Bloody Evenings, Bright Colours and a Perth State of Mind

Has anyone else noticed it yet? The odd twinkly light in a shop window? The Scottie-dog-festooned cards popping up in charity stores? A suspicious box of mince pies slipped into your shopping trolley by a hungry family member? No, I do not jest – we are officially in “the lead up to Christmas”. I doubt a more terrifying term exists on this earth but lucky for us we have had a million and one events to enjoy – and a million and one more to come – before Santa touches down. Sadly we will be retiring our gazebo as the cold weather encroaches and next year will see our new branding hit the festivals. Farewell, old friend!

Many of you may have noticed that we released two beautiful new products in August – our long-awaited Folklore Collection Gin Liqueurs, the Red Cap and the Green Lady. What we haven’t shared with you yet is how we came by their gorgeous illustrations. Enter Ritchie Collins, or perhaps re-enter is the correct term as it was he who designed our existing Wallace Monument and Stirling Bridge images. Ritchie is a Leith-based artist who completed his education in Glasgow and developed his bold and brilliant style in a gallery in Morningside. He has long had a fascination with myth and legend and when we approached him with our red cap and ghostly green lady characters, he knew exactly how to depict them. His illustrations capture the beautiful and sinister sides of our Scottish mythology and truly showcase his rich and colourful style of painting.

You can see Ritchie’s work here but we strongly suggest you visit his gallery in Leith. You will not be disappointed.

It seemed as though Perth was the place to be this September. Run by the incredibly Provender Brown on George Street, the annual Perth G&T Festival took place on Saturday the 15th and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the most loved gin cocktail. Festival-goers were treated to their favourite gin in a variety of perfect serves – we still think our fresh basil and orange peel blows the rest out of the water. If free-flowing food was more your thing, you may have found yourself attending a slightly different festival that week. Friday the 14th to Sunday the 16th saw Perth’s streets inundated with some of the world’s finest cuisine at the Taste of Perthshire Food Festival. Our direct experience with food may only stretch to our garnishes but we were there to quench some serious thirsts. We even had the enormous honour of meeting famous French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli who brought his multiple Michelin stars to some fabulous cooking demonstrations across the weekend. Below you can see him rubbing shoulders with Charlie, our newest and luckiest recruit!

It feels like we were talking about this year’s Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival all year so it’s a shock to realise the big weekend has come and gone. As one of the festival’s main sponsors we are given the enviable opportunity to take part in the many and varied talks, events, award nights and the titular torch procession winding from Stirling Castle to the Albert Halls. This year’s events saw talks on crime fiction tourism, the real CSI, violence against women, writer’s responsibility in real life crime and breaking writing barriers from some of the world’s most acclaimed and successful writers. The weekend began with some Stirling Gin Bloody Scotland cocktails in the breathtaking Church of the Holy Rude where the winner of this year’s William McIlvanney prize was announced. It turns out the writing apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Liam McIlvanney scooped the prize with his new novel The Quaker. We could go on about Bloody Scotland for days but the quickest way to get in the know is to attend next year’s festival. Keep your eye on Stirling Gin’s social media to grab an early ticket.

And so we finally move to October, one month closer to eggnog and the usual family dramas. You’ll have to bear with me for a few moments as we’ve planned an absolutely bumper few weeks.

First up is a gin and rum festival a little further from home than usual – Olives at the Station in Whitley Bay are showcasing spirits from all over the UK in their beautiful beer garden and Stirling Gin have managed to bag a spot. Tickets can be bought here and it’s well worth the trip to the seaside. If you’re staying local that weekend, the Scottish Gantry in Stirling are holding their Alhambra Whisky Festival on Saturday the 6th and while we don’t (yet) have whisky we will be offering a welcome break with our perfect serves and Folklore Collection Liqueurs. The big day is fast approaching so grab a ticket here.

In one of their final events of the year, the Gin Fayre are hitting up Elgin on Saturday the 20th of October. Located in the lovely Laichmoray Hotel the festival will offer its usual array of gin producers along with a goody bag on arrival – what’s more, we are running our very own masterclass where we will be sharing creative ideas, cocktails and our beautiful new liqueurs. Grab your tickets here – you won’t regret it.

We are planning a special treat this Halloween with Stirling-based ghost aficionado David Kinnaird. David has treated fans of the occult to his spookily crafted tours for the last twenty five years and what began as a community project now employs a variety of actors all passionate about communicating Stirling’s ghostly heritage. We are teaming up with David to delve into the tale of our Green Lady and you can be sure we will be giving out samples at the same time. For More information and to book our very special Stirling Gin ghost tour please visit here.

I’ve left the best till last, as is my want. From Friday the 5th to Sunday the 7th we will be making the journey down to London to take part in this year’s Cake and Bake show at ExCel on Royal Victoria Dock. We reached out to our baking public for a boozy bake recipe and boy did they deliver. It was a hard choice but the delicious sweet treats of Karen’s House of Cakes won us over with their bouquet cupcakes. Each cupcake will use our Green Lady and Red Cap liqueurs to make some truly moreish bakes and we can’t wait to share them with our London fans. For tickets to the Cake and Bake show visit their website here and to treat your eyes to Karen’s creations visit here.

Happy October!

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Folklore And A Work Of Art

As you may have heard, Stirling Gin have released their long-awaited (and much anticipated) Folklore Collection Gin Liqueurs, the Red Cap and the Green Lady. We’ve talked about their taste and colour, their messy creation in a hand-wrung fruit press and the mythology behind their names; now it’s time to share the story of their beautiful artwork.
Ritchie Collins has been operating and working in his gallery near The Shore of Leith for the past eight years. He is tall and softly spoken and surprisingly clean for someone working regularly with such vivid and bright paints. After studying art in Glasgow, Ritchie worked in a gallery in Edinburgh’s Morningside where he started to develop his eye-catching and trademark style. His work is bold in colour, beautifully rich and harmonious, and many of his large landscapes depict the streets of Leith where he has so obviously found a warm home. He loves to paint places as he sees them and to represent the vibe of where he is – or as he so beautifully puts it, “capturing the dream of a place”.
While working in Morningside, Ritchie decided to delve into children’s book illustration and he found himself researching the world of myth and legend to inspire his paintings. We have been lucky enough to have worked with Ritchie in the past (the keen observer will see his work in the Wallace Monument and Stirling Bridge designs on our current gin bottles) and when Cameron and June approached him with their brief for the mythological Red Cap and the mysterious ghostly Green Lady it was clearly another match made in heaven. Ritchie has managed to capture the sinister side of both characters and the drawings of fruit festooning the lower half of the bottles are mouthwatering in their detail.
Ritchie’s paintings can be bought on his website http://www.ritchiecollinsgallery.co.uk and in his gallery in Leith and I can’t recommend a visit highly enough. His gallery shows other local artists’ work and is clearly a place where passion and beauty are forever intermingling. Do yourself a favour and simply stand in front of one of Ritchie’s large scale paintings. The effect is astonishing and with the Folklore Collection from Stirling Gin you can take a little piece of Ritchie home in your liqueur. Ritchie will also be designing the graphics for our upcoming Battle Strength Gin but we’re keeping that a secret. Just for now.

Food Festivals, Breaking Ground and a Whole Lot of Crime

It’s a time of year we all know well – the nights are drawing in, the mornings take just a little longer to brighten the horizon and jackets are being dusted off and reluctantly re-donned. Few could complain about this year’s summer season so there is a sense of loss in these early days of Autumn. Especially as we see the close of the country-wide Highland Games for another year.

We farewelled the season with two games that were particularly close to home. On Sunday August 5th we set up our gazebo in the neighbouring town of Bridge of Allan where we were kept a close eye on by the striking Wallace Monument. Bridge of Allan has long attracted famous visitors, including a young Robert Louis Stevenson who loved to explore the slopes of Dumyat Hill, an inspiration for his famous novel Treasure Island. We may not carry quite the same weight as Stevenson but as a local gin we do tend to gather our fair share of admirers. The Stirling Highland Games on Saturday August 18th was another chance for us to celebrate our home town and it is fitting that this will be our last for the year. While the Stirling Games are a relatively late addition to the roster – the first one only popped up in 1870 – they are immensely popular with over 4000 spectators turning up in its very first year. We are honoured to call such a beautiful area home.

We are very lucky to be one of the main sponsors of the fabulous Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival, set to kick off on Friday September 21st with a Stirling Gin drinks reception and the torch procession through Stirling city. There have been several events leading up to September, the most exciting of which involving several talks and readings at the Edinburgh Book Festival, and we got to take part in a very special evening at Edinburgh’s Waterstones. On Monday August 20th, Lin Anderson (author of The Special Dead and Driftnet to name just two) launched her new novel Sins of the Dead to a very enthusiastic audience. We were there to serve our delicious Stirling Gin Bloody Scotland cocktail and we have to say that Lin really knows her crime. Lin is one of the pioneers of the Bloody Scotland festival and we were thrilled to see her in action.

For those of you who headed into the Highlands over the weekend of August the 23rd to the 26th for this year’s Blair Horse Trials, you may have suffered in the pretty serious traffic issues along and around the A9. This is a common problem in a Scottish summer and luckily we had the perfect cure waiting at the other end. The Blair Horse Trials saw the first official public outing of our brand new Folklore Collection Gin Liqueurs, the Green Lady and the Red Cap. Releasing these beauties has taken months of rigorous experimenting, pressing and tasting (that part was definitely the easiest) so you will have to forgive us for being a little over excited. Our liqueurs use fresh fruit, all sourced from Scotland, and are completely natural in colour and flavour. The Red Cap is simply bursting with raspberry sweetness while the Green Lady hits the nose with a rush of mint followed by the smooth fruitiness of brambles. We’re sure that even the horses would have loved them, had they asked for a taste.

You may have noticed that we are opening Stirling’s first legal distillery very soon (we’ve been talking about it a lot, only every minute of every day) and October will finally see us breaking ground with the construction. After months of red tape and contractors and grant applications we will be on site planning our still room, mezzanine office, retail shop, production and packaging line and extensive garden. Yours truly will be planting seasonal flower beds, citrus and herb gardens, wild flower patches and bee-friendly plantations to help feed the bees on next door’s property. In preparation for our first day of construction we invited our local MSP Bruce Crawford to visit the building and took him through our plans and what we hope to contribute to the city of Stirling. I think it’s safe to say we gained another fan.

So what do we have planned for September? On Tuesday the 4th we will be attending the Scotsman Food and Drink Awards, specifically the reception where we are sharing our Bloody Scotland cocktail as a welcome drink. These awards celebrate the very best of Scottish food, spirits and the venues that offer them and we are thrilled to be one of its sponsors.

Summer festivals may have come to an end but Scotland’s gin festivals are still in full swing. On Friday the 7th and Saturday the 8th we will be taking part in the Ayr Gin Fayre, one of many events run by the company all over Scotland. Unfortunately for the public (and fortunately for the event organisers) tickets are completely sold out on both days so if you already have your spots booked we can’t wait to see you there for a very busy weekend! If you’ve missed out on Ayr, you’ll be thrilled to know that we are also taking part in the Best of the West Festival in Inverary on the 7th, 8th and 9th of September. Set in the stunning grounds of Inverary Castle, the Best of the West is arguably the most impressive boutique festival in Scotland where music lovers, foodies and drinks enthusiasts gather to celebrate their many and varied pleasures. We will be there with samples and bottle sales – keep your eye out for our Folklore Collection. Grab a ticket for this brilliant event here.

Every year we look forward to the Wee G&T Festival in Perth as it celebrates the very best, most popular gin cocktail in history. Gin brands are given the chance to showcase their unusual botanicals, distillation techniques and unique perfect serves to really set off their gin creations. Run by Provender Brown Deli this is not an event to be missed – grab a ticket here.

To keep the Perth theme going we are also appearing at the Taste of Perthshire Food Festival on September 14th, 15th and 16th. Armed with our London Dry Stirling Gin and Folklore Collection liqueurs we are joining some of Scotland’s finest food and alcohol producers – rumour has it that the food demonstrations are out of this world. This is a free event in the heart of Perth city centre – for more information visit their Facebook page here. Here’s hoping we get another visit from the fantastic foodie Tony Singh!

And finally, September 21st sees the official start of the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival. There are too many events, readings, shows and signings to mention here but a few things this avid reader is looking forward to include; Alanna Knight and Alex Gray in conversation; The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers and their murderously funny songs; Lin Anderson on the psychologist’s couch to discuss why she writes crime; and Stuart MacBride’s talk about his brand new novel and hopefully an update on his World Stovies Championship placing. A full list of events can be found on their website here and rest assured, we will be there every day with our very own Bloody Scotland cocktail.

Happy September!

Stirling Gin offer a variety of tasting packages for private parties, business functions, club events and more. Prices start at £20 – get in touch with Lara at larawilliams@stirlinggin.co.uk for more information. And remember, if you’re simply after a bottle for yourself or as a gift, they can be bought online here.

The Great Outdoors, Folklore and a Literary State of Mind

This time of year it’s easy to forget that the world revolves around anything other than the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Comedy, music, circus, cabaret and theatre aside, we’re keeping to our roots and venturing ever further into the Scottish countryside and the many and varied activities of agricultural and highland shows.

Saturday July 7th saw us splitting our talents at both the Dunblane Agricultural Show and the Luss Highland Games. The brilliant summer weather kept us dry and (a little too) warm – nothing a refreshing G&T couldn’t fix. Luss was a particularly meaningful event for us as the female (and arguably better) half of our ownership team grew up in the area. Held since 1875 the Luss Games were started by an enthusiastic group of farmers and sportsmen and the tradition has continued ever since.

The kilted dash at Luss Highland Games

We also sent June to the Airth Highland Games on July 28th. The history of these games goes a little further back – there is a rumour that in 1488 Prince James’ rebel soldiers camped in the area and played games in preparation for an upcoming battle in Sauchieburn. While we had to battle high winds on the day we definitely didn’t find ourselves at war and our gin samples went down without a fight.

Running and gin may not be a pairing that immediately leaps to mind but on July 8th we took our gazebo down to Gateshead and set up for the Great North 10k. There’s nothing quite as thirsty as a person at the end of a hot, sweaty race and we were there to provide relief.

The Great North Run Company encompasses 10k races, half marathons and marathons all over the UK, is the largest of its kinds in the world and offers research and support into better health and well being. At any of their events you will find serious runners intent on beating their personal bests, families out to get active and spend time together and groups raising money for medical research.

If you’re very lucky you may even see Colin Plews who is much better known as the man behind The Big Pink Dress. He certainly needed a G&T after the race but more importantly he needs donations. You can find more information about the good work he does here.

 

 

Since we released Stirling Gin in 2015 we have relied on a single product to build our empire. It’s taken time to perfect our next venture but we are finally ready to announce that we are releasing our long awaited Folklore Collection comprised of two gin liqueurs – the raspberry Red Cap and mint and bramble Green Lady. The creation of these liqueurs has been a real education and we have done all the experimentation by hand.

 

 

Our Join the Journey members had a unique opportunity to sample the Folklore Collection on Sunday July 29th as well as enjoy a tour of our distillery site at the foot of Stirling Castle. Kicking off with a classic Stirling Gin perfect serve we went on to tell the story behind the Red Cap and Green Lady, both of which delve into the folklore of Scotland and Stirling. It’s important to us to celebrate the history of our city and with every product we release we reveal more of the mythology behind our brand. While the Folklore Collection is officially released later on in August, we would love to offer our readers the chance to experience the very first batch before their public unveiling. Visit here to get your hands on a piece of Stirling’s history.

 

 

So what do we have coming up for August? The Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival is just around the corner, one of Scotland’s most respected and grisly literary events on the calendar. As one of the festival’s main sponsors we are supporting each day with our bespoke Bloody Scotland cocktail but the first event on the list involves the fantastic Lin Anderson and her new novel Sins of the Dead. Lin will be appearing at Waterstone’s in Edinburgh on August 20th and we will be there with our bar to hand out our Bloody Scotland and listen to Lin’s newest crime creation. For more information on the event visit Waterstone’s website.

It wouldn’t be a month of Stirling Gin without a Highland Games and on August 5th we will be in our neighbouring town of Bridge of Allan. With one of the most emotive pipe band performances in the country this promises to be a truly memorable day that also boasts competitive wrestling, cycling, running and Highland dancing. We will be there with our gazebo and plenty of gin – pick up tickets here.

On August 18th we are staying close to home and attending the Stirling Highland Games where you can enjoy stunning views of the Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle and Cambuskenneth Abbey. We will be bringing the Folklore Collection in one of their first public outings so this really is a Highland Games not to be missed. Tickets are still available here.

For many people summer in Scotland is not complete without the Blair Horse Trials. Running from August 23rd to 26th this prestigious event offers grassroots eventing, show jumping, pony shows and hunter showing as well as a huge array of craft, food and refreshment stands. If you love the sight of beautiful horses, and love the taste of delicious gin, this is definitely an event for the diary. Read up on the day and grab some tickets here.

With all the gin and whisky festivals out in the world we love attending a festival that celebrates both. On August 25th the Alba Gin and Whisky Festival in Kirkintilloch will bring together the best of distilling talent as well as some cheeky treats from the Chocolate Box. We promise not to abandon our stall and go sampling for ourselves. At least, not for too long. Tickets are available here.

Happy August!

 

Graduations, Highland Views and the Start of Something New

For anyone who is tempted to complain about this year’s summer, let me just get my thoughts in first – THE ROOF OF THE GLASGOW SCIENCE MUSEUM MELTED! It has been hot. Some days have been positively Mediterranean. Lucky for us we’ve had plenty of opportunities to spend our time outdoors. And we remembered the factor 50.

 

The morning of our first annual Gin, Rum and Cocktail Festival was looking dodgy; the drive from Edinburgh bore a strong resemblance to a log flume ride and there was significant flooding in shoes everywhere. Thankfully the clouds parted just as our exhibitors finished setting up and the beautiful grounds of Gean House were bathed in sunshine. Over twenty exhibitors showed off their perfect serves and cocktail recipes and Stirling Spirit Co. ran two masterclasses teaching some curious visitors how to make bar-quality cocktails in their own lounge rooms. Best of all, our handmade fold-down bar made its first official appearance. And it didn’t collapse.

It’s always a risk venturing into the Highlands. In winter you have mere moments of daylight, in summer you have midges and the very real possibility of winter making a comeback. The Lorne Highland Games in Oban were a happy break from tradition. Outstanding blue skies, 20 plus degrees temperatures, a brilliant pipe band and a cable throw to end all cable throws. Stirling Gin kept the visitors well-hydrated with a brimming jug of our Bloody Scotland cocktail. My only regret is I didn’t pop down to the Seafood Shack and snaffle a whole lobster.
Graduating is a massive rite of passage. It is the culmination of years of dedicated work, sacrificed social hours and student discounts that are sorely missed in later years. Stirling University had their summer graduation ceremonies on the 27th and 28th of June and we were there to quench thirsts on the hottest two days in the past 20 years. A marquee in the sun probably wasn’t the best place to be on such a day but the ground of Stirling University were stunning in the sun and it isn’t often every chair on the lawn is taken.
It wasn’t just the Highlands that treated us to the best views in town. Our co-owner and all round wonder woman June went for a road trip down to Harefield on Saturday 30th of June (it’s in London, I had to ask as well) and took part in the Old Orchard Pub Gin Festival. We would be hard-pressed to find a more serene location to sling a gin or two.

 

And now we look to July. It’s not summer unless you’re flying all over the country attending gin festivals. On Saturday July 14th we are wheeling our fold-down bar to the Gin Fall in Greenock. Run by the Scottish Gin Society, Gin Fall is an event recurring all through the year and none of them are to be missed. Your ticket gets you a goody bag with a handbook detailing the gins on offer, a welcome G&T and samples from all the distilleries. Tickets tend to sell out quickly so grab yourself one here.

 

Not to be confused with Gin Fall, Gin Fayre events are also popping up left right and centre and are yet another excuse to enjoy some fine gins and cocktails. Goody bags and welcome drinks will also make an appearance here and the next one can be found in Perth on Saturday July 14th. Yours truly will be attending and as I’m used to a very different kind of Perth make sure you come along and stop me thinking of home. Tickets are available here. Donations towards my homesickness can be made directly into my hand.

It is indeed the season for Highland Games and we’re taking our gazebo to Airth on Saturday July 28th. Airth has a long association with the River Forth and its royal dockyard was used to build warships in the time of James IV. It has a slightly less war-related atmosphere these days but the caber toss is certain to get the blood flowing. If this weather lasts all month then you’ll probably be in need of an ice-cold G&T at the end of the day.

Second only to Highland Games are Scotland’s Agricultural Shows – you’ve not lived until you’ve seen competitions between beautifully groomed Belted Galloway Cows and the worlds’ tiniest miniature horses. We are setting up a shop at both the Doune and Dunblane Show and the Luss Show, one that really warms out hearts as our co-owner June calls the area home. Find us at both shows on Saturday 7th of July and before you say you can’t come to both just remember – our bottles come with their very own canvas gift bag. Just look for the Wallace Monument on our banners.

It’s not right to have favourites with your events but there is one in particular we are super excited to share. On Sunday, August 12th we are taking to the lochs to offer our very first Stirling Gin Cruise with Sweeney’s of Loch Lomond. Setting off from Balloch and enjoying Loch Lomond’s breathtaking scenery for two hours, the cruise will also offer four Stirling Gin drinks all carefully paired with some delicious canapes. Those on board should keep their eyes peeled for our soon-to-be-released Folklore Collection gin liqueurs in the form of a wicked Red Cap and a ghostly Green Lady. Snap up a ticket here.

And finally, we had a little visit from the Scottish Gin Society earlier in the month. They were the first official visitors to our distillery site, currently in need of some major refurbishments, and they wrote a lovely update on our plans here. Work will finally begin this month on The Old Smiddy, now destined to be the first distillery in Stirling. It’s taken a long time to get here and while we have plenty more news in the pipeline we’re keeping it quiet for now. If you are in Stirling any time soon however, you may want to swing past Lower Castlehill and see for yourself our new home.

Happy July!

Stirling Gin offer a variety of tasting packages for private parties, business functions, club events and more. Prices start at £20get in touch with Lara at larawilliams@stirlinggin.co.uk for more information. And remember, if you’re simply after a bottle for yourself or as a gift, they can be bought online (embed link here).

Sponsorship Deals, Gin Fayres, Cocktails and a Very Bloody Scotland!

This month is already proving to be a big one for Stirling Gin. Perhaps it’s because one of our fearless leaders is called June? Perhaps, like a family of hibernating lizards, the sun has kicked our bodies into a frenzy of activity? Whatever the cause, we are delighted to share what has been, what is coming and how we feel about it all.

Stirling Gin have teamed up with Bridgehaugh Park to become the new jersey sponsors for Stirling County Rugby. Local businesses are incredibly important when it comes to backing our smaller teams and skipper Johnny Hope is particularly excited by the deal. Hope, pictured below with our other equally fearless leader Cameron McCann, says “it’s great to have a local company like Stirling Gin prepared to sponsor [the] club and I very much hope their example will be followed by other local companies. This type of backing is the lifeblood of the club.”

Both Cameron and his son Hugo are rugby fans, often to be found at Murrayfield during the season, so its a cause close to Stirling Gin’s heart. Seeing Stirling County compete at Murrayfield against Melrose was a proud moment, despite their defeat. Cameron states, “Stirling County is a key part of the Stirlingshire community and does so much good work with our youngsters (…) we are delighted to do all we can to play a positive part in supporting the institution.”

June 4th and 5th saw us appearing at home and away with the launch of this year’s Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival and our equally anticipated cocktail, the Bloody Scotland. After a brilliant first night in Stirling with the incomparable Alexander McCall Smith at the helm, we travelled down to London to continue the festivities. The gin was flowing. The crime was being read. Heads may have been sore the next day.

Now in its 6th year the Bloody Scotland festival will see the likes of Irvine Welsh, Louise Penny, Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves, Peter James and Chris Brookmyre along with a host of others. Activities will run in Stirling from September 21st – 23rd and tickets can be browsed and bought here. Stirling Gin are a proud sponsor of the festival and we strongly suggest you make it up for the torch procession through the city. It will blow your mind…

 

What else, I hear you ask, could we possibly be up to? If you’re a fan of rum and cocktails then you may want to jot this down. Saturday June 16th will see us host the very first Gean House Gin, Rum and Cocktail Festival. Set in beautiful grounds in Alloa there will be over 60 spirits to try along with masterclasses, meet the maker sessions, a BBQ and some fantastic deals on bottle sales. Tickets can be bought here and remember, the BBQ won’t last long!

There are many reasons to go to Oban (top of the list being to taste the glorious seafood at The Green Shack) but the Lorne Highland Games on June 24th may be a close second. Stirling Gin will be running a gin and cocktail bar, complete with our show stopping Bloody Scotland, and if you’re into cable tossing, tug of war and dog shows then you are in for one fantastic day. Note: the cable throw is an unconfirmed rumour started by yours truly.

Woodwinters in Bridge of Allan are well known for their excellent wine selection, wide-range of gins and brilliant staff knowledge. We usually get a dram of something tasty whenever we go in – for business reasons, of course. This Friday, June 8th, they are hosting their annual Big Gin Tasting in Dunblane and our brand ambassador Stewart Patience has made sure Stirling Gin have their usual spot. Last minute tickets can be bought here. Below is a picture of Stewart with a dog, just because.

Stirling is our home, our heart and our blood. It’s where we pick our nettles, plan our events and write our stories. And on June 9th it’s also the home of sheep judging, tractor admiring and horses in fancy dress. I am of course talking about the Stirling Agricultural Show and to get everyone through the excitement we will be setting up our famous gin stall. You don’t have to own a farm to attend but a healthy love of gin would be a good start.

And finally, if you happen to find yourself in Yorkshire on the 16th of June you will also find us at the Leyburn Gin Fayre. Running over two sessions, this event will see a plethora of gins from all over the world, with a particular emphasis on England and Scotland. Tickets can be bought here – we will be waiting with a nice cold G&T.

Happy June!

 

Stirling Gin offer a variety of tasting packages for private parties, business functions, club events and more. Prices start at £20 – get in touch with Lara at larawilliams@stirlinggin.co.uk for more information. And remember, if you’re simply after a bottle for yourself or as a gift, they can be bought online here.

 

The End (of Dry January) Is Nigh

IF you are one of the three million Brits who is just about to complete a hugely commendable ‘Dry January’ then we have some great news to help you make it through the last 24 hours of what may have seemed like a 31-day spell in purgatory!

But before we get to that good news let’s examine why you should be rewarded for your suffering by sharing the Oxford dictionary definition of purgatory or in gin-drinkers parlance ‘Dry Ginuary’.

In Catholic doctrine purgatory is a state or place of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are expiating their sins before going to heaven.”

Of course, while we at Stirling Gin certainly don’t see gin-lovers as sinners, we are only to happy to send you onward to a state of gin-heaven when you emerge from the expiation of your sins!

What could that be we hear you ask? Well at last it’s time for us to share the good news with you, our dearly beloved brethren of the big-nosed gin that is wild nettle infused Stirling Gin!

From February 1 we will be rewarding all those who have thrown off the sackcloth of repentance, and while we are at it we’ll also indulge those that have continued to ‘sip & sin’ throughout ‘Dry January’, with an offer that will have your flabber positively gasted!!

Yes for the month of February you will be able to get our flagship 70 cl SG big bottle accompanied by a free 5cl cheeky chappy Ginster miniature for the heavenly sum of just £34.99! (plus £2:95 UK postage)

Dear brothers and sisters your prayers have been answered and now all you have to do to enjoy the reward of your purification is click BUY HERE

Stirling Gin…..isn’t it time you #GraspTheNettle!

Stirling Gin Set For Express Service

STIRLING GIN is delighted to announce that it has signed an exclusive deal to become the sole craft gin served by ScotRail on the company’s services throughout Scotland and extending down south.

The five figure deal will see the Stirling based gin distiller supply ScotRail with 1000 of their signature 5cl Ginster miniatures per month.

The agreement provides further proof of the dramatic progress that has been made by SG during its two years in existence.

In September Stirling Gin was nominated in three finals categories of the inaugural Scottish Gin awards, including the blue ribbon London Dry Gin category.

In October the family owned gin distillers won The Best Start-Up Business award at the recent Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce finals.

Co-owner Cameron McCann, who created and owns the wild-nettle infused botanical blend with wife June, said: “Stirling Gin are delighted to have reached an exclusive agreement to supply our unique big-nosed craft gin on all of its trolley services.

“It is a real honour for a young business like SG to have our product on the 44 different ScotRail trolley services that criss-cross Scotland and also span the border into England.

“We are excited about the prospect of our distinctive blend, which has as its key botanical the wild Stirlingshire nettle, reaching a whole new cross-section of gin lovers and we can guarantee that the SG Ginster miniature will enhance the enjoyment of the journey experienced by ScotRail patrons.”

With Stirling Gin set to move into the Old Smiddy distillery in the shadow of Stirling Castle in spring 2018 the agreement with ScotRail undoubtedly offers further proof that SG are becoming one of the key players in the burgeoning Scottish craft Gin scene.

ScotRail’s Head of Customer Experience North, Garry Clark, is in no doubt that the addition of Stirling Gin to the respected rail franchise’s premium drinks selection will only add value for its customers.

He said: “At ScotRail we pride ourselves in sourcing top end products to enhance our customers’ travel experience with us and I have no doubt that the positioning of Stirling Gin as our sole and exclusive craft gin does just that.

“We are also delighted to welcome on board a product and a company who represent and identify themselves with the historic heartland of Scotland.

“With Stirling Gin’s new distillery set for opening in Stirling next spring, these are exciting times for the company and we welcome them warmly to our portfolio of premium suppliers.”

Fourth Annual Stirling Gin Festival proves a record-breaker

Photo: Stirling Gin & Stirling Spirit Company co-owner June McCann & Stirling Gin brand ambassador Stewart Patience

THE fourth annual Stirling Gin Festival has broken all previous records after a sell-out success saw over 1,000 gin-lovers descend on the iconic Stirling Highland Hotel at the weekend.

24 of the most respected gin companies drawn from all across the UK and as far a-field as Spain and New Zealand were present as gin aficionados marched on historic Stirling in their masses, with one long range gin pilgrim travelling a mind-boggling 4949 miles from Scottsdale, Arizona, to sample the delights of what is arguably now Scotland’s foremost gin jamboree.

With the local economy benefitting to the tune of an estimated £100,000 and over 1200 bottles of gin sold spanning the three tasting sessions on Friday and Saturday, it really was a gin-tastic triumph!

SGF is organised and run by The Stirling Spirit Company, a sister business of Stirling Gin and co-owner June McCann admitted the weekend’s success has taken her breath away.

June said: “This is the fourth year that we have organised the Stirling Gin Festival and it just keeps getting bigger and better.

“I think what really appeals to gin-lovers is that they know they are going to be introduced to exciting new craft gins as well as enjoying the opportunity to stock up on old favourites and all of this is done in a warm and friendly environment.

“Added to that every one of the 100 or so gins that were available over the weekend had an interesting story behind it from the sea kelp that is the chief botanical of Harris Gin which is collected by a diver off the island, to the exotic Buddha’s Hand which is the key constituent of Porters Gin from Aberdeen. Clearly the public enjoyed meeting and engaging with our makers and learning all about the providence of their produce.

“So although we are delighted with the sales figures and the benefits that SGF has brought to the local business community, it was also just really satisfying to see how engaged people were and how much the patrons enjoyed sharing conversation with new acquaintances made over the mutual interest provided by our fantastic and varied gins.”

Photo: Claire Fletcher & Georgina Kitching of Lussa Gin.

While a mouth-watering 106 bottles of the home city wild nettle infused Stirling Gin were sold, one of the major success stories was Lussa Gin from the beautiful windswept Isle of Jura, which has as its chief botanical lemon thyme.

And co-owner Claire was keen to hail The Stirling Gin Festival as Scotland’s leading gin-carnivals.

Claire Fletcher said: “We have returned to Jura exhausted after our two day stint at the Stirling Gin Festival. By the second session we’d completely sold out all stock and by the third session we were selling gin on a promise to post it as soon as we got back to Jura!

“Really it was a fantastic event for us and it was great to meet so many gin lovers and tell the story of how we make our gin. It was also really nice to explore Stirling and we’d love to be back in 2018.

“There is no doubt that the Stirling Gin Festival is now firmly established as one of the premier events of this type in Scotland.”

And the good news is plans are already afoot to do it all over again in 2018!

The Prize Guys

STIRLING GIN are delighted to announce that we have won the Best Start-Up Business award at last night’s gala Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards finals night, held at the Dunblane Hydro.

After just two years in existence the award recognition has delighted co-owners Cameron and June McCann, coming as it has at such an early stage of the company’s development.

Stirling Gin also made the finals of the Best Micro Business category and Forth Valley’s Favourite Business, with a second placed finish in the latter underlining just how popular our big-nosed botanical blend has become in such a short period of time.

Co-owner June admits that the accolade came as a pleasant surprise: “We have put an awful lot of hard work into building Stirling Gin up both as a company and of course as a product, as has everybody who featured in the finals night with their respective businesses,” said June.

She continued: “But to actually win an award and have something tangible for all that hard work came as a really pleasant surprise.

“I think because the Best Start-Up Business section was the first award of the night it kind of added to the surprise but the cheer we got when Stirling Gin was called out as the winner is something both Cameron and I will remember for a long time.”

Last night’s recognition comes hard on the heels of Stirling Gin’s triple nomination at the previous week’s inaugural Scottish Gin Society Awards in Glasgow and Cameron McCann has no doubt that with the recognition coming from the Stirlingshire Business community the award has extra gravitas.

He said: “To be lauded for our efforts as Best Start-Up business by the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce means a great deal signifying as it does recognition within our local business community.

“To be presented with the award by the Lord Provost, Christine Simpson, also made it so much more enjoyable. It also underlined just how important the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce is to Stirling.

“So I’d just like to say a huge thanks to the chamber for all the hard work that goes in to putting the awards on and also to everybody who voted for us.

“With our Old Smiddy distillery and visitor centre scheduled to be opened in spring 2018 there are exciting times ahead for Stirling Gin!”