One of the best parts of our job at The Scottish Gin Society is getting out to visit the places in Scotland that produce gins, hearing their story, meeting the makers and, of course, tasting the gin.
That’s why we were delighted to visit Gordon Castle Estate, on the banks of the river Spey in the stunning and historic setting of Fochabers, Moray.
The main purpose of our visit was to find out about the range of gins they produce, but let us give you a short history first to set the scene…
Originally built in the 1400’s, the castle was the seat of the Dukes of Gordon. Over the years it has been extensively redeveloped and in the 1800’s was one of the largest country houses in Scotland.
A large country house and 15th-century tower still remain and have been restored with great dedication by current owners, Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox (descendants of the Dukes of Gordon).
In 2008 Angus and Zara took over the running of the Estate and have since dedicated their time to transforming the traditional sporting estate into a luxury brand and visitor attraction (and they have done an amazing job!).
At the heart of their vision is the 8-acre walled garden and this is where the inspiration for the Gordon Castle Gin range originated.
The ongoing restoration and growing of plants, herbs, fruits and botanicals gave birth to the idea of a hand-crafted, small-batch gin from the estate, using hand-picked ingredients from the garden.
The botanicals for the gin are picked from the estate and sent to Thames Distillers in London, where it is distilled, bottled, and returned to the estate in Moray.
Their original gin is simple and uncomplicated, with lavender and mint from the Walled Garden giving it warming herb notes with a crisp, clean, refreshing finish.
The taste is deliciously light and delicate, in perfect harmony with the surroundings of Gordon Castle Estate and you can taste the hint of lavender and mint when tried neat.
We agree with their philosophy that “We do try not to over-complicate things; life is complicated enough.”
To enjoy Gordon Castle classic gin at its best they recommend a simple G&T with a garnish of mint and a slice of lime and lemon, or straight up with a twist of lemon and a sprig of scorched rosemary.
We also tried the raspberry and plum gin liqueurs, made (of course) with fruit from the walled garden, and matured for 5 months for a delicious and smooth taste. These were the highlights of our day and we had to stop by the shop for supplies to bring home!
The fruits for the liqueurs are hand-picked and sent to Moray Distillery (producers of Avva gin), where it is fermented and bottled. The ABV of the liqueurs vary by the batch and can be anything from 22-30%!
You can try all 3 of their gins in a special gift set, available from their online shop. Not only do the gins taste great, but the elegant and classic bottles will look fantastic on any gin shelf!
Our recommendation, if you get the chance, is to visit the estate to marvel in the hard work that has gone into the restoration, but also to get a feeling for the provenance of the gins they produce.
Our gin collection now feels a little more aristocratic with the addition of the Gordon Castle range!