Orkney’s burgeoning gin industry has once again been recognised on the national stage with a hat-trick of nominations in the Scottish Rural Awards 2018 announced this week.
Orkney Distilling Ltd, creator of Kirkjuvagr Gin, has been shortlisted in both the Artisan Drink and Business Start-Up categories of the prestigious awards. The Deerness Distillery is also up for the Artisan Drink title.
The Scottish Rural Awards are now in their fourth year and are seen as the benchmark of excellent in Scotland’s countryside. The event celebrates the enterprise, innovation and dedication of those who live in rural Scotland.
The Awards feature 13 different categories and the winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Edinburgh on the 22nd of March 2018.
It has been quite a year for Orkney’s gin producers. Orkney Distilling Ltd has been building its brand-new distillery and major visitor attraction in the centre of the town, with its doors set to open in early 2018. The company also received a bronze medal at the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards
Stephen Kemp, managing director of Orkney Distilling Ltd, said: “We’re really delighted to learn we’ve been shortlisted in two categories for these major awards celebrating excellence in the rural community.
“This has been quite a year for us already, and as we prepare to head into what will be an incredibly busy 2018 with our distillery and visitor centre opening, this is the festive icing on the cake. We’ll be hoping to continue the successes of 2017 and again do the Orkney community proud.”
Sea Glass Gin and Into the Wild Vodka from the Deerness Distillery Meanwhile, the Deerness Distillery is also celebrating its nomination, which comes during its first year of production. The company makes its Sea Glass Gin and Into the Wild Vodka at its distillery in Orkney’s east mainland, and has also already claimed two Global Luxury Spirit Masters’ silver medals in 2017.
Demand for both the gin and vodka has grown beyond expectations locally and nationally and the business is looking to create new spirit lines. Plans have also been approved for a tasting room and shop at the Distillery, which will open in the New Year for locals and visitors to the islands.
The team has also been present at a number of trade events, with appearances organised through Orkney Food and Drink. These visits have given the Deerness Distillery a platform to meet new customers and connect with retailers.
Stuart Brown from the Distillery said: “We’re thrilled to be nominated for the Scottish Rural Awards. We really feel the ethos of the awards fits our business and values, and how we hope to run the distillery for the local community, the environment and for promoting Orkney.
This is just the beginning for us and we have plenty of plans for 2018!”