Piping Live – Brockmans

Last on our list for Piping Live and by no means least we have Brockmans. Now I have been waiting to get this on the list for a long time. At the Juniper festival in Edinburgh I was pairing up Brockmans with the new Pink Grapefruit tonic from Fentimans and I can honestly say it wasn’t like drinking Gin and Tonic, it was its own class. So much so I kept handing people tasters of Pink Grapefruit tonic and sending them over to the Brockmans stand.

Brockmans is the creation of one man Bob Fowkes who for years worked for the big companies such as Diageo. Bobs vision to create a gin Like No Other coupled with his knowledge of the market and marketing abilities gave birth to Brockmans which is indeed a Gin like no other, as no other Gin delivers the flavour Brockmans does.

Brockmans comprises of Blackberries, Cassia bark, Liquorice, Lemon Peel, Coriander, Angelica, Orange Peel, Almonds, Orris and Juniper (it is a Gin). The botanicals are steeped in pure grain spirit for hours to release their oils. Then, Brockmans is distilled in a 100 year old traditional copper still.

To smell you get straight of the bat that blackberry, which makes you think you could be about to taste a flavored vodka (which isn’t all Gins at heart) right and floral on the nose, its bloody excellent on the nose to be honest. To taste the Juniper is there but it’s sweeter, as the wintery fruit taste along with the citrus are dominate. There is also a wee bit of heat which is ginger bread like (you won’t get this with tonic though). Neat on the finish it is dry, which is a great balance from the sweetness on the nose.
Its honestly a wonderful Gin, well done Bob.
Remember we will be running two tasting events at Piping Live on Wednesday 9th August (from 5pm) and Friday 11th at the Piping Centre, Glasgow.

Tickets are available for Friday only now as Wednesday is sold out and can be found following the below link:

Wednesday 9th:

Friday 11th:




Piping Live – Glen Wyvis & Arbikie

Right as I took Monday as a bank holiday for everything I didnt do a post about more Gins for Wednesday and Friday.

First off, we have added a fifth Gin to bill! Arnt we good to you. Mainly because I have been trying to get Glen Wyvis Gin back to one of our events for over a year.

So.. Glen Wyvis I discovered when running the Inverness Gin Tour as part of the NIP festival which runs out of Bog Bain Farm at the start of the year (i recommend that all booze lovers get out to one of their events). At this event I decided to slice the top of my finger off while cutting a orange then cracked a blood orange joke.

The distillery is still in development so stay tunned for updates on that. The Gin itself launched in summer 2015 and is the first from Dingwall. The takes it name from Glenskiach and Ben Wyvis, two old now defunct distilleries from the area. Incidentally a skiach is Gaelic for Hawthorn which is one of the botanicals in Glen Wyvis.

Glen Wyvis consists of nine botanicals, which are: locally picked hawthorn, Juniper (it is a Gin), Orange & Lemon Peel, Coriander Seeds, Angelica Root, Cinnamon, Orris Root, Almond Powder.

To taste there is a straight hit of Juniper, which lingers just enough for the Citrus Peel to come through. A very pleasant fresh tasting Gin which tastes like its made with love and attention.

Next on our list is something we haven’t had back in a while and is now my local distillery.

Arbikie is the a relatively new distillery from Angus (my local), well its actually an old one as apparently there was a distillery on the Arbikie estate over a hundred years It is ran by the Stirling family who decided to make the jump into distilling a few years back and who employed distiller Kirsty Black to craft their visions of Whisky, Gin and Potato Vodka.

Incidentally Arbikie are one of the few Gin companies in Scotland who make their own base alcohol. The Potato Vodka their produce (from locally farmed tatties on the Arbikie Farm) forms the base of their main Gin: Kirsty’s Gin.

Kirsty’s Gin, fuses a combination of traditional botanicals (juniper, angelica, coriander, liquorice and orris) with three more unusual ingredients, each plucked from sea, rock or land, such as; kelp, Carline thistle root and blueberries.

To turn Vodka to Gin, the spirit is added back into one of Arbikie’s copper stills alongside all of the botanicals and left to soak for a day. The still is heated very slowly, taking a full day to run. Taking off the highs and lows from the still what’s left is rested for a day then diluted down to its bottling strength of 43%.

Kirsty’s Gin has vanilla softness and fruit sweetness, no doubt led by the blaeberries. Its creamier than most spirits and something else we at Gin Club cant grasp but we put that down to the Potato Vodka.
Arbikie do a host of various products now alongside the Potato Vodka and Kirsty’s Gin, they have launched the spicy Chili Vodka and the AK Gin.

Remember we will be running two tasting events at Piping Live on Wednesday 9th August (from 5pm) and Friday 11th at the Piping Centre, Glasgow.

Tickets are available for both nights and can be found following the below links, Wednesday is nearly sold out though.
Wednesday 9th:

Friday 11th:


Piping Live – Minus 33

Minus 33 was originally crafted by scientist at the Locabev Laboratory in Rosyth.  Minus 33 comes in at 33% so technically does not qualify as a London Dry Gin but It is a Juniper distilled spirit (which is also one of their taglines).
After 3 years and 539 test tubes of experimentation Locabev decided that the optimum strength for a really smooth spirit was 33%. This makes it the perfect drink for those on a diet as it comes in at 46 calories per serve. The decision to have a gin at 33% came after blind taste tests and those doing the tests came back and said they preferred the 33% version.  Which is fantastic news when you have just started a Gin company and it turns out you don’t have an EU category Gin.

Although Minus 33 was conceived in the lab, it’s now crafted by Cory the genius behind Silent Pool, to Sams recipe. 

To taste Minus 33 it is fresh and floral with hints of juniper, citrus, lavender, elderflower and angelica.

We have worked with Minus33 loads in the past and every time he does a tasting (assuming he hasn’t broken his leg), you are in for a treat, expect lab coats and cocktails.

Remember we will be running two tasting events at Piping Live on Wednesday 9th August (from 5pm) and Friday 11th at the Piping Centre, Glasgow.

Tickets are available for both nights and can be found following the below links, Wednesday is nearly sold out though.
Wednesday 9th:

Friday 11th:


Piping Live – Valentia Gin

So our first Gin to be featured at our two events for Piping Live is Valentia.

Valentia Gin comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Granada, Spain where (I read) the water is known for its exceptional purity. The Gin is double distilled in small batches in a traditional cooper pot still. Valentia is made using “Mediterranean botanicals” which are; Juniper (it is a Gin), Angelica, Cardamom, Thyme, Coriander, Rosemary and Valencia citrus fruits.

When we have discussed Valentia in the past we described it as the perfect Gin for that feeling that you are on holiday as itsfresh, fruity and definitely citrusy.

To taste there is the initial juniper hit but it is like a punch, it’s a level hit, this fades quickly to leave the citrus fruit. To make it had an orange sherbet flavour.

One of the added bonuses of having Valentia along is you get to meet Alfonso. For the ladies reading, Alfonso is Spanish, well dressed and owns a Gin company. You can’t really go wrong there and his chat is on point.

I’m pretty sure he is due me a pint from juniper festival too.

Remember we will be running two tasting events at Piping Live on Wednesday 9th August (from 5pm) and Friday 11th at the Piping Centre, Glasgow.

Tickets are available for both nights and can be found following the below links, Wednesday is nearly sold out though.

Wednesday 9th:

Friday 11th:

Piping Live 2017

Right so not the most associated title with Gin and all things Gin related. It is however very apt for associating pipe music and booze, as Pipe Bands and my fellow Teuchters love a good session. (At Glasgow Gin Club we do not promote excessive drinking just the art of social drinking).

So, last year we (Stuart and Me) hosted two Gin Clubs in George Square for Pipping live where we had four lovely gins down to promote themselves to the pipping (open to all) world.

And last year we said this:

“The spectacular evening is part of this year’s Piping Live! Festival, the world’s biggest week of piping which sees over 50,000 people flock to Glasgow to enjoy over 200 events throughout the city”.

“Piping Live! is a week-long celebration of bagpipes and traditional music, taking place between 8 – 14 August. It brings over 50,000 music fans to Glasgow and sees over 200 events, with over 8,000 performers, take place in various venues across the city”

Just in case anyone didn’t know what the event was.

This year Piping live takes place from the 7th -13th August and we will be running two events, the first on Wednesday 9th from 5pm at the National Piping Centre, where there will be four of the finest Gins there to let to drink their wares and buy things, along with food and all the other great things happening in the Piping Centre that evening.


The second event takes place on the 11th, again in the National Piping Centre from 6pm.


Tickets are £15.

We would love to see you all there.


The Misogyny of Cocktails

Well what a dramatic title for what it is, but I had some explaining to do when I was using someone else’s words to describe the taste on the palate for certain drinks then flowing into a wee brief history of the Savoy Cocktail Book, created by the legendary Harry Craddock back in 1920 based on the recipes of the American Bar in the Savoy in London.

Anyway the reason why I even bring this topic up in conversation is I continually defending the terminology of certain tastes of drinks. Two things, I often hear “its a masculine Gin”, “its a mans cocktail”. Which I use too, but every time i use said terminology I need caveat it with an explanation of why and how terrible using male or masculine are used.

basically back in the olden days of cocktails and before the 80-90s club scene boom, cocktails were comprised of layers of alcohol to create the flavors, with only a few (well in my mind) having fruity mixers or syrups. And I believe this strong taste was mainly for men like Frank Sinatra and hence they were called Masculine. On the other hand the original lady-esque cocktails like the classic Gin Fizz had lemon juice, sugar syrup etc in it, making it taste better and this was classed as a ladys drink.

Whenever I explain this to people I need to caveat this with “I don’t like this gentrification of classifications of drinks.

Then when describing spirits often people say “its a masculine Gin” which means it has a strong distinct flavor, yet there is no yin to this yang, no one ever says “that’s a feminine Gin”.

Again I disagree with this.

Anyway, this all came about when I was explaining these descriptions while working for Sam Minus 33 at a Gin event in Dundee, where I was creating Raspberry Gin Fizzes (I think that’s the plural of fizz).

And if anyone wants to know the Raspberry Gin Fizz is very feminine and contains:

In a cocktail Shaker
50ml shot of a good cocktail Gin, like Minus 33 or No.3 London (Stay away from Juniper focused Gins)
50ml shot of lemon juice or syrup
25ml of Agave syrup
hand full of ice
Hand full of Raspberries (must be Blairgowrie or Alyth Rasps) in the shaker
Top cap (pint glass) on.
Shake (but don’t shake like a twat), keep shaking until the outside gets a good lair on condensation.
Strain twice to remove the bits of berry.
Into a flute, pour half with mixture then top up with Soda, Tonic or Prosecco. Garnish with a frozen raspberry.



Juniper festival Glasgow

We are not one to promote other people’s events but Martin at Solid Liquids launched Juniper Fest at the same time as our “joke that went too far” was born (I’ll get drunk and say he stole said idea, but that’s lies).

Juniper Festival is one of the great spirit events in the country and one of the originals.  Our market in Gin Events is getting some what saturated with a Gin thing here and another thing there with folk wanting to cash in on the juniper pound.  But Juniper Festival was there at the start.  

Last week I got more mixed up than Britney Spears at the Edinburgh event while I worked for a popular soft drinks brand (look at us going all BBC Radio). I was sampling every Gin and mixing them with all the products at my disposal, it was essentially the table to be.  

You really do get to taste and learn as much or as little as you like at Juniper Festival.  Also without sounding too scummy it’s one of the cheapest nights out you can have 

The Glasgow event is happening from 9 to 10 June from 5pm to 10pm at the SWG3 venue in Eastvale Place. Which is divided into various sessions on Saturday and Sunday. 

Tickets are on sale priced from £21.50 and can be purchased http://www.solid-liquids.co.uk/juniper-gin-festival
Or there are tickets at the door.

We will be there drinking and chatting. Stealing more drink that we are allowed.

Malawi Gin Club

See every time I go write something these days I always start with “sorry for the lateness”, It feels as though it has been an age since writing a blog post for Gin Club and our May event is this week too. So there will be a few Blogs.

In March I was emailed by a rather tenacious lady called Catherine about helping her with an “event” for her dentist trip to Malawi and for some reason despite my potty mouth and general grumpy demeanor I’m a complete sap and said “of course, anything”. So I took it upon myself to organise a Gin Club specially for her.

She emailed most weeks, nervous that I wasn’t being forthcoming with the planning information and all I would say back is “Don’t worry it will be sorted”. I’m pretty sure this lazy management style doesn’t suit her, but she went along with it.

So on the 5th of May we had our Gin Club, featuring Eden Mill, Edinburgh Gin and Minus 33 and we raised over £2k.

Now at this point I will use Catherine’s own words (Probably her husbands though) to describe what the event was for.

Smileawi is a Scottish Dental charity based in Dunoon set up by Nigel and Vicki Milne. Catherine and 2 members of her team (Kate Steele and Caroline Turner) from Belhaven Dental Surgery in Port Glasgow will travel to Malawi this September with other volunteers. The aim is to provide dental care for approximately 2 weeks in the northern areas of Malawi where there is no access to any dental care. The charity relies on qualified dentists, dental therapists and dental nurses to volunteer their time and skills by travelling to Malawi to help the locals with their teeth. All volunteers are completely self- funded with trips normally lasting 16 days and costing approx. £1500 per volunteer. For me, this is big deal and something Catherine has wanted to help with since hearing about the charity a few years ago.

Smileawi website – http://smileawi.com/.

Right and now on to my own plugging.

May Gin Club for those not going to Malawi or helping raise money, we are back in the Hidden Lane on the 26th May.


BTW there is still a link for TicketWeb saying we have no events. Hopefully that doesnt confuse folks.



A long session 

A couple of things to keep you updated!  First we had a gin club the other week and it’s was so hot we decided to do it outside in the lane.  Secondly I helped out at the Edinburgh Juniper Festival and it got out of hand.

So on the 26th May we had our second main Gin Club of 2017.  With mixed emotions the Gin world is getting really busy, events all over the place (not bad news for Gin Lovers tbh) but for us we thought we would Buck the trend and do less.  Btw we are taking full credit for being the first event of its type in Scotland.  

A rather nice Gin Club in May though, it was sunny enough to be outside the whole night.  Which is a good thing as being inside the Tea Room on a sunny day is tough, hot ovens and a roof that absorbs heats causes sweaty drinkers.  In May we featured Darnleys View, an old favourite of ours. We also had Larios Rose, one of Spain’s most popular Gins, East London Gin and an old favourite of my teenage years, Xoriguer Mahon Gin.  I’ll post full blogs on all the gins and how we served them too.

This weekend was the Edinburgh Juniper Festival.  If you don’t know what it is, it’s essentially what we do but way bigger.  And a lot of gins, it’s pretty much the cheapest way to drink lots of amazing drink over an afternoon or evening. 

So me (Graeme) was tasked with helping out our old friend Ru from Fentimens (formerly Rock Rose), providing tastings on all the mixers they do.  The best bit about it was that I had a bottle of every gin in the place to mix it with.  It did mean explaining to people I couldn’t just let you try the gin you needed to have the mixer first.  Stupidly I also decided that I would start sampling these gins (not that I hadn’t before) from 12pm.  

The mix of sugar and lots of Gin made me a bit bold.  I think at one point I said a woman laughed like Chick Young, I accused a brother and sister of incest, accidentally of course.  Don’t worry I was lovely too.  Even to the ladies that didn’t like the most amazing commotion of Gin and Mixer ever which is Brockmans and the Fentimens Pink Grapefruit Tonic.  

I think that combo sent me on the fabled path of destruction.. Which ended at 4am.  Along the way some other Brand reps spilt two of my pints, one gin, I smashed a pint.  Shared some of the bottles I had carried with me and oh missed a few trains.

This weekend might be a repeat! Juniper festival Glasgow is on.  I’m helping at another event in Dundee for Minus 33.

Feb Gin Club, Scotland vs Wales

Alright Gin Clubbers, so we were actively told last Friday at Gin Club “your website is out of date”.

We know.  That’s what happens when one of you decides to move to Broughty Ferry of all places.

So first on behalf of my Gin Life Partner (Stuart) thanks for coming to all of you that turned up to our February event, some apologies from me; yes there were no booklets that was my fault and secondly to the two Irish girls at the bottom of the stairs, Stuart’s pouring is more reserved than mine, I was coming back.

Thanks also to the girl (from Gin Club) on the train who confused the old man sitting next to me by saying “thanks for last night” when leaving, making people look at me in confusion thinking “Maybe he isn’t gay”.

Right so we kicked of 2017 with a Scottish vs Wales theme, in time for the rugby (which was completely meant and not a coincidence at all).

First up and again this is in no order of importance we had:

Misty Isle Gin

Misty Isle Gin has been “a long time in the making” says brothers Alistair and Thomas Wilson. “It’s become something of a passion. From our family home in Portree on the Isle of Skye, we have created a spirit which we are proud to call our own. Distilling this beautiful craft gin anywhere else but here on Skye was never in question. Provenance is everything – that abiding sense of belonging and community. Over time, we have perfected our recipe; a marriage of crystal clear spring waters from the Storr Lochs and the right balance of the finest botanicals”.

Misty Isle is produced in Portree (for those Glasgow folk, Portree is the main town in Skye), at the Isle of Skye Distillery.  The original name of the Gin was meant to be Isle of Skye Gin however they changed it in 2016 to Misty Isle.

The actual Gin itself was launched in February 2017 (see we bring you the newest Gin), to make Misty Isle, Alistair and Thomas use hand foraged Juniper from various wild locations around Skye and slowly distill it in a copper still, then vapor infused the botanicals some of which are coriander, angelica and lemon; We can get the full list if you want 🙂

To taste Misty Isle is smooth, you get the initial hit of Juniper (it is a Gin), then citrus and licorice (well I certainly did).  We choose to serve it with a sprig of Thyme and Fever Tree tonic.

Misty Isle is made with love and you can tell.


Wild Island Gin

Sorry for thinking there is an island theme, there is but it wasn’t intentional.

Created by the folks at Colonsay Brewery, this small batch gin takes its design inspiration from the colours and contours of the island’s beautiful Kiloran Bay, and takes its flavour inspiration from the wild botanicals that grow on Colonsay. For those of you who dont know, Colonsay, an island of only 120 inhabitants, is located more than two hours by boat of the Scottish mainland.

Wild Island Gin is made up of 16 botanicals 10 of which are base botanicals with a further 6 make of hand-foraged island botanicals, botanicals which we have been able to identify are; lemon balm, meadowsweet, wild water mint, heather flowers, bog myrtle and sea buckthorn.

Colonsay Brewery purposefully opted for a gin base which was heavier on lemon than other gins which translates the Colonsay lemon balm aroma and you can really taste this, sometimes the Citrus flavor makes you feel like your not drinking.

To Taste Wild Island is summer holiday in a glass, its fresh and zesty with the Lemon coming through, there is Juniper there but its not the usual punch in the throat you get.  You might be tricked into thinking you weren’t drinking Gin.

We added to this by serving Wild Island with a Lemon Slice and Mint, and this just further added to the feeling of being on holiday.



Kirkjuvagr Gin

Furthering or little Island hoping adventure Kirkjuvagr Gin, pronounced ‘kirk-u-vaar’, is made on Orkney by residents Stephen and Aly Kemp in 2016. Kirkjuvagr means ‘Church in the Bay’ in old Norse which is what the Vikings described Orkney’s capital, Kirkwall (see you can see it now). You should all try and say it with an Orkney accent, it makes it more fun.

The gin is hand crafted in small batches using traditional copper stills, for the botanicals alongside the Juniper there is a wee tale about a local legend that spoke of a variety of Angelica brought to the islands by Norsemen centuries ago, which can still be found growing wild today and is one of Kirkjuvagr defining ingredients, including a host of local botanicals; Ramanas Rose, Burnet Rose and Borage. Uniquely and traditional Orkney bere barley in our recipe.

We serve Kirkjuvagr with Orange Peel and Fever Tree (we some how managed to go through three bottles of it too despite only going through two of others). To taste the Gin is well balanced  between the sweet and herby, the organe peel bringing out the citrus.and some people were saying there was a sherbert-y taste while others found a peppery taste.

We loved this, and again somehow managed to go through three bottles.

Also they have a Kirkjuvar pouring tap, which we should have requested.


Cardiff Gin

If only Cardiff Gin was an ironically name Gin for something which was actually made on a Scottish Isle then we would be laughing with our well sculpted theme.  I’ll come clean there was no theme, we just get what we want to drink.  Luckily though Scotland were playing Wales the next day so there’s our them, boom.

Launched at Cardiff Gin Festival in 2015, the gin started its life after a public call on social media, where they got hundreds of responses to what people wanted to see in their own gin. After weeks of submissions and trawling through recipe ideas they created samples of three gins, which were reviewed by some expert-y type people (Btw we didnt get bloody asked). Then we stuck with the one we have now and launch 150 bottles at the Gin Festival

The Gin has no citrus fruit and is dry like a Gin should be, to smell you really get Aniseed or Licorice this we presume comes from the use of Rosemary and Sorrel which is then combined with Caraway and Fennel seeds.  You would think you get the Citrus from the Sorrel but you don’t.  Obviously as its a Gin there is Juniper which is home grown we have believe, there is also Lemongrass and Verbena (we think)

To smell you could be confused with drinking a Pastis, obviously nothing as strong as that. The Ginny smell doesn’t come through until the taste.  Everything changes when you add the tonic, the strength of the licorice notes soften and then you know your drinking a Gin.  We served it with Cucumber to see if it would smooth the drink out, which it did.