Great British gin is now firmly on the tourist map as a new Scotland Gin Trail is launched to celebrate the drink which is now part of the fabric of UK history. 

The WSTA Scotland Gin Trail Map can be downloaded here.

From craft distillers to the slick city gin bars, visitors can take a tour of the country’s most fascinating gin-related landmarks.

Created by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), the new Scotland Gin Trail features 12 locations which represent some of the best gin distilleries, bars and experiences the country has to offer.

 Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said:

“We are thrilled to be announcing the launch of the WSTA Scotland Gin Trail which follows on the back of the success of the London Gin Trail.

“This is a hugely exciting time for everyone involved in the UK gin industry and our gin trail is the start of a fascinating venture to share the origins, art and innovations involved in producing this Great British spirit.

“British gin has a strong, vibrant history. By publishing the gin trail map we hope to mark its renaissance and ensure its future as a quintessentially British, internationally recognised spirit.”

Visitors who step onto the trail will learn more about the arts of gin making and sample some of the highest quality products on the market today – every single one with its own distinctive taste.

Taking in Shetland Reel Gin on the UK’s most northerly inhabited island of Unst in Shetland the tour winds its way through craft distilleries in the stunning Scottish Highlands, to coastal distilleries and trendy cocktail bars of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

You will sample gin made from 100% Scottish juniper in a former henhouse awarded 2015 Shed of the Year as well as gin in St Andrews flavoured with retired golf clubs. 

The trail captures both the historical and traditional, as well as the cutting edge flavours and technologies inspired by our world class distillers and mixologists. 

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss welcomed the second of the WSTA Gin Trail maps following the success of last year’s London Gin Trail.

Her ambition is to drive UK gin exports to match the success of Scotch whisky, which reached £4 billion last year.

Welcoming the new trail, Elizabeth Truss said:

“From premium brands, such as Hendricks, to craft distillers such as Crossbill, this new trail captures the variety and diversity of UK gin making, providing visitors from all over the world the opportunity to celebrate Burns Night by experiencing the best of British gin from all across Scotland.

“There has never been a more exciting time for the industry with the UK being the biggest exporter of gin in the world, selling enough to make 1.6 billion gin and tonics. I want to harness the ambition of our Scottish gin-trepreneurs, helping them to grow the UK’s reputation for quality gin both here and abroad. I want to see it up there with Scotch whisky in terms of global sales.”

Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell said:

"The flourishing UK gin industry is being driven by the hard work and ingenuity of distillers and we're proud to be working with WSTA to promote Scottish gin throughout the UK and abroad. This trail showcases distilleries across Scotland from Glasgow to Caithness – not only celebrating some of our most famous gin but also uncovering hidden gems.

"Our distillers are creating some really unique gins through experimenting with techniques from the whisky industry and using new blends of local botanicals – it’s exciting to see such innovation within the great British tradition of gin distilling.

Figures from the UK government reveal the Great British spirit is experiencing an international revival - more than two thirds of the gin distilled in the UK goes to discerning drinkers overseas. Exports have risen by 37% in the past five years, with sales to 139 countries, worth £1.76 billion.

Despite signs of such promising growth in the UK’s spirits market, UK spirits duty is still the fourth highest in the EU at £7.74 per litre, compared to £2.05 per litre in Germany.

Commenting on the high rates of duty, Miles Beale said:

“Consumers are outraged that excise duty on wine and spirits is so much higher in the UK in comparison to our European counterparts. This isn't just unfair on UK consumers, it's also unfair on great British businesses, like those emerging right now creating export-friendly British gin.

"To support UK consumers and UK businesses, especially micro businesses and SMEs, we would like to see the Chancellor continuing his policy of redressing this gross imbalance with another 2% excise duty cut. We have proved it makes good economic sense and the UK’s wine and spirit sector is literally brimming with potential.”

Gin Facts:

Between 2010 and 2014 a total of 73 new spirit distilleries opened in the UK - with 56 established in the past two years alone

Proceeds from gin sold in the UK have gone from  £719 million to £869 million in the last two years – up 21%

The number of UK gin brands has more than doubled since 2010 from 31 to 73 due to the demand for new brands using locally sourced ingredients and natural botanicals

Exports of our top-class UK gins have risen by 37% in the past five years, bringing £1.76 billion to the UK economy

Almost 140 million bottles of gin made in the UK are now exported every year

A total of 1.6 billion gin and tonics were sold globally in 2014. Further support for exporting this unique spirit will bring jobs, investment into the UK’s growing economy

Following the Chancellor’s 2% cut to spirits duty last year revenue to the Exchequer went up by 7% - or an additional £93m – between April and September compared to the previous year.

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