Islands

Blackwood’s

Where is it from?
Shetland

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, wild water mint, sea pink flowers, violet flowers and turmeric.

What's the damage?
£28 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
40% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The story goes that Blackwood’s Gin is made using home-grown resources from Shetland. There’s one snag: as small islands are vulnerable to changes in vegetation they can’t guarantee a consistent taste year-on-year, so each year is a ‘vintage gin’. The people behind the gin say that local crofters harvest the botanicals each summer - they are laid out on perforated trays while the gin is triple distilled through vapour infusion in a small copper still. The gin is not distilled on Shetland.

Blackwood's 60

Where is it from?
Shetland

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, wild water mint, sea pink flowers, violets and turmeric.

What's the damage?
£30 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
60% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Shetland sits on the 60 degree north line of latitude which first inspired this 60% ABV gin - the strongest gin in Scotland. Each vintage is produced in very limited quantities - a total of 22,000, the same as the population of Shetland. The team claims the flavour is determined by the availability of the hand-picked botanicals.

The Botanist

Where is it from?
Islay

What's in it?
Juniper, apple mint birch leaves, bog myrtle leaves, chamomile, thistle flowers elderflowers, gorse flowers, heather, hawthorn flowers and mugwort leaves.

What's the damage?
£33 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
46% ABV

What makes it interesting?

With an eye-opening 31 botanicals, the flavour is complex. 21 out of the 31 botanicals grow on Islay, including the juniper. It is distilled in a low pressure Lomond pot still as Bruichladdich Distillery claims this process helps to release the aromatics from the botanicals.

Colonsay Gin

Where is it from?
Isle of Colonsay

What's in it?
Juniper and secret botanicals

What's the damage?
£39.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
47% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Colonsay Gin takes its inspiration from a mixture of Celtic folklore and the natural Hebridean beauty of the island. It is hand-made in small batches of 160 bottles to a closely guarded secret. In the style of a classic London Dry, this Royal Strength juniper-led gin balances spice, peppery notes and lemon sherbet. 

Isle of Harris Gin

Where is it from?
Isle of Harris

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, cubebs, bitter orange peel, liquorice, cassia bark and sugar kelp.

What's the damage?
£35 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
45% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The nine specially chosen botanicals seek to capture the elemental nature of the island, particularly the maritime influences of the seas which surround on all sides. Sugar kelp is key to the subtle coastal notes that mark out the spirit. Hand-harvested by a local diver from the deep underwater forests of the Outer Hebrides, this natural and sustainable ingredient completes the wider aspects of the gin's flavour profile.

Kirkjuvagr Gin

Where is it from?
Kirkwall, Orkney

What's in it?
Juniper, angelica, ramanas rose, burnet rose, borage, bere barley and calamondin citrus fruits

What's the damage?
£40 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
43% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Kirkjuvagr means “Church Bay” in Old Norse – more commonly known as Kirkwall. Centuries ago, Norsemen brough angelia to the islands – a traditional gin botanical. This botanical, found growing wild in Orkney to this day, is one of the defining ingredients. Plans are afoot for 2017 with an artisan distillery in Kirkwall, visitor centre and shop.

Kirkjuvagr Arkh-Angell Gin

Where is it from?
Orkney

What's in it?
Juniper, angelica, Ramanas Rose, Burnet Rose, Borage, and Orkney bere barley.

What's the damage?
£48.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
57% ABV

What makes it interesting?

This ‘storm strength’ Arkh-Angell Gin is designed to be more intense as a testament to seafarers. It has been created with a mission to retain the smoothness and characteristics of the original Kirkjuvagr Gin, but with a higher strength to pay homage to the proud seafaring heritage of Orkney. It carries the name of a local fishing boat that has a place close to the heart of many Orcadians.  

Lussa Gin

Where is it from?
Ardlussa, Isle of Jura

What's in it?
Juniper, rosehip, water mint, sea lettuce, rose petals and lemon thyme.

What's the damage?
Price not known

Is it Strong?
ABV not known

What makes it interesting?

Lussa Gin is an expression of the landscape on the Isle of Jura. For the all-female ‘women in gin’ team this means growing, gathering and distilling local botanicals. The result is a full-bodied floral gin with a hint of vegetation, reflecting the rich conditions of the island.

Misty Isle Gin

Where is it from?
Portree, Isle of Skye

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, angelica and lemon.

What's the damage?
£34.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
41.5% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The team behind this gin believe that provenance is everything – that abiding sense of belonging and community. Misty Isle Gin is a marriage of crystal clear spring waters from the Storr Lochs and the right balance of botanicals, including hand-foraged juniper from various wild locations around Skye.

Orkney Johnsmas Gin

Where is it from?
Orkney

What's in it?
Juniper, rose petals, Orcadian heather flower and mint.

What's the damage?
£30 for 50cl

Is it Strong?
41.3% ABV

What makes it interesting?

What started out as a hobby, making hand-crafted gin as a Christmas present for family and friends, is now a family-run business. The inspiration is the rugged coast and wind-swept hills of Orkney, so local botanicals form the base of the gin. The gin is made with a bathtub-style method: this involves blending a variety of botanicals with seven times-distilled spirit. This way it is a modern take on a traditional method. The team produces two seasonal gins, each of which are filtered, bottled and labelled by hand. Johnsmas is the Orcadian midsummer so the gin is fresh and light with floral notes. 

Orkney Mikklemas Gin

Where is it from?
Orkney

What's in it?
Juniper, mulled spices, cinnamon, Seville orange peel, Orcadian rose hip and heather berries.

What's the damage?
£30 for 50cl

Is it Strong?
41.3% ABV

What makes it interesting?

What started out as a hobby, making hand-crafted gin as a Christmas present for family and friends, is now a family-run business. The inspiration is the rugged coast and wind-swept hills of Orkney, so local botanicals form the base of the gin. The gin is made with a bathtub-style method: this involves blending a variety of botanicals with seven times-distilled spirit. This way it is a modern take on a traditional method. The team produces two seasonal gins, each of which are filtered, bottled and labelled by hand. Mikkelmas is the feast of St Michael, celebrated during the first half of October to mark the end of the harvest. This gin is warming and spicy and works well as a hot toddy.

Sea Glass Gin

Where is it from?
Orkney

What's in it?
Juniper, lavender, lemon verbena, orange, mint.

What's the damage?
£34.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
43% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Deerness Distillery is said to be the first new commercial distillery on Scotland’s Orkney islands in over 130 years; it is situated in the parish of Deerness in Orkney’s east mainland. The spirit is made in a traditional alembic copper pot still with an additional reflux column to refine the process, then the liquid is cut with pure Orcadian water before each bottle is hand-filled, corked, sealed and signed. In addition to gin, the Australian husband and wife team plan to introduce vodka, rum and a coffee liqueur. An on-site shop and viewing area are scheduled to open in 2018.

Shetland Reel Gin

Where is it from?
Shetland

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, orris root, cassia bark, citrus peel and apple mint.

What's the damage?
£29.99 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
43% ABV

What makes it interesting?

A truly authentic Shetland gin from Shetland's only distillery. Created in Unst, the most northerly island in the UK, this traditional-style gin has a unique Shetland twist with the inclusion of apple mint - grown and harvested on Unst by Unst Market Garden.

Shetland Reel Holly Days Gin

Where is it from?
Unst, Shetland

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, orris root, cassia bark, citrus peel and apple mint.

What's the damage?
£35.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
43% ABV

What makes it interesting?

This limited edition gin was produced for Christmas 2016. The team took Shetland Reel signature gin and gave it a festive twist with more juniper, more spice and more citrus. Everything to excess, just like the festive season!

Shetland Reel Ocean Sent

Where is it from?
Shetland

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, orris root, cassia bark, citrus peel, seaweed

What's the damage?
£32.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
49% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Ocean Sent Gin uses locally harvested seaweed - washed and dried before distilling in the distillery's small copper pot still with other carefully selected botanicals. The result is a London Dry gin with a depth of flavour. It also makes a good base for cocktails.

Shetland Reel Simmer Gin

Where is it from?
Unst, Shetland

What's in it?
Juniper, oranges, spices

What's the damage?
£35.00 per 70cl

Is it Strong?
49% ABV

What makes it interesting?

The special edition Simmer Gin from Shetland Reel is inspired by the magical Shetland 'simmer dim' or summer twilight when the sun barely falls below the horizon, seeming like an endless day. Distilled and bottled on Unst, Simmer Gin is designed to be a reflection of the lasting amber skies with an intense orange flavour and spicy finish.

Shetland Reel Up Helly Aa Gin

Where is it from?
Unst, Shetland

What's in it?
Juniper, coriander, orris root, cassia bark and citrus peel.

What's the damage?
£17.00 for 20cl

Is it Strong?
57% ABV

What makes it interesting?

This unusual limited edition gin was designed with Shetland's world-famous Viking fire festival in mind - Up Helly Aa. Light straw in colour, it has been aged in ex-whisky casks and bottled on Britain's most northerly isle, Unst. The gin delivers notes of wood and spices to give an extra spark - specially created to accompany the fiery festivities.

Tyree Gin

Where is it from?
Isle of Tiree

What's in it?
Juniper, kelp, eyebright, ladies’ bedstraw, water mint and angelica.

What's the damage?
£35.00 for 70cl

Is it Strong?
40% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Tyree Gin is the second product released by Tiree Whisky Company Ltd. The predominant flavour is achieved through six locally foraged botanicals, collected from the island’s rich and fertile machair ground. This is blended together with kelp and sea-belt from the wild Atlantic Ocean to create ‘the true taste of Tiree’.

Wild Island Botanic Gin

Where is it from?
Isle of Colonsay

What's in it?
Juniper berries, coriander seeds, sweet Mediterranean lemon peel, orange peel, liquorice, cinnamon bark, angelica root, orris root, cassia bark, nutmeg, lemon balm, wild water mint, meadowsweet, sea buckthorn, heather flowers and bog myrtle.

What's the damage?
£40.00 per 70cl

Is it Strong?
43.7% ABV

What makes it interesting?

Created by the team at Colonsay Brewery, and working with Langley Distillery, this small batch gin takes its design inspiration from the colours and contours of the island’s beautiful Kiloran Bay, and takes its flavour inspiration from the island flora and wild botanicals. 

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