsored by Vetroelite UK

This award was not open for entry and is awarded to the highest performer in the taste categories.  The winner is announced at the awards dinner.


The Taste Awards


London Dry Gin of the Year sponsored by Franklin & Sons 


Caorunn Gin Master’s Cut, Balmenach Distillery

Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin, Balmenach Distillery

Boe Scottish Gin, Boe Gin

Wild Island Botanic Gin Distillers Cut, Colonsay Beverages

Crossbill 100% Highland, Crossbill Distilling

Sea Glass Gin, Deerness Distillery

Eden Mill Original Gin, Eden Mill

1670, Edinburgh Gin

Granite North Spirits, Granite North Spirits

Bardowie Gin, Hazell & Hazell

Edinburgh Gin Original Gin, Ian Macleod Distillers

Isle of Harris Gin, Isle of Harris Distillers

Leith Gin, Leith Still Room

LinGin, Linlithgow Distillery

NB Gin, NB Distillery

Ginerosity , Spirits for Good

Stirling Gin, Stirling Spirit Co

Pickering’s Gin, Summerhall Distillery

Pickering’s Gin with Scottish Botanicals, Summerhall Distillery

Garden Shed Gin, The Garden Shed Drinks Company

Oro, The Oro Distilling Co.

McQueen Super Premium Dry Gin, Trossachs Distillery

Verdant Dry Gin, Verdant Spirits

Colonsay Gin, Wild Thyme Spirits


Distilled Gin of the Year sponsored by ALDI


Badachro Gin, Badachro Distillery

Hills & Harbour Gin, Crafty Distillery

Still River Dee, Deeside Distillery

Thompson Bros Organic Highland Gin, Dornoch Distillery Company

Scottish Rugby Gin, Eden Mill

El:gin Scottish Small Batch, El:gin Distillery

Edinburgh Gin Valentine’s Gin, Ian Macleod Distillers

Misty Isle Gin, Isle of Skye Distillers

Tommy’s Gin, Isle of Skye Distillers

Persie Dog Days Gin, Persie Distillery

The Teasmith Original, Teasmith

eeNoo, The Lost Loch Distillery

Arcturus, The Torridon & Dunnet Bay Distillery


Navy Strength Gin of the Year sponsored by Cara Technology


Badachro Gin 57* North, Badachro Distillery

Crossbill 200 Single Specimen Juniper, Crossbill Distilling

Still River Uncut, Deeside Distillery

Edinburgh Gin Cannonball Gin, Ian Macleod Distillers

Kinrara Estate Edition Highlander, Kinrara Distillery

Arkh-Angell Storm Strength Edition, Orkney Distilling

Shetland Reel Up Helly Aa Gin: 2017 Edition, Shetland Distillery Company

Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin, Summerhall Distillery


Gin Liqueur of the Year sponsored by Foodies Magazine


Boe Scottish Bramble Gin Liqueur, Boe Gin

Boe Peach & Hibiscus Gin Liqueur, Boe Gin

Strawberry & Black Pepper Gin Liqueur, Eden Mill

Pomegranate & Rose Gin Liqueur, Edinburgh Gin

El:gin Moray Berry, El:gin Distillery

Moray Mocha, El:gin Distillery

Redcastle Raspberry & Pomegranate Scottish Gin Liqueur, Redcastle Spirits


Cask Gin of the Year sponsored by Wolffe


Crossbill Pineapple PX Cask Aged, Crossbill Distilling

Oak Gin, Eden Mill

Makar Cask Aged Gin Matured in Mulberry Wood, Glasgow Distillery Company

Makar Cask Aged Gin Matured in Oak, Glasgow Distillery Company

Firkin Oak Cask Aged, Leith Still Room

Pickering’s Islay Oak Aged Gin, Summerhall Distillery


Speciality Gin of the Year sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers


Crossbill American Red, Crossbill Distilling

Still River Spiced Plum, Deeside Distillery

El:gin Gin-gle Gin, El:gin Distillery

Esker Honey Spiced Gin, Esker Spirits

Gunshot, Gin Bothy

Glasgow Distillery Double Cherry Single Batch Series, Glasgow Distillery Company

Kinrara Estate Edition Hibiscus Gin, Kinrara Distillery

Firkin Old Tom, Leith Still Room

Firkin Rosie, Leith Still Room

Firkin Yuletide Old Tom, Leith Still Room

Something Blue, McLean’s Gin

Johnsmas, Orkney Gin Company

Mikkelmas, Orkney Gin Company

Devil’s Staircase, Pixel Spirits

Shetland Reel Simmer Gin, Shetland Distillery Company

Eden Mill Hop Gin, Eden Mill

Mallow and Geranium, The Old Curiosity Distillery

McQueen Mocha Gin, McQueen Gin

McQueen Spiced Chocolate Orange Gin, McQueen Gin

McQueen Raspberry and White Chocolate, McQueen Gin

McQueen Smokey Chilli, McQueen Gin

McQueen Chocolate Mint, McQueen Gin


Business Awards


Growth Business of the Year sponsored by Blackadders


Colonsay Beverages

Edinburgh Gin


No. 18 (The Gin Fayre)

McQueen Gin


Best Newcomer sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink


Badachro Distillery

Beinn an Tuirc Distillers

Crafty Scottish Distillers

Dornoch Distillery Company

Isle of Skye Distillers

Kinrara Distillery

The Old Curiosity Distillery

The Oro Distilling Co.


Innovation of the Year sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons


Arbikie Highland Estate

Crafty Scottish Distillers

Eden Mill

Edinburgh Gin – 1670

Isle of Skye Distillers

The Gin Spa

The Old Curiosity Distillery

McQueen Gin


Exporter of the Year sponsored by Forthports


Dornoch Distillery Company

Eden Mill

NB Distillery


Excellence in Marketing sponsored by Orb Group



Deeside Distillery and Brewery

Eden Mill

OriGINs The Scottish Gin Festival

The Teasmith Spirit Company

Best Marketing Campaign

Caorunn, Balmenach Distillery

Crafty Scottish Distillers

Persie Distillery


Excellence in Branding sponsored by McLaren Packaging


Beinn an Tuirc Distillers

Crafty Scottish Distillers

Deerness Distillery

Eden Mill

Electric Spirit Co.

Esker Spirits

Glasgow Distillery Company

The Garden Shed Drinks Company

The Lost Loch Distillery

The Oro Distilling Co.

The Teasmith Spirit Company

The Torridon

Wild Thyme Spirits


Scottish Gin Destination of the Year


Crafty Scottish Distillers, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway

Crossbill Distilling, Glasgow

Eden Mill, Guardbridge, St Andrews

Isle of Harris Distillers, Isle of Harris

Summerhall Distillery, Edinburgh

The Gin Spa, Glasgow


Scottish Gin Bar of the Year


Cheers Café Bar, Fraserburgh

Gin71, Glasgow

One Square, Edinburgh

The Craftsman Company, Aberdeen

The Spiritualist, Glasgow


Scottish Gin Event of the Year sponsored by Blue Parrot


Meet the Maker Crossbill Gin

OriGINs The Scottish Gin Festival

No. 18 (The Gin Fayre)

Orkney Gin Festival 2018, Orkney Distilling

Stirling Gin Festival, Stirling Spirit Co


Judging Panel


Alex Bruce, Chair of the Judging Panel – Managing Director, Adelphi Distillery

Kirsty Black – Head Distiller, Arbikie Distilling

Sarah Brown – Gin Enthusiast & Blogger

Bruce Casely – Independent FMGC Consultant

Geraldine Coates – Editor,

Rob Dorsett – Master Distiller, Langley Distillery

Ruth Evans – CEO, BFBI

Adam Hardie – Partner & Head of Food & Drink, Johnston Carmichael

Annie Hill – Associate Professor & Programme Director, the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling, Heriot-Watt University

Dawn Maskell – Director of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling, Heriot-Watt University

Stuart McCluskey – Owner, The Bon Vivant Group

Karen McGivern – Author, This is Gin

Sean Murphy – Food & Drink Writer, The Scotsman

Tom Nichol – Master Distiller

Matthew Pauley – Associate Professor, The Institute of Brewing & Distilling

Desmond Payne MBE – Master Distiller, Beefeater

Jim Rankin – Commercial Director, Rankin Brothers & Sons

Pete Sherry – Owner, The Beer Hive

Bill Simpson – Executive Director, Cara Technology

James Sutherland – Owner, 56 North

Andrew Wolffe – Founder & Director, Wolffe

Alan Wolstenholme – Chair, Scottish Craft Distillers Association



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