This year we have seen one of the hottest summers on record, and many of us have been enjoying it with a few tipples, celebrating the post-pandemic novelty of being outdoors with our nearest and dearest. As ever, Scottish gin has featured highly on drinks lists up and down the country. Remarkably, the gin industry continues to show immense promise as we emerge from the Covidinduced haze of 2020 and 2021, and here at SF we’re bursting with excitement to bring you our 2022 Gin Challenge.
This year’s Challenge brings back some old favourites and introduces a raft of new gins to suit every taste. From traditional drys for the perfect G&T, to colourful flavours just crying out for a cocktail shaker, there’s something for everyone.
As usual we’ve pulled together a panel of expert judges to guide you through all of the entrants and pick out their absolute favourites. Blind tasting 31 gins is no mean feat, as you might imagine, so it was important to find some true gin aficionados who were up to the challenge. We’re very grateful to our four judges who have put their refined palates to the test to bring us these handy tasting notes and score each and every gin.
So, all that’s left is to pour yourself a glass of your own personal favourite and I’m sure you’ll join us in raising that glass to Scottish gin and wishing the industry many more successful years. And if we haven’t included your favourite tipple in this year’s Challenge, or you’ve discovered the perfect, artisan distillery that is producing something really special then we’d love to hear from you. Tell us all about your perfect gin and where you drank it. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scottish Field Gin Challenge Team
What makes this competition unique and importantly, impartial, is that our judges taste the gin completely blind. With the branding and packaging completely stripped away, only the gin is left, to be judged solely on its own merits. At Scottish Field’s offices the 31 bottles were decanted into 30ml sample bottles with only a number for identification. These were then posted to the four participating judges for tasting and scoring.
The judges were asked to award each of the 31 gins a mark out of five. We also asked the judges to provide us with detailed tasting notes.
Once all the judges’ scores were in, we separated the gins into their relevant categories to find the winning bottles in the Under £35 and Over £35 categories, along with the winners in the Flavoured category. As ever, the results of the Challenge were extremely close, so we have also listed the top 12 highest scoring gins.