Industry News: Glasgow Distillery Causes A Stir At International World Spirits Challenge With a Six Medal Sweep

August 8, 2017
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Industry News: Glasgow Distillery Causes A Stir At International World Spirits Challenge With a Six Medal Sweep



Experimenting pays off for multi award-winning Glasgow Distillery Company who have won a staggering six medals at a world industry competition against 400 of the finest gins from 35 countries.

Raising the bar for craft distilling, the single malt and gin specialist is causing a stir with its newest botanical offerings to the market – Makar Old Tom and their cask matured expressions – Makar Oak and Makar Mulberry.

Rewarding excellence since 1969, the annual International World Spirits Challenge (IWSC) hosted the 10th Annual Spirits Tasting at Vintners’ Hall in London last week, and presented The Glasgow Distillery with an outstanding silver for Makar Old Tom which scored an impressive 89.9% result – an excellent gin.

Makar Old Tom is hand distilled in a copper still with botanicals including Angelica, Black Pepper, Liquorice, Coriander, Orange, Sweet Almond, Juniper berries and finished with a drizzle of honey to re-create a sweeter and more traditional style of gin. Made in small batches, this is a super-premium gin made in the heart of Glasgow.

Judges found the distillery’s newest expression to be ‘an interesting interpretation of the category’ with an ‘assorted abundance of aromas ranging from orchard fruit to explosive herbal notes to focused juniper and beyond’. The cocktail gin also picked up a bronze quality award for design and packaging. While each Makar expression picked up an additional silver award. Makar London Dry was highlighted as amongst the best in the world to enjoy with tonic, garnering a silver award based on type, age and strength.

Only 200 global quality spirits across 90 categories were recognised by an intense two-stage judging process that sets the IWSC apart from other competitions. 400 judges from 30 countries are entrusted to seek out the world’s best spirits over a seven-month period which includes both double-blind tastings and a second round chemical and microbiological analysis of the winners. The Competition’s independent Technical & Judging Committee meet once a quarter to ensure the utmost integrity, accuracy and impartiality during the judging process.

Overall, each gin in the Makar Gin portfolio was awarded:
· Makar Old Tom – Silver (Outstanding)
· Makar Original (G&T Category) – Silver
· Makar Oak - Silver
· Makar Mulberry – Silver
· Makar Original (London Dry Category) – Bronze
· Makar Old Tom – Packaging Bronze

The award wins are the latest in an exciting flurry of awards from every notable global spirits competition this year.

Commenting on the multiple award wins was Liam Hughes, CEO of The Glasgow Distillery Company, the crafters behind Makar:

"Scotland is a global destination for outstanding food and drink and this is a fantastic result for the industry. Winning six awards from such a distinguished judging process highlights our commitment to innovation and our confidence in creating super premium products for our customers to enjoy across the globe. The gin market is booming, taste profiles are evolving; customers are looking for big botanical flavours and unusual combinations. We’re passionate about our products and winning these awards gives our distillers the confidence to continue to challenge flavours, experiment and create more handcrafted products.”


MAKAR OLD TOM: Old Tom re-creates an old-fashioned, sweeter style of gin which became extinct, but has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. Before today’s dry gins, the popular style was both richer and sweeter. Makar Old Tom revives this tradition, complementing the bold juniper of makar with orange peel, almonds and a little honey. The result is an exceptionally well-balanced, complex and rewarding Old Tom Gin perfect for traditional cocktails such as the Tom Collins and Martinez.

The name Old Tom, allegedly came from wooden plaques shaped like a black cat (an “Old Tom”) mounted on the outside wall of some pubs above a public walkway in 18th century England. Owing to the popularity of Gin the British Government tried to stem the flow of gin with prohibitive taxes and licensing, which drove Gin sales underground. Under the cat's paw sign was a slot to put money in and a lead tube. From the tube would come a shot of gin, poured by the bartender inside the pub.

Botanicals include Juniper, Angelica, Black Pepper, Liquorice, Coriander, Orange, Lemon, Sweet Almond, and Honey.

For more information visit Glasgow Distillery


Makar Glasgow Gin

The first gin to be distilled in Glasgow, Makar Glasgow Gin is a vibrant, hand-crafted, super premium, juniper-led gin.

Makar is distilled in our copper pot still named Annie, named after one of the founder's grandmothers (she loved a G&T).

Makar gin combines seven carefully selected botanicals with Juniper to create the iconic Makar taste. Angelica root, black pepper, liquorice, cassia bark, rosemary, coriander seeds and lemon peel combine to create a delicate, yet distinctly bold juniper-led gin. These seven botanicals are represented in the iconic seven-sided Makar Gin bottle.

Makar derives its name from the traditional scotch word for 'the maker' or 'the crafter'. This reflects the care and attention that is invested in crafting this super-premium spirit, whilst paying respect to its Scottish heritage.

The perfect serve for Makar Glasgow Gin is equal measures of Makar and a quality tonic water, over ice, with a slice of mild green chili pepper.

Makar Gin is the first product release from The Glasgow Distillery Company and was released in late 2014.

Makar Gin is truly as bold and forward as the city from which it is from. Proudly Glaswegian, Makar is putting Glasgow firmly and squarely on the gin-lovers' map.

The entire Makar range:

  • Makar Glasgow Gin
  • Makar Old Tom Gin
  • Makar Oak Aged Gin
  • Makar Mulberry Aged Gin


The Glasgow Distillery Company

Glasgow's first single malt distillery in Glasgow since 1902 and the original pioneers of Scotland's new wave of single malt distilleries.

We take our name from one of Glasgow's oldest and original distilleries. Founded at Dundashill in 1770, the original Glasgow Distillery Company remained active until the beginning of the 20th Century where The Great Depression, Prohibition and two World Wars led to the original distillery, alongside hundreds of others, to sadly close.

In 2011, our three founding partners envisaged an opportunity to bring single-malt whisky distilling back to Glasgow. An opportunity to build a brand new craft distillery in the heart of metropolitan Glasgow and product Scotch Malt Whisky and Premium Gin in the spirit of the original pioneers in which this great merchant city was built.

In 2014 The Glasgow Distillery Company was reborn with new premises in the city and our first whisky was laid down before the years' end,

marking the next step in our journey. This whisky will mature for three years and one day from the original cask-date, waiting patiently until it's birth as a fully-formed single malt scotch whisky. In 2018 Glasgow will see the result of this patient waiting game as it welcomes it's first single-malt whisky in over 110 years.

At The Glasgow Distillery Company we look at our trade a little differently. We take on the bold character of the city from which we come; bottling the passion, personality and unmistakable character of Glasgow into our range of unashamedly bold products.

Our spirits are magically hand crafted in our three unique copper stills: Annie, Mhairi and Tara, each named after family members of our three founding members. Each of our products is hand crafted and endorsed by the Craft Distillers Association, of which we are founding members and passionate champions.


Makar Glasgow Gin:


The Glasgow Distillery Company:









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