Sometimes the summer holidays really drag but this year’s have flown by! Suddenly it’s September and the kids are starting to go back to school, so now I have time to sit down and catch up with my (mostly Scottish-based) August adventures!
This month’s news is horribly sad, as Näo Spirits – and the wider gin community – comes to terms with the death of Jay Dhawan, the 26-year-old distiller of Hapusā and Greater Than Gin. According to reports, Jay drowned while swimming in strong currents off the coast of Colva in Goa. I will never forget meeting Jay – who was incredibly fun and friendly and undoubtedly talented – at Junipalooza in 2018, and my thoughts go out to all his family, friends and colleagues.
New Gin Alerts
Following in the footsteps of (among others) Gordon Ramsey, Michel Roux Jr. has collaborated with Nelson’s Distillery to create Le Gavroche Gin which features a blend of 28 botanicals selected by the Michelin-starred chef himself. Edinburgh’s Holyrood Distillery have taken a very different approach to their first gin – Height of Arrows – which has been released to great acclaim. Said to be created with whisky in mind – and inspired by the limited number of ingredients involved in making it – Holyrood have eschewed the addition of multiple botanicals in favour of focusing on juniper. The release that has really caught my eye though, is Orkney Gin Company’s Aatta Gin; distilled eight times with eight botanicals and presented in a truly stunning bottle. And I couldn’t not mention Tilda’s Tipple; a gin created by the family of Matilda Jaffray in collaboration with Selkirk Distillers and in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity; a cause which is very close to my heart.
My Month in Gin
August saw the publication of the second article in my sustainability series for Gin Magazine. Looking at how distilleries are using innovative green energy sources to power their operations and reduce their carbon footprints, a lot of research was involved but I’m super pleased with the result. If you happen to pick up a copy and give it a read I’d love to hear what you think of it.
I also enjoyed a wonderful couple of weeks in sunny Scotland and managed to squeeze in not one, not two, but three distillery visits: Kingsbarns Distillery in Fife where Darnley’s Gin is made, Pickering’s – the first gin distillery to be established in Edinburgh for over 150 years (and quite possibly the most eccentric!) – and Beinn An Tuirc; home to Kintyre Gin. All three were wonderful experiences – and really quite different to one another – but the highlight had to be meeting co-founder Emma at Beinn An Tuirc. Having written about their sustainable set-up for my latest Gin Magazine article it was wonderful to taste all their spirits and see behind the scenes including an extra little trip to their hydro station!
Welcome to My Collection
I returned from Scotland with quite the haul including (an already empty!) 1litre bottle of Pickering’s 1947 Gin, Darnley’s Navy Strength Spiced Gin, Beinn An Tuirc’s Tarbert Legbiter Navy Strength Gin and Fine Malts of Inveraray’s Ginverary Foxy made by Pixel Spirits.
Thanks also to Tarquin’s for their new and exceptional Yuzu & Lime Gin, and also to Liquorsmith’s for both their Old Tom 6 and 12 gins and their mouthwatering cookbook which I can’t wait to get stuck into.
Catching Up and Looking Forward
September looks to be a darn sight busier than August with a few things in the pipeline for me including a day of vodka (yes, vodka!) judging alongside the long-awaited return of live events with Imbibe Live, Junipalooza, CHEERS! – a not-for-profit trade show aimed at celebrating independent, sustainable drinks producer – and The Craft Distilling Expo. And don’t forget to make some time to celebrate Negroni Week from 13th to 19th September too. Hope you have a great one and hopefully see you somewhere along the way! 🍸🛎🛎