The August 2021 issue of Scottish Field is out now

The August edition of Scottish Field has arrived in shops – and we’re celebrating all things gin.

This month, we reveal the results of the annual Scottish Field Gin Challenge, as we pick our top drinks in three categories.

Editor Richard Bath said: ‘We drinkers seem to have split into two camps over the past 18 months: those who have used lockdown as an excuse to open a bottle as soon as the sun reached the yardarm, and those ascetics who toned down their intake for the sake of their waistlines, livers and sanity.

‘I rarely drink at home unless entertaining or working (I also edit Cask & Still magazine –
caskstillmagazine) so probably come into the latter category.

‘Being professionally obliged to keep up with developments in the booze sector (it’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it), I know that the last year has seen some incredible whisky expressions launched.

‘There are also a large range of Scots producing niche drinks – there’s been a rush of rums, a cascade of cider and a veritable volley of vermouths.

‘Yet by far the biggest growth area has been gin, with every Tam, De’ek and Hamish coming up with an artisan tipple of mother’s ruin. Some have been wonderful, most have been workmanlike, and some have been utter dross. Many have not really been Scottish at all, a fact that only becomes clear when you’ve bought a bottle and examine the label in detail.

‘So it was a huge privilege for us at Scottish Field to run a Gin Challenge this year, in which we tested the cream of Scottish gins and distilled them down to our favourite dozen.

‘Our experts know their juniper berries and in the interests of journalistic integrity I tested every bottle. Feel free to do the same…’

We have our usual mix of features this month, as our wildlife writer Cal Flyn looks at the much misunderstood and
perennially under threat capercaillie, whose name means ‘horse of the wood’ in Gaelic.

We have a stunning feature as National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson shares his stunning Scottish portfolio.

Peter May, the author of the popular Lewis trilogy, reflects on what he missed most about the island after being kept away during the past year of lockdown.

Rory Kennedy, the new director of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, examines the importance of introducing the next generation to field sports at an early age.

In our heritage feature, we have all heard of the Glasgow Boys, but how much do you know about their female counterparts?

Glasgow MasterChef winner Gary Maclean shares seven supreme seafood recipes for you to try at home, and from family runabouts to luxury Rollers, look no further than Neil Lyndon’s round-up of 2021’s top cars.

In our regular columns, Alexander McCall Smith appears to have found the antidote to lockdown blues, and it’s by taking life in the slow lane, hospitality is back up and running, but Fiona Armstrong fears they might have walked onto a Fawlty Towers set, and persistence prevails when it comes to loch fishing, and resident expert Michael Wigan is in search of a big catch.

All this and much more in the latest issue, available now, priced £4.75 for 164 packed pages.