Dunnet Bay Distillers are solid players in the gin industry. They were early starters on the craft gin scene, launching Rock Rose Gin in 2014. And, they quickly established themselves as main players, with their ceramic bottles and beautiful design, luring you in to try an exceptional gin, one that would keep you coming back for more.
Since then, a certain Scottish style of gin has emerged. Gins that have intricate profiles comprised of layers of savoury, floral and earthy tones, sometimes a hint of salinity. A perfumed complexity formed by a bouquet of locally foraged botanicals, often native and sometimes exclusive to these regions. Don’t get me wrong, Scottish gins certainly aren’t limited to this. There are some amazingly bold profiles out there too, but this more gentile and organic essence is really what turned me onto Scottish gins in the first place. The Botanist and Caorunn sowed the seeds of this style for me. Caorunn was launched way back in 2009, The Botanist in 2011, and then we have Rock Rose that not only launched that first gin in 2014, but have made many amazing gins since. For me, their curious creativity is the difference. And within their creativity that all encompassing evocation of natural beauty, of peace and quiet blended brilliantly with the wild.
If you go to the Rock Rose site you will see a huge array of expressions, including something a bit special, their seasonal editions. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter are produced every year, using seasonal botanicals that are either locally foraged or grown right there on site. It’s an impressive set up, with a geo dome to assist in growing certain botanicals in the climate, and it’s all overseen by gardener Dr Hannah PHD.
I caught up with Martin Murray, one half of the husband and wife dream team. He and Claire have been working relentlessly, building the business from scratch, with him looking after the distilling side and Claire looking after the design. It was fantastic to have a chat with him after all these years of knowing the brand.
In the video we taste through the Miniature trio set, featuring the Dry, Pink Grapefruit Old Tom and Navy Strength. We also taste the recently launched Citrus Coastal and take a closer look at the refillable pouches and Martin’s work around sustainability. The original idea of this was that you could order the miniatures from the site and drink along. However, the miniature set at £15 for 3 x 50ml bottles has unsurprisingly proved incredibly popular and is currently sold out. Keep an eye on it here and get ordering when it’s next in stock. You can buy the Citrus Coastal here. Hopefully you have some Rock Rose at home, in which case you can jump right in.
For now, it’s a great watch even if you can’t taste along just yet. We cover all sorts, from the history of Rock Rose, to production and development of recipes. I think one of my favourite things though, is that we get to spend a little time with Martin, who admits it can be tricky to meet people face to face. And, we get some lovely insight into life as distillers in Scotland, for him, Claire and the team. As well as some hints as to what’s coming in the future.
This video is also posted on the Crafdi youtube channel. There are lots of videos from our virtual conferences you can find there with distillers and those in the industry talking about everything distilling. So if you’re interested in finding out more about distilling, and tasting with different brands, then do check that out and remember to subscribe as we’re always adding new content. I work with Crafdi on the virtual conferences and the live Craft Distilling Expo, a distillers conference held annually in London, which this year falls on 30th September and the 1st October, which coincidentally is International Scottish Gin Day, so it felt right to tie everything in for this video. Happy International Scottish Gin Day everyone! There is a plethora of content planned by an amazing group of supporters, so get yourself set up with some of your favourite Scottish Gins and strap yourself in for a fantastic day! Slàinte!