Did you know that Mary Queen of Scots was born, and spent the first seven months of her life in Linlithgow Palace? Celebrating this royal link, Linlithgow Distillery has created their ‘Four Marys’ project – four new distinctive Scottish gins produced in Linlithgow.
They have been working on the Four Marys since Summer 2018 and during December 2018, they previewed the first two expressions to gauge the reaction. And it must have been great because they released their first ‘Mary’ in February and have just announced the release of their second!
Who are the four Marys?
Mary Queen of Scots is renowned worldwide but what is less well known is she had four ladies-in-waiting who were all known as Mary and who remained loyal to her throughout her life.
These are the ladies that have given the Linlithgow Distillery team the inspiration to create four unique gins – each with a unique character like their namesakes.
Mary one – The Zesty Sherbert Gin
Mary Fleming, ‘the lively one’ was renowned for her dazzling presence and skills in entertaining the Court with music and dance, attracting many would-be suitors along the way.
Her gin is distilled with Kaffir lime, yuzu and star anise alongside more traditional botanicals Juniper, Coriander and angelica combine to give this gin a delightful tingly burst of flavour, reminiscent of an old-fashioned sherbet fountain.
This gin sits at 46% Abv and whilst it is smooth enough to drink neat, the team at Linlithgow Distillery recommend that a mixer is used to give the best “sherbet” effect. They recommend serving with a full-fat plain tonic or a lemon tonic, garnished with a wedge of lemon. To add some extra fizz, sprinkle over half a teaspoon of sherbet crystals.
Mary two – The Bonnie Bramble Gin
Mary Livingston, ‘the bonny one’ was full of spirit and joyous in her approach to life. A skilled horsewoman, she would ride, hunt and hawk with Mary and her nobles – indulging her lusty outdoor nature.
Her gin is distilled with fresh raspberry leaves and infused with Scottish brambles, and imparts a rounded, fresh fruity taste and aroma.
The nose is juniper prominent with a hint of berry at the back.
The taste is of tart bramble. With no added sugar and sitting at 40%, this is a dry, fruity gin packed full of flavour.
The long finish is malty caramel with a lingering berry aftertaste.
If you like your gin dry then they recommend a full-fat premium tonic with brambles to garnish. If you prefer a sweeter gin then try an elderflower tonic with brambles to garnish.
Marys three and four
Currently in development, these gins will represent Mary Seton and Mary Beaton and will complete the series.
We can’t help but think how great it would be to have all four of these beautiful bottles on our gin shelf, the stunning designs by SBP Creative would be a welcome addition and with a fantastic story to tell. That is if we can keep them that long!
You can buy the first two Marys online direct from the Linlithgow Distillery Shop.