Orkney Distilling’s Arkh-Angell ‘Storm Strength’ gin has won a prestigious Silver Medal at this year’s Scottish Gin Awards in Glasgow.
The 57-per-cent gin took home the prize in the Navy Strength Gin of the Year category of the top industry awards, held last night.
Distilled in Orkney, Arkh-Angell is hailed as Orkney Distilling’s tribute to island seafarers, with the company using a locally grown variety of Norwegian angelica, called Archangelica, as a key ingredient.
Stephen Kemp, managing director of Orkney Distilling Limited, said: “This is a massive achievement for our business and we’re all immensely proud. Our signature Kirkjuvagr Gin took home a Bronze medal from the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards last year, so for Arkh-Angell to go one better and win a Silver is absolutely fantastic and testament to the efforts of all our team here in Orkney.”
In total, 46 producers and 80 gins progressed to the final stage of the national competition, which celebrates Scotland’s booming gin industry.
Covering 18 categories, the awards assessed taste and business performance and were judged earlier this year in two sessions by one of the most experienced gin tasting panels ever assembled in the UK.
Twenty-two tasters including Master Distillers from some of the UK’s biggest gin brands and the UK’s leading professors in distilling, blind tasted and graded every sample under strict technical conditions, adjudicated by sensory management experts, Cara Technology. One hundred and sixteen gins, all distilled in Scotland, were assessed - a 52% increase in the number of gins entered last year.
Louis Wright, Orkney Distilling’s head of production, added: “Earlier this year we opened our new distillery and visitor centre in Kirkwall, so we’re very much looking forward to getting this award back home to the islands and giving it pride of place on our wall!”
The Orkney Gin Festival 2018 – organised by Orkney Distilling in partnership with The Old Library – was also shortlisted for the Scottish Gin Event of the Year accolade.
Orkney's other gin producers, the Deerness Distillery and the Orkney Gin Company, were both nominated for two awards each on the night as well. The Deerness Distillery was shortlisted in the London Dry Gin of the Year category of the awards, with the company also making the finals of the Excellence in Branding section.
The Burray-based Orkney Gin Company's Johnsmas and Mikkelmas gins were both shortlisted in the Speciality Gin of the Year category.