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We were delighted to have been a part of the second annual Scottish Gin Awards and the sponsors of the prestigious Gin Bar of the Year 2018 for the second consecutive year.
Our congratulations to all the nominees and winners on what was a fantastic night. A gala black tie event at the Glasgow Doubletree saw a 700 strong crowd celebrate the crème de la crème of the Scottish Gin industry on Thursday 20 September. In line with celebrating Scottish gin, licensing partner Caroline Loudon has taken us through some of her favourites for this month's newsletter:
Inspired by our attendance at the fantastic Scottish Gin Awards, and the absolute smorgasbord of gins that we're being served, represented, awarded and cheered that night....here are my thoughts on five gins, some of whom are new to me and a couple that are just absolute favourites already.
Some of you readers may have seen my Orkney Tour mini-blogs in July on LinkedIn when I visited GlenWyvis distillery (@glenwyvis); Dornoch Distillery (@WhiskyCollector); Dunnet Bay Distillers (@RockRoseGin); Highland Park (@HighlandPark); Deerness Distillery (@deer_distillery); J Gow Rum (@JGowRum) and of course, the Orkney Gin Company @OrkneyGin.
Huge thanks to Drinkmonger Edinburgh (@Drinkmongered) who allowed me to take photos in their lovely Bruntsfield premises and entertained my gin and whisky chat for over an hour. Also to Rose & Ammi Flowers at 2 Gillespie Crescent, Edinburgh who colour matched flowers to suit my bottles of gin.
Starting off with Shetland Reel gin. Distilled (I think) in the only distillery on Shetland, at the Saxa Vord Distillery. This gin's unique "Shetland twist" is the use of locally grown, market garden and seashore style, apple mint and bladderwack seaweed. I have the Ocean Scent gin, and I have to say, you can really taste the bladderwack seaweed. The gin itself, drunk without tonic, feels more viscous than others and immediately, the seaweed breath mixed with spice comes through. Serving notes for this gin include drinking with a wedge of pink grapefruit, sprig of mint and one of smoked lavender. I managed two out of those three and made a valiant attempt at the third! We drank it and ate spiced prawns and were pretty delighted.
Staying Island bound, but referring back to the Scottish Gin Awards, our table clapped itself wild for the Isle of Harris Distillers who won the top prize of Gin Distillery of the Year 2018. Congratulations @harrisdistiller from all at TLT. You might also notice that the photo for this particular gin is slightly different from the others. That is for a very simple reason, there is hardly any left in the bottle! What a bottle it is...I use them for Christmas decorations. Anyway, both gin and bottle have won numerous awards, and as seen very recently, they keep on going. This community distillery produces this wonderful gin at Tarbert on Harris, in a still known as "The Dottach". Eight botanicals and of course the famed hand harvested sugar kelp go in to make this subtly fruity liquid. I served in a Harris Gin glass, with plenty of ice and a large portion/wedge of ruby red grapefruit. This time, I was out with friends and the choice of food pairing was antipasti.
The Orkney Gin Company was the last destination on my Summer tour North and Gary and Andrea's offer of a cup of tea probably the nicest I've ever had. Sitting in their kitchen, we chatted about how their meticulously distilled Orcadian product came to be. Years of experimenting, tasting and perfecting their gins. They have moved from hobbyists to award winners in a short space of time. I have a bottle of the Johnsmas and really enjoy the smoothness of this gin. So easy to drink and thoroughly enjoy. Johnsmas is distilled with, (amongst other botanicals) wild rose petals and bell Heather to represent midsummer, which is marked by bonfires, festivals, and music on Orkney. It is light, zesty and we drank it with a red apple garnish. This time, we were on to the sweet course and we had to struggle on with a pear tarte tatin.
Coming back to my home city of Edinburgh, I was introduced to Achroous Gin (produced the Electric Spirit Co who are based in Leith) by the chaps at Drinkmonger and I will not look back. Just look at this bottle! It is exciting, novel, eye catching and goes very well with Chinese lanterns. I really love it and the licorice taste made me fall for the gin too. It is punchy, tasty and takes no prisoners. The Sichuan pepper, fennel seed and of course juniper berries are unmistakable in this luxurious gin. A large wedge of red grapefruit provided the garnish for this long drink. I'm afraid to say that our gin tasting was only accompanied by kettle chips and the odd peanut this time. Three glasses later...
Moving on down to Galloway and the fruits of labour of the Crafty Distillery. Hills & Harbour gin was recommended to me by a friend, and I will in turn highly recommend. A bolt of inspiration this certainly is, and I would love to go and visit this innovative and forward thinking distillery. Back to the tasting, here we have Noble Fir needles & Bladderwrack Seaweed being distilled with 9 other botanicals. The bottle states that it is, "balanced and versatile so you can serve any way you like" and I can't argue with that! So I took my cue and went with cucumber and lime as a garnish, with a couple of squares of Ocelot chocolate. Well, it would be rude not to.
The Scottish Government is running a consultation until 30 November 2018. It is in relation to the Government's proposals to introduce new regulations for the licensing of dog, cat and rabbit breeding which includes an independent accreditation for breeders.
You can download the consultation and have your say here
Whilst Halloween is still a month away, from a licensing perspective it is time to finalise stage one of your Festive licensing arrangements.
The vast majority of Licensing Boards have a Policy on Festive extensions covering much of Christmas and New Year BUT you should take nothing for granted. The policies differ greatly from Board to Board and whilst some grant general extensions, which require no action from licence holders, others set what times and days you can have but this is dependent on applications or notifications from the licence holder. Often there is a significant lead in time.
To make sure you get the full benefit of the season of goodwill, find out what you need to do now and where appropriate take the relevant steps. If you have any concerns or doubts please get in touch.
Stirling Licensing Board are consulting on new draft licensing policy statement.
Falkirk Licensing Board have published their draft licensing policy statement and seek views from stakeholders. The policy can be accessed here and the deadline is 19 October.
Moray Licensing Board's draft statement of licensing policy is accessible here with comments due by 26 October.
Aberdeen has a dual consultation running on both its draft licensing policy statement and its on-sales overprovision policy. The last day for responses is 31 October.
The SCDA has rebranded and relaunched as the Scottish Distillers Association with a revised membership criteria.
In order to be admitted as an accredited Scottish Distiller members must:
The Gambling Commission is currently consulting on changes aimed at 'further protecting children and keeping gambling fair and safe.'
The proposed changes to the Gambling Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice would require online gambling businesses to verify:
This consultation is relevant to all remote gaming and betting licensees, and some remote lotteries. The proposals would also affect consumers of remote gambling.
The Gambling Commission are also keen to hear from identity verification solution providers, in particular where they can provide details of technological and information capabilities.
The consultation closes on 27 November. Full details can be found at here.
The Autumn Equinox signals the start of Autumn and the beer gardens decline for another year. Our licensing solicitors layer up and continue representing clients up and down the country.
We had recent successes at Glasgow Licensing Committee, Midlothian Licensing Board, Fife Licensing Board, Argyll and Bute Licensing Board, Glasgow Licensing Board, Renfrewshire Licensing Board, Edinburgh Licensing Board and East Ayrshire Licensing Board.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at October 2018. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions
05 October 2018
by Stephen McGowan