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There are three things we like about Loch Ness gin. The first is that it shows the fantastic things that a couple can achieve. It is made by a wife and husband team Lorien and Kevin Cameron-Ross, with said husband spending his days off hand-picking juniper. Passion and commitment, what more can we say, they are values that speak for themselves and that were recognised by the industry with Loch Ness gin picking up a Spirits Masters gold award in the ultra premium category. The second is the history and connection to the landscape. Lorien’s family has lived in the Loch Ness area since 1520 and the Juniper used for Loch Ness Real and Rare gin comes from family land. The third thing we like is that it is a damn fine gin. They don’t reveal anything about the botanicals they use, other than that they use local botanicals from the banks of Loch Ness, so we were very much carrying out a blind tasting with this gin, and so what did we think?

On the nose there is bold, refreshing, cooling piney juniper with underlying floral notes and a honey sweetness. There is also subtle green herb note that ebbs and flows in the background. Overall the nose is bright and heady and invites you to take a sip…

Tasted neat, cooling pine juniper leads, followed by a confident hit of bitter and pepper. We picked up a pleasantly astringent bitter, with warm spice notes and what we felt was the mouth activation that comes with pepper, this yields to an underlying sweetness. Overall it has a long, bitter sweet profile.

With tonic the nose is reduced but still present. To taste the floral sweet notes are amplified, however what is most beguiling is that the profile starts with the bitter astringent notes with the floral notes kicking in afterwards, the reverse of what one would typically expect. This is a most satisfying, excellent and unusual gin; it’s great on the rocks and makes an excellent gin and tonic.

Another fine gin coming out of Scotland and the Cameron-Ross team have hinted they will be creating new gins in the future which we look forward to trying.