Five Gins Made by Whiskey Distillers - The Whiskey Wash

Five Gins Made by Whiskey Distillers

Nobody likes to do the same thing every single day, even when that thing is something as wonderful as making whiskey. So it’s not a surprise that whiskey makers around the world occasionally turn their attention to a different kind of spirit: gin.

Where whiskey can take a decade or longer to mature, gin can go from still to shelf in just a few days. And, of course, it’s fun. Convincing somebody to buy a whiskey laced with juniper, kaffir lime zest, and rose petals might be an uphill battle, but with gin, it’s all part of the game.

Interested in seeing how your favorite whiskey distillers moonlight as gin makers in their spare time? Here are five great gins made by brands more famous for their whiskey (or whisky, as the case may be).

The Botanist

When Bruichladdich isn’t making its award-winning single malt, it’s using an old Lomond still to produce The Botanist, a gin based on local Islay botanicals like bog myrtle and gorse flowers. Spicy and citrusy, it’s bottled at a cocktail-friendly 92 proof.

Darnley’s Gin

Located in Fife, the bread basket of Scotland, Kingsbarns Distillery is partially owned by the Wemyss Family of Wemyss Malts fame. It’s hard at work on producing its inaugural single malt, but in the meantime, it’s also gaining some traction with Darnley’s Gin, a crisp and floral gin featuring elderflower and coriander. It comes in navy strength and spiced variations, too.

St. George Rye Gin

One of the very first American craft distillers, St. George in Alameda, California, is known for its cult-favorite St. George Single Malt. Yet it also brings a spirit of innovation to its gin program. Check out Terroir Gin, made from locally foraged botanicals like California Bay Laurel and Douglas Fir, as well as St. George Rye Gin, which uses a base of 100% rye spirit made on a pot still to give it an earthy, whiskey-like structure and rich mouth feel.

Caorunn Gin

When you mention the Scottish Highlands, most people’s minds jump to whisky—but that’s not the whole story. Caorunn Gin is made at the Balmenach Distillery in Cairngorms National Park, and includes a few locally foraged botanicals along with herbs and spices from around the world.

Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin

Known for its unique floor malting program, Leopold Bros. in Denver, Colorado, routinely wins awards for its sour mash whiskeys. But to keep things interesting, it also produces Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin, which is made by individually distilling botanicals and then blending the resulting infusions together. The distillery says this method gives them better control over each flavor note and prevents overextraction.

About the author

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is a full-time freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Spirited Magazine, Edible Seattle, Sip Northwest, Capital Press, In Good Tilth, Civil Eats, Travel Oregon, Portrait Magazine, Artisan Spirit, and many other publications. She is the former managing editor of Edible Portland, as well as the cofounder and former managing editor of The Whiskey Wash. In 2017, Margarett won the Alan Lodge Young Drinks Writer of the Year award. She received a fellowship for the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in 2017 and 2019. When she’s not reporting stories, Margarett likes helping people use words to make interesting things happen in the world. She consults on communications and marketing projects, helps organizations raise money, and writes commercial and advertising copy for companies and brands with stories to tell. www.margarettwaterbury.com @margarett_maria