Arbroath smokie gin unveiled by Scottish distiller

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Scottish distiller turns to the smokehouse for inspiration

I f there is one thing we don’t seem short of at the moment it’s flavoured gin. All the same, a gin that's flavoured by the smoky aromas redolent of that breakfast superstar the kipper is a new one to us.

Step forward Scottish distiller Gin Bothy which has been experimenting with flavouring its botanicals in a smokehouse normally used for those tasty cured haddock delicacies known as Arbroath smokies.

Gin Bothy founder Kim Cameron joined forces with smokehouse specialists Alex Spink and Sons to apply traditional smoking techniques to juniper, orange peel, coriander and lemon which were then distilled to create the smoked gin.

Cameron said the innovation felt like a logical move for his brand because the process of smoking ingredients and products was such a long-standing part of Scottish culture.

Gary Morrison-Lundie, of Alex Spink and Sons, added: 'Smoking fish in the traditional method in a bothy smokehouse is one of the few traditional skillsets still being passed down the generations, using the same techniques and equipment as generations before us. Using that knowledge in new ways creates a connection with other parts of Scottish culture, keeping it alive and in our communities.'

Legend has it the charms of the Arbroath smokie were discovered by chance in the 18th century, when a storeroom containing barrels of salt-preserved haddock burnt down. The locals then sampled the debris and found it to their taste. Fun as that tale may be, the process is more likely to have its origins in Viking methods of preserving food over winter that can still be observed in parts of Scandinavia.

While we haven’t tried the gin (not yet, anyway) Cameron says its flavour notes include a burnt orange deep citrus flavour with the smokiness following and recommends it to wash down the likes of Scottish smoked salmon or smoked game charcuterie. An initial run of 250 bottles is being produced, priced at £35 each.

Gin Bothy's website

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