This month's featured gin in our Scottish Gin Club comes from a micro distillery on a small peninsular in the Moray Firth in the north of Scotland.
Sutors Gin is an award-winning, characterful grain-to-glass gin which is a celebration of the Scottish Highlands in a bottle.
When the team at Sutors started on their gin journey they were very clear that they wanted to make the gin from scratch. This gives them full control over the processes and the spirit is tested and monitored at every stage to guarantee its quality.
The area surrounding the distillery is full of wheat and barley and as a nod to the farming heritage, the gin is made using the barley to give it its unique highland character.
All the botanicals used are also sustainably sourced from the abundance of berries, flowers and flavours that can be found in the area around the distillery. There are around 20000 Scottish juniper berries in each batch along with sea buckthorn from Nigg Beach. The other botanicals are foraged from the surrounding hills and hedgerows.
Sutors Gin Key Facts
Launched: October 2019
The Sutors Gin Story
Sutors was born when Stuart Wells decided to make his gin-loving partner Clair a present for her birthday. Stuart recruited his friend Ed who is an agronomist and has always had an interest in homebrewing to help him. He is also married to the daughter of a malting barley producing farmer so it is the perfect way to get easy access to the raw materials!
The pair enjoyed the experimental nature of gin making and the process appealed to Stuart's curious side. Fortunately, Clair also loved the gin!
Stuart and Ed weren't able to stop there and the simple birthday present turned into a four year journey, adding James to the team in the process.
As the brand developed, they set very clear values which placed localism and provenance are at the forefront of everything they do.
The four key values of Sutors Gin are:
- Highland Grown - they only use Highland grains, juniper and botanicals. All botanicals are hand foraged sustainably
- Deliciously Smooth - the spirit is distilled 4 times to ensure it is deliciously smooth. Ingredients this good need treated with care
- Hand Bottled - the gin is bottled by hand and dispatched in plastic free packaging. They are actively working to reduce their environmental impact
- A True Distillery - all processes are carried out on site. They mash, distil and rectify using only Highland ingredients.
Sutors is a contemporary Scottish gin with a unique juniper forward character.
It's creamy smooth and has notes of citrus (mainly from the sea buckthorn), rosemary, a little aniseed and an almost cucumber freshness to support the juniper.
The finish has hints of spice and a long, warming juniper flavour.
Despite only being launched late last year, Sutors has already picked up a Silver Medal at the London Spirits Competition and has been given an Excellent rating from Difford's guide. It was also a finalist in two categories at the 2020 Scottish Gin Awards; Best Distilled Gin and Best Newcomer.
The team know that Sutors is not for everyone but is a balanced drink combining the agricultural plains and the unbridled wild spirit of the Highlands.
We have found that Sutors is exceptionally versatile and is a great gin for sipping over ice.
Our favourite serve for a rich and balanced G&T is 50ml of the gin mixed with 150ml of tonic (Cushiedoos is perfect) and garnished with a ribbon of pink grapefruit zest. However, any citrus fruit works well.
It also makes a great base for a number of cocktails. One of the favourites from Sutors is the Auld Alliance.
Mix ice, 25ml Sutors Gin, 20ml elderflower cordial and 20ml lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a flute or cocktail glass and top with prosecco or champagne.