Kelso Gin Company

Note: I contacted the Kelson Gin Company and kindly sent me THREE samples of their gins. As always, you’ll know if I don’t like them.

The Kelso Gin Company brings us the first gin from the Scottish Borders. Well, technically they make three gins. Because why start small? Oh, and as well as three gins they also have a vodka and reiver spirit too. Two of their gins are named after The Crow Man – a travelling medicine man who toured the Borders offering “little brighteners” to restore men and soothe women with his mix of secret ingredients. Using organic pure grain and distilled in Kelso, their exact ingredient list is a closely guarded secret (which should make tasting them fun) but the ones they’ll allow us to know include Love Parsely (aka Lovage), juniper and rowan. I have three gins: Crow Man’s Gin (classic juniper with cinnamon, angelica and more), The Kelso Elephant Gin (strong on flavour and using orient spices) and the Lovage Gin (intriguing and fresh).

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Kirkjuvagr Gin

Note: I contacted the Orkney Distillery and they kindly sent me a sample. As always, I’ll let you know if I don’t like it.

Kirkjuvagr gin comes from the Orkney Distillery – and FYI, is pronounced “kirk-u-vaar”. Kirkuvagr means “church bay” in Old Norse and evolved to be Kirkwall, the island’s capital. The gin is a reflection of the island’s history and the boldness of their ancestors, making a contemporary gin using old ingredients. Angelica grows wild on the island, which is blended with Ramanas Rose, Burnet Rose and Borage and Orkney barley. Distilled in small batches in copper stills, they channel their Norse heritage into every bottle they make.

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Wild Island Botanic Gin

Note: I emailed Wild Island to see if they would send me a sample and they kindly did. I’ll let you know if I don’t like it.

Wild Island Botanic Gin is produced by Colonsay Beverages in the southern Hebrides on the Isle of Colonsay – home to just 120 inhabitants. Distilled with 100% British wheat, it is then infused with 16 botanicals – six of which are sourced locally including lemon balm, wild water mint, meadowsweet, sea buckthorn, heather flowers and the yummy sounding bog myrtle* (Moaning Myrtle spring to mind for anyone else?). The gin was launched in December and has already sold four batches of their gin – but I’m feeling like this is pretty special to have got some outside of Scotland. Wild Island Gin are another Scottish gin to use a beautifully designed label – it features an expressionist watercolour interpretation of the local Kiloran Bay (fun fact: you can buy Harris Tweed lampshades to match the bottles).

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Juniper Green Organic Gin

Hi, I’m Jenny and a few weeks ago I went to a Vegan Festival. As a former vegetarian that has since seen the error of her ways and now eats steak at every opportunity, it was strange (I actually wrote about it for Brighton Girl over here). However, I did as I do best and found myself chatting to a gin maker. Juniper Green Organic Gin can trace its roots back to 1700, using over 300 years of experience to make their current blend. Juniper Green is 100% gluten free, distilled using organic and sustainable crops – the juniper is FairWild meaning that the berries from Bulgaria are collected in a sustainable way and those harvesting get paid a fair and proper wage. The angelica and summer savoury are grown in the UK by the Organic Herb Trading Company especially for this gin. The grain is made and distilled on a single estate which has been organic for 35 years. Basically, it’s good for the environment to drink it, and therefore good for you… that works right? So after a long chat with the sellers, I got myself a bottle of the 43% gin (after having a good taste of their various rums as well!).

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Lilliput Dorset Gin

Note: I contacted Andy from Lilliput gin before they launched and since their launch, he kindly sent me some goodies to try. As always, I’ll let you know if I don’t like it.

Lilliput Dorset Gin is new. Like, brand new. They started experimenting in January 2017, and by the end of April 2017 have launched their first product. I’m a big fan of their ethos and they work with an emphasis on quality, clarity and escape. They work in collaboration with local small businesses and entrepreneurs and promote their homeland of Dorset with pride. Distilled in their microdistillery using home-grown organic Rosemary, organic Basil from Egypt, organic Thyme from Spin and organic Kalamata olives from Greece, you get a sense they like the organic thing. The four botanicals are infused separately then blended together with Juniper from Bosnia (amongst a few others).

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