Glasgow is a thriving city in Scotland, famous for several unique things, like being the world’s friendliest city, their delicious whisky, and stunning architecture. Whether for a day or a week, visitors planning to spend their vacation in Glasgow will be inundated with things to do – especially if you’re a fan of traditional Scottish whiskies and gins.
Gin, especially, is a popular drink you can savour in Glasgow, with plenty of fantastic gin distilleries that imbue the taste of Scotland into their bottles. If you’ve been to other gin distilleries throughout Scotland, like Summerhall Distillery in Edinburgh (famous for their Pickering’s gin), and want similar gin tastings during your visit to Glasgow, you’ve come to the right place.
Do you want to know which Glasgow gin distillery you should add to your to-do for a tasting? Here are the best Scottish gin distilleries you can find in Glasgow. Let’s jump right into it!
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The Glasgow Distillery Co.
One of the most famous distilleries in Glasgow is the Glasgow Distillery Company, which meticulously produces the famed Makar Glasgow Gin within this massive copper stills. Established in 2012, The Glasgow Distillery Company has consistently claimed the title of Glasgow’s Distillery. The distillery is an independent and freestanding distillery next to the River Clyde run by passionate distillers who want nothing more than to create the best spirits Scotland offers.
You only have to sample their Makar Gin, a juniper-led handcrafted gin, to know this distillery isn’t playing around. Their signature Makar Gin range comes in various flavours for the discerning gin drinker, including Makar Oak Aged Gin, Makar Old Tom Gin, Makar Mulberry Aged Gin, and even Makar Cherry Gin! They mix excellently with ginger ale, ginger beer, and tonic.
With the amount on offer at The Glasgow Distillery Co., you quickly get overwhelmed about what you should prioritise to maximise your experience. Unfortunately, the distillery doesn’t offer tours throughout their facilities or tastings, so we recommend you chat with the friendly staff here about which of their exquisite gins you should be trying.
Out of all the distilleries in Glasgow, Illicit Spirits is the punk rock cousin you never had. Based in a re-purposed railway arch that once served Glasgow’s Central Station, Illicit Spirits brings strappy and bold energy to the art of distilling spirits.
Illicit Spirits boasts a unique DIY energy in the distilling process and has a range of delicious spirits, including rum and gin! Choose between classics like London Dry and unique gin from the creative and sometimes crazy minds like New Tom Gin and the Blacklist Smoked Gin. Illicit Spirits offers a gin you can taste, unlike any other you can find in Glasgow, with an excellent story.
If you want to avoid trying the gin straight, Illicity Spirits also serves them as your favourite cocktail! And if you need help deciding which gin you should try, you can always taste them all with the distillery’s gin-tasting pack.
A humble family-run distiller in the heart of Glasgow, Shoogle Spirits offers gin lovers a stiff drink and a good story – all you could ever ask for when looking for a gin. This small-batch distillery produces some of the most transparent and delicious you can find in the city, all thanks to the dedication of its family team.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer a Scottish Dry Gin or hints of raspberry and cardamon botanicals; you can find them all here. And while you won’t be able to book to see the distillery itself, Shoogle Spirits offers gin-tasting experiences at its speakeasy, Forty-Six. So, if you want to try the gin from a hidden gem of a distillery while looking around Glasgow, Shoogle Spirits comes highly recommended.
Crossbill Distilling Ltd
Founded in 2012, Crossbill Distilling Ltd is a distillery that can claim its gins to be 100% Scottish. How is that possible? Crossbill Gin famously uses 100% Scottish botanicals in its gin, so every sip from their unique stock gets its taste from flavours in Scotland for centuries.
Sourcing their ingredients from the Highlands, you genuinely get inexperience unlike any other when you try Crossbill’s exquisite gin. Flavours of juniper berries, rosehips, and much more dance across the palate with each sip. And what better way to try a gin from Crossbill Distilling than with a gin school experience?
Crossbill is open to the public and offers incredible gin school tastings where you can not only try the fantastic gin but learn about the intricate process this small batch distillery goes through to get it in your hands. Gin distilling is an art form; visiting Crossbill will assure you of that.
Hazell & Hazell
Let’s head out of the city and slightly north to the fantastic Hazell & Hazell gin distillery. Primarily gin makers, Hazell & Hazell is an award-winning distillery with a tremendous story. This microbrewery was founded in 2014 by a man who wanted to make his dream of distilling gin into a reality.
Their distinctive Bardowie Loch gin comes in various flavours, from the classic London Dry Gin to the zesty and pink gins that grant a bit more botanical flavour. If you need help deciding which one you’d love to take home with you, we recommend picking up the distillery’s gin-tasting evening kit – which has the three signature gins that Hazell & Hazell offers.
Hazell & Hazell is a beautiful tale of dreams coming true if you set your mind to it, so if you plan to travel north of Glasgow to Bardowie, then check out these licensed distillers.
Campbell Meyer & Co Ltd
East Kilbride sits just south of Glasgow and is a quaint and homely town that offers plenty of parks if you want to enjoy the rare day of Scottish summer during your visit. East Kilbride also has more for gin lovers than meets the eye in the form of the Campbell Meyer & Co.
Home to 3 generations of blending, bottling, and manufacturing, Campbell Meyer & Co. creates world-renowned, award-winning spirits for local consumption and exporting. Not only can you try this distillery’s excellent gin, but they produce whisky too! While Campbell Meyer & Co. has yet to open to tastings and distillery tours, tasting their gin is an absolute must.
Where can you find their gin if their distillery isn’t open to the public? Just about everywhere, to be honest! Peel Park London Dry Gin is distilled by Campbell Meyer & Co. and is readily available in many liquor stores across Glasgow. There’s also Peel Park vodka and Peel Park whisky if you want to try something different.
The Garden Shed
Established in 2017, the Garden Shed is a local and independent distillery that aims to create the best spirits in both ethical and environmentally friendly ways. The Garden Shed arose when a group of friends were discussing their visit to a local distillery and, after a few drinks, decided that they loved the idea of making their own in the garden shed.
Since that inception, The Garden Shed has been making delicious and clean gin for over 5 years! The Garden Shed’s gin boasts flavours like their classic, clear gin and bramble peach, an excellent and sweet gin to pair with a tonic or mixer. With notes of bramble (blackberries), peach, and lavender, you won’t be able to get enough of this botanist gin.
As well as being an independent gin producer, The Garden Shed partners with charities to reclaim nature and support the natural environment from which they source their botanicals – it’s only fair, after all.
Born from the dream of an engineer and junior doctor, MacLeans Gin is a tale of entrepreneurship and excitement, resulting in a beautiful gin you can try when you visit Strathaven and Glasgow. Starting as an experiment out of a love of gin distilling, MacLeans now boasts several fabulous gins that will complement any night out.
Their Signature flavours are the Summer Citrus, Floral, and Winter Special gins, each offering a unique and enticing flavour profile using botanicals worldwide! We’re talking ginger, fennel pollen, orange peel blossom, and fresh cinnamon dancing across your tongue as you savour the rich and bold tastes of MacLeans. That’s not even the end of it! This fantastic distillery produces even more fantastic gins that we recommend you try while visiting Glasgow.
However, Maclean’s most famous gin is the Something Blue Wedding Gin. It has won numerous awards and, while initially only offered for a limited time, is now back to stay. If you plan on doing your Glasgow gin tasting, this excellent gin with notes of lavender, sugared berries, and marzipan needs to be there.
Ellis Gin is hard not to love, and you can tell the gin produced at this distillery in Glasgow is lovingly made and handcrafted to perfection. While you won’t find a distillery tour or tasting on-site, Ellis Gin is available just about anywhere you look, from Amazon to many hotels and bars throughout Scotland.
Their gin selection covers many of Scotland’s favourite flavours, including brambles, zesty, butterfly pea, and lemon. And if you’re dying to taste their collection, you can always opt for one of their virtual events. Here’s how it works: you’re shipped the gins and complements (chocolate, savoury snacks, and spice packs) and hop onto a virtual call with one of Ellis Gin’s practised gin tasters.
You can discover the full range of inspired tastes when you book a virtual tasting through Ellis Gin, creating the best gin experience you can receive from your home.
If you want to look at what the young gin distilling scene is creating, you only have to look at Purist Gin – created by a 21-year-old passionate distiller during the height of the lockdown! Purist Gin is instantly recognisable thanks to its unique design, luminescent jellyfish, floral patterns, and detailed drawings of iconic Glasgow attractions.
Once the bottle has gone from the shelves to your home, you can expect a great range of bold flavours from a surprisingly smooth gin. Their classic London Dry offers a delectably smooth gin that can be sipped on the rocks. Still, they have many other batches and distillery collaborations that let you taste the UK gin distillery scene. So, from their Edinburgh batch to their crossover with Lilly Bakes Cakes, Purist Gin is one distillery you need to watch.
You can find Purist Gin at several stockists throughout Glasgow and Scotland, including Taphouse Bar & Kitchen, Wee Paree, and many more.
Blendworks Gin School by Eden Mill
Eden Mill in St Andrews is a fantastic way to experience your first gin tasting, and the Gin School offers an expansive collection of gins, including cask-aged gins, classic gins, fruity gins, and botanical gins.
But if you want to indulge in a curated experience filled with informative and insightful gin knowledge, then the Blendworks Gin School tasting experience is what you’re looking for. As of the time of writing this article, Blendworks Gin School is currently closed since they’re building their new location in St Andrews, but by early 2024, you’ll be able to book and partake in the tastings offered by Eden Mill, so don’t worry!
In the meantime, if you can’t help but try their sampling of gins, you can always purchase their gin box variety pack, which includes the very best that this refined gin school experience cultivates.
The Wee Farm Distillery
The Wee Farm Distillery sits slightly out of the way from Glasgow city centre, near the town of Forth and has a highly charming atmosphere. As you arrive at this wee distillery, you’ll see cows, horses, and plenty more farm critters wistfully watching as you park near the distillery.
This hidden farm gem offers more than meets the eye for gin tasting and offers extraordinary experiences where you can try their exquisite gins or play with some adorable baby lambs. Their signature Drover’s gin is farmers’ strength and has a crisp taste that represents the work farmers put into producing Scotland’s world-class food and drink.
The Wee Farm Distillery is a family-run distillery with a lot of heart, and there’s no doubt your visit here will be filled with laughs, great gin, and friendly faces.
Other Gin Distilleries in Scotland
- Aberdeen Gin Distilleries
- Edinburgh Gin Distilleries
- Highland Gin Distilleries
- Isle of Islay Gin Distilleries
- Isle of Orkney Gin Distilleries
- Perthshire Gin Distilleries
- Shetland Gin Distilleries