Scotland Eats Out is a Food & Drink blog run by two food fanatics living and working in Scotland. We sent them a sample of Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin to see what they thought.
"After one sip we were instantly impressed with the beautiful freshness of this gin. After trying many new gins over the last year we can say this would now easily make the top 10 that we have ever tried, it really was that good."
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-er-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.”
Orkney Distilling has developed a new partnership with Rosslyn Chapel to produce a gin to celebrate the Midlothian chapel’s Orkney links.
We’re incredibly pleased to have formed an association with Rosslyn Chapel as there is such a close historic connection to Orkney. The ‘Prince of Orkney’ Gin is exclusively labelled for sale at Rosslyn Chapel and includes a number of Orkney-grown botanicals, including a variety of Angelical Archangelica, which is unique in the British Isles to Orkney. The result of these high quality ingredients, paired with the artisan production process, is a smooth spirit with a scent reminiscent of fresh sea breeze and a sweetness reminiscent of sherbet, lemon and pines.
Rosslyn Chapel’s connection with Orkney goes back to its very origins, when Sir William St Clair, 3rd Prince of Orkney, founded it in 1446. Sir William’s grandfather, Sir Henry St Clair, became 42nd Jarl in 1369, and 1st St Clair Prince of Orkney in 1389, and this latter title remained in the family until 1470. The gin has been named ‘The Prince of Orkney’ to mark this link.
Ian Gardner, director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said: “We are delighted to have created this new partnership with Orkney Distilling and can now provide an innovative taste of Orkney for our visitors. The gin is available in 10cl, 20cl and 70cl bottles from the chapel’s visitor centre, and income from the shop supports the conservation of the chapel.”
That's right - you can now find our original Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin in 70 Co-op stores across Scotland as they introduce new product lines to keep up with the demand for high quality gins.
The Co-op’s history, brand and ethos are a great fit with our brand so we're delighted to be widening our retail reach and opening up the Kirkjuvagr experience to more people.
Co-op stores are valued in the local, and often rural, communities which they serve. This opportunity opens up new markets for our gin, raising awareness of our brand at a key time in our business development.
So if you're new to Kirkjuvagr, pop along to your local Co-op and pick up a bottle to experience it for yourself.
We're delighted to announce that we've made the finals of the Scottish Gin Awards 2017, being shortlisted in the Distilled Gin of the Year and Excellence in Marketing categories.
The finalists were announced yesterday for the first annual Scottish Gin Awards with 28 producers and 56 gins progressing to finalist stage in the new national competition.
Having only been on sale since August 2016 we're extremely pleased to be representing Orkney on a national stage with so many excellent and more established gin brands.
Chair of the judging panel, Stephen White, founder of the Scottish Gin Society which sponsors the competition commented:
“Chairing the judging session for the Scottish Gin Awards was challenging but one which the panel absolutely thrived on. We reviewed a total of 60 written entries which we debated thoroughly, ensuring the process was rigorous, fair and crucially, free from any commercial influence.
“The evidence we reviewed showed that the Scottish gin industry is a vibrant, creative and high quality centre for the delivery of premium product which is among the best in the world. I expect that we will see many of our top producers gain the recognition that will come from winning one of these sought after awards.”
The winners will be announced at the Scottish Gin Awards dinner and celebration on Thursday 14 September 2017 held at the Doubletree by Hilton, in Glasgow. Fingers crossed!
Last Saturday we had the pleasure of attending the Taste of Grampian one-day food and drink festival. Visitors came from far and wide to discover and sample the wide range of high quality food and drink products from all over the Country, as well as the Scottish Isles.
At our stand we barely stopped all day, meeting gin enthusiasts, sharing our story of Kirkjuvgar Orkney Gin and giving out samples of our original and new Storm Strength gin, Arkh Angell.
As you might spot from the photo, we also had a couple of our unique and eye-catching Orkney Gin Taps on display which certainly drew a lot of attention from the crowd.
Thanks to those of you who came along and don't forget to take a look at our shop to buy Kirkjuvagr and our other merchandise online. And there's 10% off your first order of Kirkjuvagr Original Gin when you sign up to our mailing list.
Arkh-Angell - Our Navy Strength Orkney Gin is now available!
Battling storms at sea is an intense and serious undertaking, but it’s one that generations of Orcadian mariners have excelled at. Good seamanship remains a skill that commands respect in these islands.
It therefore seemed appropriate, when we were exploring how best to continue The Saga of Kirkjuvagr Gin, that we somehow pay homage to our brave local seafarers and all those who ply the world’s oceans.
And what better way to do it than with a traditional 57% version of Kirkjuvagr.
Others would class this a Navy Strength gin. For us, it had to be Storm Strength.
Anchoring our tribute to seafarers is a variety of Norwegian angelica, known as Archangelica, which still grows today on the Orkney island of Westray.
The Arkh-Angell name also connects this signature ingredient with our own family’s proud seafaring heritage and the legendary Westray fishing boat that remains close to the heart of many islanders.
Although stronger than original Kirkjuvagr, Arkh-Angell retains its elder spirit’s fabled smoothness, while adding new depths to its renowned flavour profile.
Orcadians laugh in the face of storms. You can do the same by all means, but remember to wrap up well and be particularly responsible when enjoying Arkh-Angell. You have been warned.