Scottish Kings Highland Dry Gin is a new product from a father-daughter team looking to make inroads into the increasingly crowded world of gin. Envisioned by American Randy Miller, a gin enthusiast and lover of Scotland, Miller and co. spent three years working on the formula to create what he envisioned as the world’s best tasting gin — and this is the fruit of his labor.
In the final blend, botanicals include juniper, coriander, lime peel, angelica root, rose petals, basil, orange peel, licorice root, elderflower, cardamom, and aronia berry (aka chokeberry). The base gin is composed of unspecified grain neutral spirits.
Let’s give it a try.
The nose immediately presents itself as a close facsimile of a classic London dry style, heavier on some of the earthier components. Gossamer notes of underbrush and licorice are subtle against a clear note of lime leaf and some of that spicy basil. On the palate, the gin positively explodes on the tongue. Bright and quite peppery, the flavors start with a significant licorice reprise and fold in more of that basil, running from there to juniper, coriander, and that funky angelica note.
The florals of roses and elderflower are definitely in the mix — the former more than the latter — but the gin avoids becoming overly perfumed or potpourri-like. Looking at that botanical list again, I can safely say that all 11 of the items mentioned are definitely detectable in the finished product — except, perhaps, for aronia berry, as I couldn’t tell you what that tastes like — and that alone is a feat to be commended.
Ultimately I think the balance of this gin veers a bit too into the savory side of things, and that it could have benefited from a higher orange peel component, giving it some needed acidity, but as an all-around workhorse gin, it should fare well in just about any type of cocktail.
A- / $50 / scottishkings.com