So, what’s a Scottish Gin then? (part 1)
It’s getting on for two years now since I had the urge to get involved in the world of gin. Around the UK, new gins were emerging at the rate of one per week.
I wanted to create some kind of portal that the general public could tap into to find out what was going on in the world of gin. The light bulb came on above my head and I realised it had to be Scottish Gin that I focussed on.
After all, what could be more marketable than the ‘Scottish Brand’. I’m based in Scotland and so are my businesses so it made sense to focus on Scotland. Furthermore, the number of Scottish Gins on the market made the whole project manageable – or so I thought!
In the Autumn of 2015, we started developing a Scottish Gin App. There were only around 20 Scottish Gins at the time – so Bingo! A nice manageable selection to work with.
Fast forward to Spring 2017 and I’m losing count. Just like the UK as a whole, two years ago, it seems like there’s a new Scottish Gin landing every week. Well, not quite but there are now somewhere around 60 brands generally recognised as ‘Scottish’ and the list is still growing.
Given that the task in hand is much bigger than I envisaged in Autumn 2015, the Gin App has now been shelved as we have moved quickly to build up The Scottish Gin Society’s social media presence and are constructing a pretty sophisticated website.
And the big question which is increasingly perplexing many in the industry is ‘What is actually a Scottish Gin?’.
There have been a number of recent articles questioning the provenance of gin brands which appear to be Scottish. At The Scottish Gin Society, our fundamental core principle is to be a collaborative organisation. We are absolutely not about naming and shaming so-called imposters.
But there are plenty in the industry who are, understandably, very keen to do just that. As Scottish Gin starts to create momentum in markets outside its home territory, so too comes the push to create ‘Scottish Gin The Brand’.
At The Scottish Gin Society, we are seeking to become a source of comprehensive information about the world of Scottish Gin. So it’s part of our DNA to help create and promote ‘Scottish Gin the Brand’.
However, we are not here to call out those brands, commonly thought to be Scottish, which are not really. Many of Scotland’s most knowledgeable gin experts will be quick to point out that defining what is Scottish could be harder than you think.
Watch out for my next blog post when I will tell you more………….
Stephen White, Founder, The Scottish Gin Society