Being voted third most popular gin by Scottish gin lovers was ‘astonishing’ to Fiona Walsh and John Anderson of Redcastle gin, based near Abroath. 
They both had extensive experience in the drinks industry, John as the owner of Redcastle brewery, producing a range of beer, and Fiona has more than 20-years experience in the sales and development side of spirits, in some of the largest global drinks companies. But when their joint gin venture picked up third place, it was worth all the work they had put in to get to this point.
Redcastle gin is a premium spirit containing a secret mix of 13 botanicals and offers an unapologetic citrus-spice punch. 
Launching this new business a couple of years ago coincided with Fiona being pregnant with her second child, she says: “We were going through the recipe development stage with our wonderful distiller, and I’m sure I was being a real pain, as my heightened sense of smell was picking up all sorts of notes in the gin, that ordinarily I may have missed. However, it has paid off and we have a really smooth gin, full bodied and packed with flavour, it doesn’t need anything added to offer a fantastic Scottish drink.”
Some gin producers seem to be going down the same route and diversifying into gin liqueurs, and Redcastle has some tasty concoctions to offer. Mango and Passion Fruit, Raspberry and Pomegranate, and Blood Orange and Rhubarb have been a terrific addition to the range in a business sense. 
“The fruit liqueurs have been a game changer for us, we use pure fruit juices to retain consistency in each batch and customers always comment on the full bodied flavour that the liqueurs pack.”
Fiona continues: “I’m sure gin aficionados may be hesitant about gin liqueurs but I think they are an excellent gateway into premium gin. When I was younger I was used to enjoy sweeter, American style whiskies, and now I enjoy single malt whisky, it’s a similar progression. If you enjoy a gin liqueur, that’s fantastic, but go on and try some of the wonderful Scottish gins that are being produced as well.”
Being invested in promoting their local gin, Fiona and business partner John are both to be found at the eight to 10 farmers markets in the Dundee and Angus area that they sell at each month. They also take their range to various events throughout the year, like Gardening Scotland, Blair Horse Trials and the Glamis Extravaganza. 
What about the market being saturated with gin companies? Fiona agrees that timing is everything, they thought maybe they were even a little late two years ago, but it seems their strong product is seeing them through, and they have also added a spiced rum to their range to add variety. 
“I would be reluctant to be starting up now in the gin business,” there is a touch of gin fatigue from retailers who are being approached daily about stocking a newly released gin, but that doesn’t seem to be the message that comes across from the customers. 
Future plans include forging a stronger relationship with consumers. A tasting hut is in the pipeline, due to be open for Easter time, which will offer customers the chance to come along and see the distilling process and enjoy a bespoke tasting, whether that’s tagged onto a BBQ, a hen party or a birthday, customers can share it with Redcastle, over their favourite tipple. 
Things are moving at a pace for Redcastle, and being voted third favourite gin by the Scottish public has been a wonderful endorsement of their product.