Golden year for Scottish spirits

Edinburgh and Elgin gin producers amongst award winners

Instant classic: Edinburgh Gin’s Rhubarb & Ginger Gin received a gold award in its debut year

THIS year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) was one to remember for Scottish gin producers as five earned gold status for their liquids.

The annual competition judges wines and spirits from around the world through a series of blind tastings by drinks experts and technical analysis – subsequently awarding each liquid points out of 100.

Edinburgh Gin’s Rhubarb & Ginger Gin, a 40% ABV gin which was released after the popularity of its Rhubarb & Ginger Gin Liqueur, was awarded 95 points in the flavoured gin category three months after its launch. A further silver award and four bronze awards were awarded across its range of gins and gin liqueurs.

Neil Boyd, UK managing director of parent firm Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “Taking home gold so soon for our new Rhubarb & Ginger Gin is testament to it being one of the most loved flavour profiles in the category.”

Elgin-based Moray Distillery’s Avva Navy Strength Gin also scored 95 points, within the 57%+ ABV category, with judges stating the spirit was “very well composed and superbly fresh and focused”.

Achroous Gin by Edinburgh’s Electric Spirit Co. and Syndicate 58/6’s Dry Gin both earned gold in the 41-45% ABV section, while Christmas GoodWill Spiced Gin from GlenWyvis Distillery received a gold award in the wood-aged spiced gin category.

Elsewhere, further praise was heaped on the Scottish spirits industry when Dr Bill Lumsden, director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, became the first person to be named Master Distiller of the Year for the third time by the International Whisky Competition (IWC).

Lumsden was given the honour after Glenmorangie’s Grand Vintage Malt 1991 was named the IWC’s Whisky of the Year, achieving the competition’s highest score of 97 from 100, and Ardbeg was named Distillery of the Year with a total of five category wins for its whiskies with Glenmorangie winning another five. Lumsden has hand-picked a cask from each distillery’s warehouse to be bottled and sold to mark the award wins.