Scotland’s booming gin businesses are preparing their products for the launch of the second annual Scottish Gin Awards, the national competition which promotes the growing range of high quality gins made in Scotland.
Following the huge success of its inaugural year when 76 gins made in Scotland were tasted by a highly experienced judging panel, The Scottish Gin Awards is continuing in its promise to reward achievements in gin distilling.
In 2017, 20 new distilleries in Scotland opened and with 149 distilleries now operating, the distilling business is busier than ever. Open to any business which is distilling gin in Scotland, the judges are looking forward to tasting Scottish gins on the market and assessing the most talented teams and successful businesses.
Winning entrants will benefit from a Scottish Gin Awards medal which has been proven to assist with sales. Reigning champions Arbikie have been discovering this since they collected the top award, Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year in September.
Iain Stirling, co-founder of Arbikie, commented, “The Scottish Gin Awards is a must enter competition for all Scottish distillers as the positive reputation of Scottish gin continues to grow globally and buyers and consumers look to add to their Scottish gin portfolios.
“Being awarded the Scottish 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. We have toured the world with it and I recently used the title during presentations to buyers in Mumbai and Bangalore.
“The Scottish Gin Awards are a superb showcase of excellence in the Scottish gin industry and a great opportunity to celebrate the industry’s success.”
Another major award winner last year was relative newcomer, Dundee-based Verdant who collected the award for Scottish Gin Awards, Gin of the Year.
Andrew Mackenzie, Managing Director of Verdant Spirits, commented, “Winning the Gin of the Year meant that doors have opened that would have been incredibly difficult for us to open otherwise. It has provided a terrific platform for us to market and differentiate our product.
'Undoubtedly our medal has assisted with sales, much of the evidence is anecdotal but we have received many trade enquiries that refer to the accolade. Good luck to all the contenders and be prepared for a frantic year if you’re successful!”
The drinks competition, which is free to enter, is operated under strict tasting conditions, and supervised by the internationally regarded sensory management consultancy Cara Technology. Six categories of gins will be tasted and these are; Cask Gin; London Dry Gin; Navy Strength; Distilled Gin; Gin Liqueur and Speciality Gin.
In addition, 13 categories will cover business performance including topics such as innovation, export, marketing?and?design?and?business growth. The judging panel will gather to discuss and debate written entries in all categories at an all day judges debate held in May.
The programme is owned and operated by KDMedia PR, the company also behind the acclaimed Scottish Beer Awards. It is sponsored by many businesses and this year, new sponsors include ALDI, Vetroelite, Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers and Forth Ports.
Graham Nicolson, Group Buying Director for ALDI in Scotland, commented, “ALDI is hugely supportive of Scotland’s gin industry and it’s incredible to see it going from strength to strength. Last year, we launched our very first in-store Scottish Gin Festival to give our shoppers the chance to try gin from a mix of established and up-and-coming distilleries from all over the country.
'We’re incredibly proud to work with some of Scotland’s best gin producers and look forward to continuing to offer more support to this flourishing industry over the coming years.”
The awards will be announced and presented at a black tie gala dinner held on Thursday 20 September at the Hilton by DoubleTree in Glasgow.
(source: Scottish Gin Awards)