The news comes as the company prepares to open its new distillery and visitor centre in Kirkwall.
Orkney Distilling’s Storm Strength Arkh-Angell gin is shortlisted within the Navy Strength Gin of the Year category of the prestigious awards, while the Orkney Gin Festival 2018 – organised by Orkney Distilling in partnership with The Old Library – is in the running for the Scottish Gin Event of the Year accolade.
In total, 46 producers and 80 gins have progressed to the final stage of the national competition – the second held – which celebrates Scotland’s booming gin industry.
Covering 18 categories, the awards assessed taste and business performance and were judged earlier this month 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.
Stephen Kemp, managing director of Orkney Distilling Limited, said: “This is fantastic news for our business, following on from the success we enjoyed last year when our signature Kirkjuvagr Gin took home a bronze medal from the inaugural Scottish Gin Awards. We’re particularly delighted to see our Storm Strength Arkh-Angell gin in the running for an accolade this year and thrilled to see our very successful Orkney Gin Festival recognised too.”
Stephen added: “We’re now very close to opening our brand-new distillery and visitor centre in Kirkwall, so news of our success in reaching the finals of this year’s Scottish Gin Awards is a major boost for everyone within the team.”
Chair of the judging panel, Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi Distillery, said: “Congratulations to all the finalists announced today in the 2nd annual Scottish Gin Awards. The competition has been very tough, but everyone can be assured that the process of judging is independent and free from commercial influence. All the finalists have progressed purely on merit and thanks to the support of a highly experienced judging panel. We look forward to celebrating with the entire Scottish gin industry in Glasgow on 20 September 2018.”
Kirsten Speirs, director of KDMedia and founder of the Scottish Gin Awards, commented: “One of the very many positive outcomes of the Scottish Gin Awards is that it provides excellent technical guidance to the new distillers creating and launching products for the first time. A place in the finals is reassuring as it says that these gins have reached a quality standard expected by some of the most knowledgeable gin experts in the UK. Sharing and promoting this ultimate list of high quality Scottish gins helps to grow Scotland’s unique reputation as home to the best distilleries in the world.”