We're heading north this month with our featured gin for our Scottish Gin Club members coming from the Orkney Islands. An area of outstanding beauty, Orkney is made up of around 70 islands, 20 of which are inhabited by approximately 22000 people.

In the Parish of Deerness on the east mainland of Orkney you'll find Deerness Distillery, a small craft distillery owned by Stuart and Adelle Brown. The distillery was built by Stuart and Adelle (with the help of friends and family) in 2017 and it is thought to be the first new distillery of its kind on Orkney since 1885. The distillery produces a range of small batch liqueurs and spirits including our featured Gin of the Month; Scuttled Gin.

Stuart and Adelle Brown of Deerness Distillery

Scuttled Gin Key Facts

Launched: June 2019
ABV: 43%
Location: Parish of Deerness, Orkney

The Story Behind Scuttled Gin

Launched in June 2019, Scuttled Gin is a special edition gin that was created to mark the centenary of the scuttling of the WWI German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow on 21st June 1919. Developed in collaboration with the SCAPA100 initiative, a percentage of the profits went to support the SCAPA100 projects and events.

Scuttled Gin
Photo Credit: The Gin Cooperative

The German Fleet and Scapa Flow

As part of the armistice agreement made on 11th November, 1918, 74 ships of the WWI German High Seas Fleet were to be interned in Scapa Flow. 71 ships set sail from Germany on 21st November to be met by the full force of the British Navy, and escorted initially to the Firth of Forth.

They arrived in Orkney over the coming weeks with the last ship, the battleship SMS Baden, not arriving until 11th January, 2019. They lay at anchor in Scapa over the winter of 1918/1919 and were used as a bargaining tool in the peace process leading to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919, which officially ended WWI.

On the 21st June, 1919, fearful that the British intend to seize his ships and denied up to date news from the Paris Peace Conference, Admiral von Reuter initiated his plan to scuttle most of the interned High Seas Fleet. Fifty ships are sunk in the what was to be the greatest scuttling of all time.

The world’s largest feat of marine salvage ensued. Today just eight ships remain. The wrecks of Scapa Flow now offer an insight into a lost world of warship building and they remain one of the best WWI wreck diving destinations in the world.

Tasting Notes

Scuttled Gin is distilled using a variety of botanicals including Juniper, Tarragon, Cassia Bark, Lemon Peel, Chamomile Flower Heads, Green Pepper, Lavender and Mint.

On the nose, it smells a lot like many other classic London Dry Gins with notes of juniper and citrus. However, there are some intriguing and less well-known botanicals which tempt you to take a sip!

When mixed with tonic, the botanicals create a lovely taste of juniper before developing to a spicy, peppery flavour that leads to a fresh lavender mint finish.

Scuttled Gin Serve

Serving Suggestions

We recommend a number of different serves, depending on your palate.

If you enjoy a really classic G&T then we recommend with a premium tonic and a slice of any citrus fruit. For this serve we think lime works best. 

For a G&T with a modern, floral twist then serve over ice with Elderflower Tonic and finish with a wedge of juicy orange.

If you like a bit of heat then you can intensify the spice notes in the gin with a premium tonic and garnish with some crushed pink peppercorns or slices of green chilli.