110 years after it closed its doors, the Glasgow Distillery Company reopened at new premises within the city in 2013. The first product was launched in 2014, the Makar Glasgow Gin, a handcrafted gin produced in small batches in their own copper pot still named Annie.
The centrepiece of Makar, which is the Scots word for poet, is the juniper berries. The label describes the gin as ‘juniper-led’ and we do not disagree with this – it has very robust and strong juniper notes. The juniper is complemented by seven harmonising botanicals which are shipped to Glasgow from around the world, and this supporting role is reflected in the heptagonal shaped bottle Makar is bottled in.
Because of the 7 botanicals alongside the juniper Makar it is difficult to categorise, which in turns makes it versatile. Although Makar is one of the most juniper-forward gins available, its mix of botanicals complement and enhance the taste, with the juniper flavour leading into a pepper bite, followed by the liquorice giving warm sweet notes. The dry angelica comes through on the finish, with the rosemary giving the gin a strong herbal fragrance. The flavours of Makar are very bold, and it will certainly appeal to those, like us here at Loch Melfort, who like their gin strong on the juniper.
Makar can be garnished in a number of ways, including with a mild green chilli. Our favourite at Loch Melfort is with a lemon garnish which helps lift up the coriander, but liquorice root, with its sweetness, could work well with the juniper and lemon peel.