Kirkjuvagr secured its accolade in the fiercely contested Distilled Gin of the Year category of the awards, held in Glasgow last week. Orkney Distilling Ltd was also a finalist in the Excellence in Marketing section of the event.
The Scottish Gin Awards, held in partnership with The Scottish Gin Society, is a new annual business event celebrating innovation and excellence in gin distilling in Scotland.
Scotland now produces over 70-per cent of the gin consumed in the UK, with exports predicted to outsell whisky by 2020.
The awards saw 75 Scottish gins marked by 12 expert judges in a blind tasting, adjudicated by the international sensory management consultancy, Cara Technology. Award categories covered everything from innovation, export and marketing, to design and business growth.
Stephen Kemp, who manages Orkney Distilling Ltd with his wife Aly, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have come away from this first Scottish Gin Awards with such a prestigious accolade. We only launched Kirkjuvagr last year and, whilst sales have far exceeded our expectations, we were keen to see how our gin would fare when going head to head with the country’s more established brands. To secure a bronze medal in the Distilled Gin of the Year section of the event, after scrutiny by the country’s top gin experts, is a massive achievement for all the Kirkjuvagr team. It was also hugely encouraging for us to reach the final of the Excellence in Marketing category.”
He added: “Work on our new distillery and visitor centre in Kirkwall is nearing completion and we very much look forward to being able to properly display our award when our doors open to the public early next year.”