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 & Gin Club

Right, so, ok, right (as my mother in law says constantly to herself).  Two blogs in one week!  How creative of us, or we have just plagiarised from the website we are about to promote.

As hopefully most of you are aware we are teaming up to host two special events for Piping Live.  What is Piping Live I hear you ask to yourself (assuming you are not a Teuchter or a member of the traditional music fraternity), well dear reader as I send in my work emails, “see below”:

“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.  Each event will showcase the world’s most talented musicians in modern trad music, with this year’s festival being headlined by the globally-famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers (Saturday 13th, O2 ABC).


We your Gin facilitating friends will be working with this fine festival on their Summer Sessions. Where we will be hosting two events on Wednesday 10th August at the Piping Centre and the 11th August in the George Square Marquee.  At these events four of the finest Scottish Gins will be there for you to taste  which are; Eden Mill, Pickerings, Shetland Reel and Minus 33.  You also get a mini masterclass, get a full Gin and Tonic but not only that  eat a selection of delicious canapes which will be provided from a variety of specially selected Glasgow restaurants, courtesy of the Glasgow Restaurant Association.

The night will be rounded off with toe-tapping musical performances from some of the best celtic artists from the Piping Live! bill, as well as the opportunity to pipe up and give the bagpipes a go with exclusive come-and-try sessions.

Tickets for Piping Live!’s Summer Session with Glasgow Gin Club are £20 and available now at www.pipinglive.co.uk

Some words of finery about us too:
Roddy MacLeod, festival director of Piping Live!, said: “Piping Live! is famous for bringing the very best talent to Glasgow and this collaboration is no different. The Glasgow Gin Club are renowned for their great events, knowledge and love of gin and I’m excited to have them join us to add a refreshing twist to this year’s festival line up.”

There are load of things happening all over the city for Piping Live, try and get involved.  Most of it, drink, food and of course music related.  If you get the chance head over to the Piping Centre for the tents outside, whiskey galore btw. There is also the Pipers’ Market which includes food trucks by Fire Dog and Bowl Food, supplied by Good Food Glasgow as well as a range of stalls filled by a variety of independent traders. The market will be open from 11am-6pm from Monday 8th to Friday 12th August.


So this one I have planned ahead.  Yes go me.

For our third Gin we have the amazing Pickerings back.

Pickerings was launch in 2013 and founded by Marcus Pickering and Matthew Gammell, at the Summerhall Distillery which was the former School of Veterinary Studies.

Pickering’s is based on an old Bombay recipe which was kept as a family secret for over 66 years,and resurfaced in 2013. The gin is a recreation of this original recipe where Pickerings have increased the amount of juniper compared to the original.

The Gin itself consists of nine botanicals – juniper, coriander, cardamom, angelica, fennel, anise, lemon, lime and cloves.

The process involves macerating the botanicals for 24 hours with neutral grain spirit in a copper still, nicknamed Gert. The still is heated in a unique way almost like a custom-built water bath allowing the heat to be altered and applied directly.

To me Pickerings is a smooth bu almost earthy Gin.  Its fresh with an initial hit of Juniper (it is a Gin) with a piney taste.  There is an after taste of fennel and cardamom, leaving you with the overall spice.

We have no idea how we are serving this yet.

I may have time to fix the blog before tomorrows pre alert.

We do love this Gin though.


Glen Wyvis Gin

So again this should have been part of a blog which I half finished from my trip to Inverness where we at Gin Club (I say “wee” I mean me, Caldow was moving into his new flat, like that’s a worthwhile excuse), were helping with the NIP festival.  There we met the lovely folks from Glen Wyvis which is our second Gin for this Fridays Sold out Gin Club at the Hidden Lane Tea Room.

Not much is known about this distillery.  Essentially its the creation of the local “Flying Farmer” (I need to check what this is, it sounds too exotic for Scotland and more like something you hear about in Australia). The gin launched in summer 2015 and is the first from Dingwall. The distillery (which is in construction still) 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.

So like I say when I was with the guys from the Gin I got a bit too drunk and appear to have forgotten everything useful, like the distillation process.  I do know that there are nine botanicals (As I emailed Craig from Glen Wyvis shamefully). These botanicals are locally picked hawthorn as already mentioned, 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.

Definitely the best thing off my top of my head to come from Dingwall, I hear they have some football team too 😉

We will be serving Glen Wyvis with Fever Tree tonic, Orange Peel and Coriander.

Eden Mill – Hop Gin

Oh god I am properly late with this one.

See what happens when the day job takes over.  Who said that 3pm on a Wednesday was the best time for social media engagement???

So Gin numero quarto, Eden Mill Hopped Gin.

It’s safe to say we have been trying to get the folks at Eden Mill along to Gin Club for a long time.  They have a huge product range and the Gin is very different to the other London Drys out there, so we have to have them feature at least once.

The Eden Mill story is quite a different one, historically there hasn’t been any spirit production on the site in over 150 years, between 1810 and 1860 where the Haig family produced Whiskey.  The brewing element has been long established, then in 2014 they decided to start producing Whiskey and Gin again.

There are no other distillers / brewers in Scotland like this.  It is a unique combination which only serves to produce unique, highly crafted spirits.  Bringing their own brand of distilling, which definitely comes from the craft beer world, gave birth to the Hop Gin.  The first of its kind in the UK! This is a fairly decent achievement to be honest, I haven’t ever done anything (nothing savoury at least) which was the first in the country.

The Gin contains botanicals: Juniper (it is a Gin), Australian Galaxy Hops, Sea Buckthorn, Oak, Hibiscus, Hickory and I think others are in there Citrus peel, Coriander and Liquorice (Sorry Eden Mill I couldn’t find a full botanical list, but I was sure I could taste coriander and maybe the Hops were giving me the citrus flavour).

To taste this, it really does confuse you, again in a good way.  It already has that beer-esq hue about it when you pour it, you half expect when you smell it that it might froth on the top (thankfully it doesn’t, I don’t know if frothy Gin would sell).  Yeah so the taste confuses you (in a good way) as the Juniper slides away to this hop like citrus taste, which lines the mouth (I believe that’s called oily but I’ve never liked that expression).

It’s a lovely drink, Gin lovers you will love the difference this drink does to your impression of what a Gin should be.  Make sure you try their other range.  Not a clue how we are serving this yet.

Darnley’s Spiced Gin

Gin number 2 for October (again there is no order to this) comes from a distillery we worked with on our second ever Gin Club event, those wonderful people over at Darnley’s View, however this time there is no London Dry and instead the spiced Gin, it is Halloween after all.

So let’s begin with some history on Darnley’s:

Darnley’s View Gin is created by the Wemyss Whiskey Company (Wemyss Malts) in fife.

The name Darnley’s View comes (apparently) from the moment when Mary Queen of Scots spied her husband and baby father to be Lord Darnley from a window in Wemyss Castle.  Randomly every time I hear the name Wemyss I think of a school trip there.  I think we also went to the Scottish Dear Centre that same day too.

You might remember the Darnley’s Gin we featured way back in August last year (the blog says August so I’m going with that), which is a stunning Gin, a lovely crafted smooth spirit.  We served it with Fever Tree and Cape Gooseberries (Cape Gooseberries are easier for Dyslexics to spell than Physalis or pronounce).

In 2015 Darnley’s ventured out into a sister Gin the Darnley’s View Spiced Gin, which is what we are featuring in October.

The Spiced Gin is distilled using 10 botanicals:  Juniper (it is a Gin), Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cumin, Ginger, Grains of paradise (BTW grains of paradise do not look as impressive as they sound), Cassia, Angelica and Coriander.  Compared to the six botanicals in the original.  It also comes in 2.7% stronger than the original Gin too.  According to Wemyss they say that the stronger alcohol content helps bring out the spicy flavour.  You will get no complaints from Gin Club on this alcohol increased – not that we are trying to promote excess drinking though.

This is a hard Gin to pin down.  This is in no way a derogatory comment though, it’s great that you can’t pin down the Gin, it means every time you drink it, you get something else.  The original citrus tastes you get from the normal Darnley’s view are there but they vanish quickly to a warm spice.  Everyone who knows me knows I am a total wimp with spice, but this spice is perfect, it doesn’t over the Gin, its just there.  I almost want to compare it to a mulled wine, but it’s nothing like it, it just give you that warmth and difference of flavour, most people know red wine and it’s taste but when you try a mulled wine it confuses the senses in all the right ways.

Well played Darnley’s.

So how are we serving it on Friday?  Hehe that’s a surprise, but it will be in tea pots and will be warm.

Tickets for Fridays event:



Botanical Eater (Botanivore) – St George

St. George – Botanivore

Rolling on for the October Event, and no we haven’t made it a Halloween them, Stuart will look just as scary though.  Our first Gin to announce comes from those special distillers from across the Atlantic, St. George Botanivore.  Those of you who have been reading this or coming to our “tasting” events will know we featured Stuarts Favorite Gin the Terroir.  A Gin which both Stuart and I always keep stocked up.  I think collectively we sell out the Good Spirit’s company stock of this fine product over few months or so.  I also bought Stuart a bottle to say “thanks for being my best man”.  Although he doesn’t deserve any thanks because he didn’t actually complete his “tying the knot” duties, and thus my marriage is probably null and void.

St. George Spirits was established by Jörg Rupf in 1982 after arriving in America from the Black Forest, Germany. It has taken them up to 30 years to grow into the distillery they are today from a one man to an ex Naval hangar, producing three gins along with other spirits.


Botanivore, or as St George call it “botanical eater,” is made up of 19 different botanicals working in “concert”, which is a lot, that’s getting up there with fellow namesake The Botanist.

St George say “Think of a meadow in bloom—herbaceous, fresh, and elegant”.

The botanicals are angelica root, bay laurel, bergamot peel, black peppercorn, caraway, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, citra hops, coriander, dill seed, fennel seed, ginger, juniper berries, lemon peel, lime peel, orris root, Seville orange peel, star anise!

Botanivore is very floral, there is that steady hit of Juniper (it is a gin) but it is hidden, you taste it first then it plays hide and seak. What starts to come forward on the nose is  the cardamom, fennel and anise.

Tasting it you know straight away like the Terroir that this is a herbaceous Gin, with pine and citrus up front, and a peppery herbal complexity which hangs around until its finished.  It really is a marvellous product.

St George just seem to nail this fresh mountain garden taste.  It’s hard to describe it. But I imagine drink Botanivore while summiting a munro on a stunning day. I might try it actually.

We will be serving this beauty of a Gin as a G&T with Fever tree Tonic and Lemon peel.  The citrus fruits can easily be masked behind the herbs so it will work perfectly. The Fever Tree won’t kill the subtle juniper flavour.  Oh I think I will have one later.

If you still need tickets follow the below link:




Plymouth and Whiteley Neill

So again we are doing this backwards but tonights Gins are:


Whitley Neill is distilled near Birmingham, in an antique copper pot still called ‘Constance’ who is over 100 years old. Using exceptionally pure water along with nine botanicals are which are carefully selected to ensure that they are of the highest quality. Whitley Neill’s tagline is “Made in London and Inspired by Africa” which is not only an insight to its creator Johnny Neill who is married to an African woman but also describes some of the botanical choices. In this line up are cape gooseberries and baobab fruit along with more traditional ones such as juniper, coriander, lemon & orange peel, angelica root, cassia bark and orris root.

To taste you get juniper and citrus notes first followed by a subtle spice and complex finish. It really does not disappoint on the “different” quote as you do get more than you normally get from a London Dry.

Serving Suggestion: G&T served with Fever Tree, garnished with Plum


So at Gin Club we often get fancy unheard of Gins but one thing we are keen to let you try are Gins that you can get in many places instead of reaching for the Gordon’s or the Bombay.  The name Plymouth Gin is a Protected branding which is any Gin made in Plymouth in tradition way.  Once there were many now there is only one. Plymouth, which is produced by the Black Friars Distillery. The Black Friars Distillery is the only remaining gin distillery in Plymouth, in what was once a Dominican Order monastery built in 1431, the distillery being one of the UK’s eldest, dating back to 1793.

The Brand has had a hard time in the past as it was abused by their parent company and as such the brand has suffered an image problem, lets fix that!

It has seven botanicals – juniper, coriander, sweet orange, cardamom, angelica and orris root that are redistilled with pure grain spirit. For a Gin you don’t get the dominance of Juniper instead its almost sweet, with orange and cardamom giving it a soft fruity yet spicy finish.


Serving Suggestion: G&T served with Fever Tree, garnished with Strawberry

Strane / King of Soho / Broker’s & Boodles

Like everything this week Stuart and I are behind, all because of that wedding thing at the weekend.  And many of you will be surprised that it was me (Graeme) marrying a woman and not Stuart like most people thought.  Because of this little event the Gin posts for this month’s Gin Club will have to be lumped into one.  But they will by no means be lacking in fabulous writing (just in grammar and spelling and punctuation – see what I done there)…

First up (and this is in no list of anything we have):

Strane (London Dry)


Strane is made by and at Smögen Whisky, a small craft distillery on the Swedish west coast, Hunnebostrand. The distiller has mainly been producing Whiskey since 2010; however they launched Strane in spring 2014.  The Gin is made in a 100 litre pot still, (which by the way is small), hence the small bottles and why we are so happy to get them along.  Strane claim that even though (and you can taste this) the still is small they; “take all the more care of each centilitre of what we do make, using plenty of high quality botanicals for every charge of the still”

Strane use a blending process to the distillation which allows them to create all three of their products, I am keen to learn more of the process involved in this “blending” as I wish to know which set distilutes are blended, and I see it like a basic curry sauce which a chef then uses to create the unique ones.

When I think about Strane I think about it getting made (like many Gins we feature) with a lot of TLC and experimentation.  I imagine that as it’s not an industrial process that not one batch tastes the exact same as another, which we love.  Stuarts buying criteria for a new Gin is often “does the label look like it has been stuck on by hand”?

All the Strane gins use the same botanicals: juniper berries, coriander seeds, lemon rind and flesh, lime rind, almonds, basil, garden mint, sage, cinnamon bark, liquorice root and then two others which they won’t tell us about.  One of local to the area and one is unknown but connects to the armed merchant shipping trade.

At Gin Club we are featuring the Strane Merchant Strength 47.4 %.  This is a very interesting “little Gin”, it’s not little, it’s huge just made in small quantities so the mix is bang on.  I have said this many times but it is a Gin that is made with TLC and it’s rather smooth so you can tell it’s had some love.  The taste is led by juniper (it is a Gin), coriander seeds and herby but you also get a wee lick of mint.

We will be serving it as a G&T with Fever Tree garnished with Lemon Peel.

King of Soho


So Stuart has been after this Gin for a while so I politely took the brand rep out for lunch and now we have it.  I have known about the Gin for some time and I didn’t connect it at all with Paul Raymond the “King of Soho”.  Thank you Paul, if it wasn’t for you my teenage years would have been different, the 1990s might have been more like the 1950s.  Stuart wouldn’t have been able to pay me for lifts to Perth in top shelf mags for sure J

Anyway that’s where the Gin gets its name.  Paul’s son Howard wanted to capture the spirit of Soho and in tribute to his father developed a drinks brand.

King of Soho is a traditional London Dry made in London and by a mysterious “11th generation master distiller” at Thames Distillers in two small pot stills.    It is crafted using traditional methods and for purity it is quadruple distilled.  The Gin contains 12 botanicals; Juniper (it is a Gin), coriander, citrus (which I read from our friends at Gin Foundry are mainly grapefruit peel), angelica root and cassia bark (yes this doesn’t add up to 12, I am working on the others).  That’s all I will quote from our mates at Gin Foundry on this topic though…

On the nose King of Soho is very well rounded.  By that I mean it smells like a classic Gin there is no massive hits of anything which draws you away from smell of Juniper which is what a traditional London Dry should do.  I have always been better at the nosing side of things than the taste or texture, but like I said its juniper all the way here with coriander coming through.  When you drink it those two small flavours come through straight away (but I need to stress this is a traditional London Dry so it’s meant too).  You also get the citrus coming through.  A lot of people get a punchy bite of pepper which could be the cassia. One thing you don’t get is a hit of alcohol which is surprising as its not weak stuff at 42%.

We will be serving this as…  A surprise as cocktails may be involved on this one J



This name gives me grief; it ruins my dyslexic mind (btw I am mega dyslexic, special reading classes in school with Jon Pennycook and Rowan Marshal).  I don’t know if I am to use the apostrophe or not?  Anyway I’m going with it.

So Broker’s is similar to King of Soho in the sense that it is again a traditional London Dry.  Makers Langely’s near Birmingham claim the recipe is 200 years old.  At the distillery they have an old john Dore & Core mini still which was used for the recipe development some time ago (not sure if it was 200 years ago but I am going with it).  The Gin is created using the adjacent list of Botanicals (and their connecting source locations): Juniper berries – Macedonia, Coriander seed – Bulgaria, Orris root – Italy, Nutmeg – India, Cassia bark – Indonesia, Cinnamon – Seychelles, Liquorice – Italy, Orange peel – Spain, Lemon peel – Spain and Angelica root – Poland.

To taste like all traditional London Dry recipes Brokers gives you the hit of Juniper, then comes the citrus, don’t ask me to differentiate them all but as there are only two it has to be lemon and orange peel.  You also get on the finish (which is after the salvia rushes in when you swallow) the pepperiness of the cassia and cinnamon.  One day Stuart and I will get some decent formal training in Gin tasting so these notes can be much better.  We used to have tasting sessions but we kept ending up in the ABC or the Cathouse and thought we shouldn’t do that anymore.

This is a fantastic Gin, It’s like a Ronseal product, it does exactly what it sets out to do and that’s create a perfect traditional London Dry.

We are serving this – as a surprise.



Boodles takes its name from Boodle’s gentlemen’s club in St. James’s, London, founded in 1762 and originally run by Edward Boodle. Apparently the clubs most famous member Sir Winston Churchill loved the stuff.  But Plymouth Gin also claims the same thing.  Winston smoked too many cigars to be able to tell the difference I reckon.

Boodles was created in 1845, and is reputed to be one of the gins to shape the modern London Dry gin, as in Vodka base with Juniper and other Botanicals. In October 2013, Boodles Gin was released in the UK, with a redesigned bottle and an alcoholic strength of 80 proof. The botanical recipe for the gin remains the same.  Boodles has always been made in the UK, but had previously only been available for purchase in the US and Japan.  I don’t understand this bit of the history; it has only been made in the UK since 1845 but never available to buy here??  How did Winston get his war winning hands on it?

It is bottled at two strengths: 45.2% for the US and 40% alcohol for the UK by Greenall’s Distillery in Warrington, England.  But Americans can’t drink like us; surely there should be a Scottish Strength?

Boodles is known for its distinctive floral nose and lingering juniper flavour, with a clean finish.[ It contains a blend of nine botanicals: juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, angelica seed, cassia bark, caraway seed, nutmeg, rosemary and sage. It is made in a vacuum still, a process that allows the gin to retain more of the flavours of its botanicals. It is the only gin to contain nutmeg, rosemary and sage among its botanicals. Unlike other London Dry gins, Boodles contains no citrus ingredients.  The designers thought “surely they will add the citrus fruit”? Yes we will pal.

These ingredients add a mellow but herbal quality to Boodles, which balances out the essential piney notes from juniper.  It is a unique Gin in that there are no citrus fruits; all the elements come from a blend of herbs and spices. On the nose, this gin is very light with coriander notes. To taste it is herby, with coriander to start which becomes dry and slightly bitter.  I think of it as piney.

French Gin (Diplome) and German Stills (Sipsmiths)

Our last two Gins, which we have the pleasure of announcing for tomorrow night, are Diplôme and Sipsmiths London Dry (I know we have had it before but it was a dedicated Sipsmiths night so technically it doesn’t count).

So Diplôme is created in Dijon (famous for mustard) France and have been created roughly the same way since 1945, however the recipe was perfected during WW2.  Along with other cuisine and mustard Diplôme is very famous in France for its unique recipe and long standing stature.

After the end of the war, Diplôme Dry Gin became the official gin for the American Army stationed throughout Europe.

Using botanicals sourced from Europe and Morocco, Diplôme Dry Gin is made up of;  Juniper (it is a Gin), coriander, whole lemons, orange peel, angelica, saffron, orris root and fennel seed.

On the nose of Diplôme gives a slight smell of cherry trees and cloves, you also get the Juniper and Coriander.

To taste you get the natural hit of Juniper (it is a Gin) but it also has zesty citrus fruit, slightly nutty and possibly lavender.  I have heard people say it almost feels oily.  I haven’t got that however I stress that we at Gin Club tend not to be wearing Tweed waist coats, while doing tastings and try to thing how the Gin will work and how it will be enjoyed.

I would say that Diplôme tastes old.  Old class, it is very French but I can’t describe why.  Its French in the way you know Daft Punk are French just by listening but in no shape or form did the French invet Funk music they just seem to excel at creating their own unique identifiable funk based genre.  It is a very smooth Dry Gin which works well in many drinks.

So Sipsmiths, well lets begin by saying we love Sipsmiths, their whole range we also have in the Gin Shed.


In 2009, Sipsmith was launched by Sam Galsworthy, Fairfax Hall and Jared Brown to pursue their passion for handmade spirits.

Sipsmith became the first copper-pot based distillery to start up in London in over 150 years, a fact that made the process of being granted a license a long and tiresome affair.

Sipsmith is made using ten botanicals: Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Seville orange peel and Spanish lemon peel.

Each botanical plays its part however a few liquorice, coriander and angelica play distinctive roles.

To taste Sipsmith has strong notes of juniper but there are also definite citrus notes and a depth to the liquid that lingers.

The gin is distilled in a beautiful still affectionately named Prudence where she lives alongside Patience her sister at the Hammersmith HQ.

Tickets can be purchased here: