With less than two weeks to go before the very first International Scottish Gin Day, which takes place on the 3rd Aug, I thought it was time to review yet another Gin from this stunning part of the UK, which is now producing gins as diverse as the country itself.
According to the Visit Scotland website, Scotland’s love affair with Gin started all the way back in the 1700’s in Leith where the Dutch Jenever was traded in the port.
It also states that Scottish Gin’s account for 70% of all the UK’s gin production, with international names such as Hendrick’s, Gordon’s and Tanqueray all being produced there. This stat comes as no surprise, with Scotland long being a producer of fine spirits, especially whisky, the facilities are already in place for production of Gin as well.
That brings me nicely onto my latest review which is a gin called SOS, aptly ‘Scotland’s Other Spirit’.
Produced in Loanhead, Midlothian, SOS is the brainchild of Mark, who spent 20 months of planning and preparation, before finally launching his Gin in January of this year.
Born in the Lowlands of Scotland, Mark wanted to use local botanical’s to create a gin with a slightly alternative taste. The Scottish Lowland Juniper is hand harvest to ensure that the future seasons harvest isn’t compromised.
Rose-hips are also hand foraged and de-seeded, before returning the seeds to nature, while the rhubarb used is sourced from family and friends gardens and allotments – a truly local gin!
These three main botanical’s are then blended with Chamomile, part of the Asteraceae family of plants that also includes Sunflowers and Marigolds. The delicate floral note that it lends to the Gin brings a subtle sweetness whilst also being warming.
Blended and distilled in a copper still, SOS is a London Dry style gin which is produced at Strathearn Distillery. Whilst this is distilled under contract, SOS oversea the distillation and are fully involved in the bottling, it is their recipe and Strathearn Distillery do not have access to it.
The bottle itself it striking – the angel emblem in foil print really stands out, complete with its glass stopper, it would look incredible on any gin shelf around the world.
When trying the gin on its own, the nose is soft, floral and mildly fruity. The rhubarb is most noticeable after the Juniper.
On the palette it continues to be soft and well rounded, with the rose hips bringing balance, at 45% vol, this is no light gin, but on the tongue it is far from being harsh.
I also tried the gin with a light tonic, with it subtle botanicals being so perfectly balanced, I wanted to let these shine through, and boy did they. A splash of tonic and ice and the floral notes came alive as did that beautiful rhubarb undertone, not to fruity but with ‘just a hint’ of fruit, their signature serve is with with a few berries thrown in.
I then try the gin again, this time with a Mediterranean Tonic, I find that the herbaceous rosemary lends itself well to this tonic too, with its botanicals really standing up to it well.
SOS gin is yet another fine example of a great Scottish Gin that utilises the wonderful nature on its doorsteps, while doing so carefully in order to be fully sustainable, which is a great attribute to have.
You can order your very own SOS by visiting their site here
And if you would like to find out more about all the amazing things going on for International Scottish Gin Day on the 3rd Aug – visit the official site here
SOS Gin was sent to me for reviewing purposes free of charge, in exchange for my honest feedback,. This post and all contained within it are the sole thoughts and honest opinions of Manchester Food Tourist