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Best Scottish Gins – 7 Fab Gins Reviewed

My goodness the Scottish seem to have been feverishly busy recently.

Building new roads? Nope (well maybe a few I imagine), building nuclear arms to go head to head with a state that will remain nameless? Wrong again.

Well praise the Lord for Scotland as they have had Gin distillers both large, micro, and all sizes in-between, producing the best Scottish Gins of high quality using old fashioned methods, with locally obtained botanicals.

Skye in Scotland
Skye, Scotland

If London is the beating heart of Gin, then Scotland must be some other super-duper vital organ that I cannot quite put my finger on, and certainly not something lame that we can do without if push comes to shove like the appendix, tonsils, or one’s conscience.

So without further ado, and without me banging on too much as you know I like to be a tad minimalist and keep the waffle to a minimum, here are 7 of the best Scottish Gins that you really ought to try right this moment, if not sooner (should you happen to have a DeLorean and 1.21 Gigawatts).



1.    Pickering’s Small Batch Edinburgh Dry Gin

•    Distiller: Pickerings
•    Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 42%
•    Country: Scotland

Pickerings Gin
Pickerings Gin

The Bottle

Squat shaped with wax sealed top makes this a quality looking product.

The Gin

This is a very light Gin, however with depth. It’s crisp with flavours of both citrus and juniper, finally a subtle but noticeable after-kick (think I make have made that word up) of cardamom, coriander & cloves.

Known Botanicals

Juniper, Lemon, Lime, Coriander, Anise, Angelica, Cardamom, Clove and Fennel

A bit of Trivia

The original family secret recipe is based on a handwritten fragment of paper dated July 1947.

Best Served

Pickering’s Gin is best served with ice, tonic water, and a slice of pink grapefruit.

Conclusion

An excellent light Gin that is equally enjoyable simply on the rocks.

Where Best to Buy

You can check out prices, customer reviews, plus order online.

Gin Price Checker (UK)

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2.    Arbikie Highland Estate Kirsty’s Gin

•    Distiller: Arbikie Highland Estate
•    Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 43%
•    Country: Scotland

Kirstys Gin
Arbikie Highland Estate Kirsty’s Gin

The Bottle

Solid bottle with a simple design ensures a high calibre feeling product.

The Gin

Fresh floral tones, with blueberries, citrus, juniper. This Gin is made from Arbikie’s award potato vodka responsible for it’s smoothness.

Known Botanicals

Juniper, Kelp, Carline Thistle, Blaeberries (aka Bilberry), angelica, coriander, liquorice and orris.

A bit of Trivia

‘Kirsty’s Gin’ is named after Arbikie’s Master Distiller Kirsty Black.

Best Served

Kirsty’s Gin is best served with ice, tonic water, blueberries, plus a twist of lemon (I prefer just the rind).

Conclusion

A Gin that must be tried for the real taste of the Scottish coast brought out by the Kelp and Thistle.

Where Best to Buy

You can check out prices, customer reviews, plus order online.

Gin Price Checker (UK)

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3.    Edinburgh Gin

•    Distiller: Edinburgh Gin (Now part of Ian Macleod Distillers)
•    Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 40%
•    Country: Scotland

Edinburgh Gin
Edinburgh Gin

The Bottle

A fine looking Scottish Gin bottle, with its embossed text on the glass and refined label.

The Gin

A crisp and smooth Gin with juniper, pine, floral lavender, plus a hint of citrus.

Known Botanicals

Juniper, orange peel, mulberries, pine buds, lavender, lemongrass, cobnuts, lime peel,

A bit of Trivia

Edinburgh Gin have an excellent Distillery Tour & Visitor Centre.

Best Served

Edinburgh Gin is best served with ice, an orange twist and Fever-Tree Indian tonic water.

Conclusion

A classic London Dry ‘style’ Gin from Scotland that is both excellent on its own or as a premium cocktail base.

Where Best to Buy

You can check out prices, customer reviews, plus order online.

Gin Price Checker (UK)

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4.    Rock Rose Gin

•    Distiller: Dunnet Bay Distillers.
•    Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 41.5%
•    Country: Scotland

Rock Rose Gin
Rock Rose Gin

The Bottle

One of my favourites. A truly gorgeous ceramic bottle with a screen-printed label. Would certainly make an excellent gift.

The Gin

Initial hit of juniper, then berry due to the blaeberries, hawthorne and rowan berries, finishing off with a liquorice and cinnamon tones

Known Botanicals

Italian Juniper, Rhodiola rosea, Rowan Berries, sea buckthorn, blaeberries, cardamon, coriander seed and verbena

A bit of Trivia

The real boss of the distillery was a dog called George, who was around since the beginning of Rock Rose, now sadly passed away watching everything unfold from doggy heaven.

Best Served

Rock Rose Gin with ice Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water, and curl or two of orange peel for additional citrus.

Conclusion

Both bottle and Gin demonstrate that not a detail was left to chance. Superb.

Where Best to Buy

You can check out prices, customer reviews, plus order online.

Gin Price Checker (UK)

Check Pricing, Customer Reviews & Buy Online

05. Hendricks Gin

Hendricks Gin
Hendrick’s Gin

The Bottle

Love this bottle, it’s along the same lines as Monkey 47. A very Gothic/Victorian style bottle that could just as easily be displayed on the shelf in Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory when he created ‘The Monster’.

The Gin

Hendrick’s distills in minuscule batches of only 500 litres for greater control of quality. The inclusion of cucumber certainly explains for the distinctive fresh taste.

Known Botanicals

Juniper, orange peel, yarrow, chamomile, coriander, and infused with Bulgarian rose petals and cucumber

A bit of Trivia

Hendrick’s Gin is actually a combination of two different spirits from two stills.

Best Served

Hendrick’s with ice, tonic water, plus a couple of slices of cucumber to garnish.

Conclusion

A crisp dry Gin with cucumber undertones. Don’t overdo the cucumber garnish as it can overpower.

Where Best to Buy

You can check out prices, customer reviews, plus order online.

Gin Price Checker (UK)

Check Pricing, Customer Reviews & Buy Online

06. Caorunn Gin

•    Distiller: Balmenach Distillery
•    Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 41.8%
•    Country: Scotland

Caorunn Gin
Caorunn Gin

The Bottle

A distinctive clear bottle that emphasis its clean ingredients including natural Scottish Water.

The Gin

Clean, crisp, slightly sweet, with floral and citrus tones. Quadruple-distilled (why do it once when you can do it four times!), and is made in small batches. Using natural Scottish Water and 11 botanical ingredients.

Known Botanicals

Juniper Berries, Cassia Bark, Lemon Peel, Coriander Seed, Angelica Root, Orange Peel, Rowan Berry, Bog Myrtle, Heather, Coul Blush Apple, Dandelion Leaf.

A bit of Trivia

Pronounced ‘ka-roon’, this is the Gaelic word for Rowanberry

Best Served

Caorunn with ice, tonic water, & slices of red apple.

Conclusion

Clean and crisp. Sets the standard, making it a great go-to Gin.

Where best to Buy

You can check out prices, customer reviews, plus order online.

Gin Price Checker (UK)

Check Pricing, Customer Reviews & Buy Online

7.    The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

•    Distiller: Bruichladdich Distillery
•    Alcohol by Volume: 46%
•    Country: Scotland

The Botanist Gin
The Botanist

The Bottle

Strikingly bottle with the names of all the botanicals used embossed in Latin on the glass. Very cool indeed.

The Gin

A highly distinctive Gin with an array of floral and juniper tones upfront, then citrus and subtle cinnamon and mint.

Known Botanicals

Juniper, angelica root, apple mint, birch leaves, bog myrtle leaves, cassia bark, chamomile, cinnamon bark, coriander seed, creeping thistle flowers, elder flowers, gorse flowers, heather flowers, hawthorn flowers, juniper berries, lardy’s bedstraw flowers, lemon balm, lemon peel, liquorice root, meadow sweet, orange peel, oris root, peppermint leaves, mugwort leaves, red clover flowers, tansy, thyme leaves, water mint leaves, white clover, wood sage leaves.

A bit of Trivia

Simmer distilled for 17 hours, under very low pressure to get the most from the botanicals.

Best Served

Best severed with ice and Fever-Tree Indian or Mediterranean Tonic Water. I honestly don’t feel you need any garnish at all for this Gin. Just enjoy it’s distinctive flavour.

Conclusion

A complex Gin due to the number of botanicals. Excellent, a must try.

Where Best to Buy

You can check out prices, customer reviews, plus order online.

Gin Price Checker (UK)

Check Pricing, Customer Reviews & Buy Online


Conclusion

So there we have it, 7 of the best Scottish Gins that should be well and truly sampled. The Gin Geeks particular favourite from this selection was Rose Rock Gin, closely followed by The Botanist. All of them are excellent and are crying out to be in a glass, in your hand.

My ‘take’ on Gin is if you have a favourite one or two and you stick to them, then you are missing out on so may other Gins. I love trying new Gin’s and rarely stick to one. Some favourites come back to time and time again, however Gin tasting is a tasting adventure, and it’s only an adventure if you are trying something new.

Where to Buy these Gins Online

You have never had it so good! You can proudly own any of these fabulous top Scottish Gins from the comfort of your home by using the links provided to buy with 100% confidence.

I greatly appreciate you using any of the above links for your Scottish Gin purchases, as the retailer will kindly lavish me with a very small but most welcome commission thus allowing The Gin Geeks blog to keep producing awesome posts (like the one you are reading right now.

Life tips from The Gin Geek

Join me on the Gin & Tonic diet…

So far I have lost 2 days. 🙂

Well I hope you have enjoyed this review, please leave any alternative Scottish Gin suggestions you may have in the comments area below.

Best Wishes,

Andrew – The Gin Geek

Further Reading

Below are some other Gin Geek posts you may find interesting.

Top 10 Best Gins

Best Pink Gin – The 6 Top Pinks Reviewed

Best Tonic Water for Gin and Tonic

How to make your own Gin

If you would like to share:

Andrew Radford

2 Comments

  1. I never knew there were so many gins , How interesting !! I have never been much of a gin drinker but I do believe I am going to have to try one of the pink ones, Can you use gin in substitution for some of the favorite vodka drinks ? Do you have a favorite ? Would love to try something different . Thanks for sharing would have never know there was pink gin, or drinks with cucumbers .

    • Hi Terri

      Yes Gin can be an excellent substitute for Vodka, as funnily enough Gin is essentially Vodka with Juniper added. 🙂

      Check out my other post ‘How to make your own Gin in 7 easy steps‘ for more information on that rather fun subject!

      As for Pink Gin, it’s certainly the way to go!

      Happy tasting!

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