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.

22 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. 

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.

Chair of the judging panel, Alex Bruce, Managing Director of Adelphi Distillery commented;

“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