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Scottish craft gin distillery opens to public

A new tourist attraction for artisanal gin lovers in Scotland has opened to the public six days a week, all year round. Persie Distillery, at the foot of Glenshee in Highland Perthshire, is where three aromatic Persie Gin styles are distilled, bottled and labelled by hand in small batches.

Developed by the founder of the world’s first touring gin club (, recipes for the Persie Gin family were created with feedback from over 3,000 people at tastings up and down the country. Persie Gin is made in a 230 litre bespoke copper pot still created by international distillation unit specialists Müller, based in the Black Forest in Germany. It is the first of its kind in Scotland 

Visitors to the steading-turned-distillery will be able to tap into all their senses by tasting the gin, smelling the botanicals, and hearing the story of how each gin is made with botanicals that “evoke an emotive and comforting scent”: the fruity burst in the Zesty Citrus Gin is said to make you feel refreshed and alert; the fragrant basil in Herby & Aromatic Gin takes you to holidays in the Mediterranean; and the creamy vanilla in Sweet & Nutty Old Tom Gin is described as a day trip treat with butterscotch ice cream.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, MSP for North Perthshire, officially opened the Persie Gin tasting room on August 11. He said: “Scotland is renowned for its world famous whisky – but in recent times gin has become increasingly popular. I am very pleased that Glenshee will soon be home to its first gin distillery, with the employment this will create and income it will generate for the local economy.

“I am delighted to help open the new Persie Distillery. The owner has developed a strong reputation in the category through his Gin Club Scotland business. I very much hope the success of that business will translate into success for the new distillery.”

Distiller Simon Fairclough cut his teeth in the spirits industry as a consultant for Johnnie Walker, Cardhu, Talisker and Jura Scotch whisky brands. In 2013 he qualified with The Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) to learn how to make his own. He says: “The rapid growth of Scotland’s craft gin movement has been phenomenal, and shows no sign of abating. In fact, the gin-loving public has developed an insatiable appetite for visiting local producers to sample the goods and see where the magic happens. So we thought we would throw wide the Persie Distillery doors and welcome visitors from far and wide throughout the year.”

Persie Distillery is open to the public six days a week: Saturday and Sunday, and Monday through to Thursday. It will close on Fridays for private tastings. Opening hours are 12 noon until 6pm. 

Persie Distillery is named after the former Persie Hotel where the gin is made. The Persie Gin family consists of: Zesty Citrus Gin (42% ABV), chock-full of fresh limes and oranges; Herby & Aromatic Gin (40% ABV), containing rosemary, basil and bay leaves; and Sweet & Nutty Old Tom Gin (43% ABV), packed with vanilla pods, almonds and a hint of root ginger. It is available to buy through and ranges from £26.00 to £29.00 per 50cl bottle.

Currently 70% of gin consumed in the UK is made in Scotland. There are 22 gin distilleries, 41 gin brands and 98 different gin expressions – with numbers rising each year in line with consumer demand.

23 August 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor