Distiller Leading Calls for Scottish Gin to be Given Protected Status

Angus distiller Gin Bothy, whose drinks are to be featured at the Oscars, is fronting a campaign to give the tipple the same protected status as whisky.

Gin Bothy boss Kim Cameron is leading calls for the gin to have the same geographical indication (GI) as the barley-bree.

Producers of the increasingly popular barley spirit fear the “Scottish gin” label could be slapped on products as part of underhand marketing techniques.

Latest figures show that, combined with whisky, gin sales were worth £9.4 billion in 2023.

Gin Bothy spirit is to feature at the Oscars, with 25 nominees receiving the tipple in their goody bags.

Before Kim’s gin heads to Hollywood, she met MSPs at Holyrood as part of her campaign.

She said many producers feel like her and are worried about their products being exploited.

“There are so many talented gin producers in Scotland, but it’s crucial that our work isn’t diluted by brands who are using the Scottish name to enhance their marketing,” she said.

“At the Gin Bothy, we pride ourselves on our fruit being hand-picked in Scotland.

“Our original gin that will be handed out to the top 25 Oscar nominees is made from Scottish heather, pine and rosemary.

“It’s a real taste of Scotland in a bottle and that’s how it should be.

“The danger, with the lack of protection currently in place for Scottish gin, is anyone can stick a label on their gin and claim to be Scottish,” she added.

“A lot of producers or companies would see the benefit of trading off the back of popularity of Scotland as a brand.

“Brand Scotland is a real asset to our trading capabilities and gin plays a big role in that.

“Gin is worth a lot of money to our economy and it’s important to tighten up the protection of our brands.

“This isn’t something that will happen overnight but, in my role on the Scottish Rural Leadership Programme, it’s important to engage with people who can make a significant difference to the growth of the gin industry.”

Gin Both celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

The business started in Kim’s kitchen with a raspberry gin created with leftover fruit juice from jam.

Known for its flavoured gins, the business now employs 19 staff and produces 65,000 units a year.

It has export deals with Switzerland, Germany and the USA, where it is available in 23 states.

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