New Edinburgh Distillery!

The Holyrood distillery will be the first single malt whisky distillery in operation, in the centre of Edinburgh, since 1925!

Nestled in a 180 year old railway building at the edge of Holyrood Park, the distillery is set to officially launch on the 30th of July. Just in time for the festival. The distillery will offer guided tours and will house a visitor centre/shop. Currently they are producing a small range of gins that will be for sale in their shop, along with a selection of gifts and a private collection of vintage whiskies. The tours on offer at the moment range from a basic distillery tour, whisky/gin experiences to a whisky masterclass with their head distiller.

Holyrood Distillery is the outcome of the vision from Rob & Kelly Carpenter, who started the Canadian branch of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, along with David Robertson, former Master Distiller at The Macallan! Together they wanted to bring back a distillery to the city they love and produce some top notch spirits along the way.

If you will be up in Edinburgh after the 30th try and pop in for a tour! Tell them whiskymerchant.com sent you!

Tickets can be booked at www.holyrooddistillery.co.uk

5 Great Gins to Start the Summer off Right.

Let me start this off by saying this is not an end all, be all list! This is just a list of some our favourites at this very moment, and changes all of the time. There are SO many great gins out right now with more and more coming out every day. This list is in no particular order.

Nikka Coffey Gin

Where it’s from: Japan, Nikka Distillery

WM Thoughts: Easily one of the best gins out there. In true Nikka fashion, they have put an incredible amount of work and passion into this gin. It’s honestly miles above a lot of other gins out there. Knowing what we know about Nikka, we had a feeling this gin would be good, just didn’t realise it would be this good! It is pricier than most gins on the market, but man is it worth the try. They used 11 botanicals that were perfectly handled and made this gin so nicely balanced. You can taste the complexity and the silky texture you get from that Coffey Still. The bright and zesty nature is perfect for your summer cocktails. There is a touch of apples, exotic citrusy fruits relating to the history of Nikka, at the end you get a nice citrus zest and spice hints of the Japanese Sansho pepper on the finish.

Price: £47.83 – bit.ly/31y8Udg

Aviation Gin

Where it’s from: Portland, Oregon

WM Thoughts: I know since Ryan Reynolds bought over this gin, it just exploded on the market. Please don’t let that put you off if you haven’t tried it yet. I do know a lot of people that avoid mass marketed products, alcohol or otherwise. You would be doing yourself a disservice not trying it. I remember before RR had bought it, Aviation was known amongst enthusiasts as a fantastic gin. After the takeover they had an injection of life with an absolutely stellar marketing team! Carefully crafted in Portland, you can definitely taste the juniper throughout, with sarsaparilla flavours and the citrus peel helps punch out the lavender.

Price: £32.09 – bit.ly/2MNOJVj

Caorunn Raspberry Scottish Gin

Where it’s from: Scotland, Balmenach Distillery

WM Thoughts: We absolutely love Caorunn’s standard expression, but thought we’d add something a little different to this list with tasty raspberry gin. Caorunn is carefully crafted in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park at the Balmenach Distillery, where the surroundings provide them with some of the best ingredients to create this delicious spirit. The distillery has so much wonderful heritage producing some great spirits, it’s not surprising their gin is so good. In addition to the 11 botanicals (5 local and 6 traditional) used in the base spirit, they are crafting it with Perthshire raspberries in small batches. The raspberry infusion gives it such a nice and bright fruity flavour with some great tartness coming from the Rowan berries! Perfect in a G&T garnished with raspberries and apple.

Price: £20.99 – bit.ly/2RafWQm

Hernö Gin

Where it’s from: Sweden

WM Thoughts: This one is not as widely known outside of Europe. Hernö was the most awarded gin in Europe 2013-2017, as well as being named World’s best gin by IWSC. Needless to say this a must try gin so you can form your own conclusion! They were the first dedicated gin distillery in Sweden, so from day one their sole focus has been to craft the best possible gin. Using natural and organic ingredients, along with being distilled in their hand hammered copper stills just adds to the great story behind Hernö. Tastes of ripe berries, lemon zest and finishes with a nice bite of black pepper.

Price: £31.95 – bit.ly/2F8uyeh

Isle of Harris Gin

Where it’s from: Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

WM Thoughts: This one is a fun one for us! A couple of us have our roots in Harris and are always pleased when we can support something so close to our chest! This gin is the first spirit release from the distillery and is being received well. It is nicknamed “The Social Distillery ” because it holds tight to it’s connection to the local community and embracing nature of the people who live there! You would be doing yourself a favour by taking a trip up there. The gin uses 9 carefully selected botanicals, one of which being the local sugar kelp. The sugar kelp is hand-harvested by a friend of the distillery and local diver, from the sea-lochs nearby. This botanical gives the gin great intricate maritime flavours. Orange peel, grapefruit and coriander, with a nice crisp and sweet seaweed taste. Getting a hold of this one is a bit different as the only place you can order it is from Harris Distillery itself, through delivery or click & collect. I highly recommended you ordering a bottle from them!

Price: £37.00 – bit.ly/Isleofharris

AN EXTRA ONE FOR GOOD MEASURE!

The Botanist Gin

A gin known by most already and needs no real introduction! Created by the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay. Most definitely an essential gin for anyone’s shelf! Always ranks as a favourite from all of us here! bit.ly/2wPNV7r