Over 600 guests gathered to celebrate Scotland’s biggest spirits competition and to hear who was crowned as winners in 18 categories.
The ultimate award, Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year, was presented to Isle of Harris Distillers whose mission to create a “social distillery” bringing jobs and increasing tourism to the island was praised. The Hebridean distillery fought off competition from four other distilleries to win the award.
However, it was St Andrews-based Eden Mill who won the most awards of the night collecting five awards including the ultimate taste award in the competition, the Gin of the Year. Eden Mill’s Original Gin triumphed in the highly competitive London Dry gin category fending off 30 other gins before going on to win the judges’ prize for best gin in the overall competition.
Eden Mill also won business awards for Excellence in Marketing and Export and a bronze medal for their Oak Gin in the Cask/Aged Gin of the Year.
Other big winners were Edinburgh Gin who took the title for Growth Business and Innovation of the Year for Edinburgh Gin 1670, a collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. They won silver and bronze taste medals for their Cannonball Navy Strength gin and their Pomegranate and Rose liqueur.
Alloa-based Boe Gin won three medals gold, silver and bronze their Boe Scottish Bramble Liqueur, Boe Scottish and their Peach & Hibiscus liqueur respectively.
McQueen Gin from Callander also enjoyed success for their unique flavoured gins, winning gold for their Mocha Gin in the speciality category and bronze for their Spiced Chocolate Orange gin.
Chair of the judging panel, Alex Bruce, Managing Director of Adelphi Distillery commented;
“Congratulations to all the Scottish distilleries and supporting companies who have won at the Scottish Gin Awards. The Scottish gin sector can be very proud. These medals will help retain our precious reputation as a global centre in the production of high-quality spirits.
“With a phenomenal 80 Scottish gins in the finals and 18 taste medal winners presented, the results will provide winning distilleries with a real boost in advance of the busy Christmas season. For the discerning gin drinker, these awards provide welcome guidance when choosing from the large range of Scottish gin now on the market.”
Awards were also presented to recognise the growing number of gin bars and destinations across the country, with The Craftsman Company in Aberdeen winning Best Gin Bar of the Year and Crafty Distillery in Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway taking the title of Best Gin Destination of the Year for their distillery and visitor experiences.
The competition founded and operated by PR and Events company, KDMedia, launched its second year in February and conducted a Scotland-wide search for the best gins and gin businesses. In the taste sessions, 116 Scottish gins were scored by 22 judges in a blind tasting adjudicated by the international sensory management consultancy, Cara Technology. 80 gins progressed to the finals with the top three performers awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in each of six categories. There was a 53% increase in the number of gins entered in the competition this year compared to last year.
The awards which are now a firm fixture in the spirits sector in Scotland also raised funds for Edinburgh based charity, It’s Good 2 Give, which last year opened a world class respite home named The Ripple Retreat in the Trossachs for families who have children with cancer.