Shetland Reel Gin
Glad to announce that February’s Gin of the Month is Shetland Reel Gin. Another Scottish Gin, all the way from the very top of the country on a wee island – Unst in Shetland. I had the pleasure of visiting Shetland in the summer and went on a distillery tour.
The distillery is situated at the very top of Shetland in an old RAF base. The base closed in 2004 and was bought over by Frank and Debbie Strang. They have turned the base into a holiday resort, with restaurants, accommodation and much more in the pipeline. The gin distillery is housed in an old supply building.
The Original Gin Contains nine different botanicals including apple mint which is grown on Unst and used in the gin to give it a delicate freshness. This combined with the cinnamon, coriander and citrus peels creates a well-balanced London Dry Gin.
The Ocean Scent Gin is created using locally foraged bladderwrack seaweed. It is inspired by the fact that Unst is an island. The gin has a subtle salty taste to it but is not too overpowering. Don’t let the seaweed put you off!
Simmer Gin is inspired by the orange sunsets in Shetland during the summer months. It is a much sweeter gin than the others. The orange botanicals make the gin taste of marmalade and make Simmer Gin, a perfect summer gin. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up and have a chilled glass of this in the sun.
Other Limited Editions include the Up Heely A Gin and Holly Days.
The distillery is essentially a large warehouse, with a still, bottling room and storage room and tasting room. We were told a little about the history of the gin and how it came about before following the different processes. It is surprising to note that everything is done by hand here, from the distilling to the bottling and even the putting of labels on the bottles! There are 4 members of staff (at peak times). The end of the tour is rounded off with a tasting of 3 of the gins and the Shetland Whisky. You are not rushed through the tasting and the staff are really kind and take their time to answer any questions. Included in the tour price is a miniature to take home and money off to buy anything else that you fancy. It is well worth the visit, but it needs to be pre-booked and I would suggest staying a night on Unst. As it is two ferries away from mainland Shetland.
The recommended serve for the Original Gin is to serve with Tonic and either a Kiwi or Grapefruit garnish – this takes away the acidity of the citrus peel.
The Ocean Scent Gin is recommended to be served with Mediterranean tonic and either an apple or orange garnish to complement the flavors.
The Simmer Gin is recommended to be tried with Sicilian Lemonade and a sprig of rosemary for a perfect summer gin!
The Further Details
For further details on how to book a tour or to purchase your own gin to sample look here http://www.shetlandreel.com
Although I know you can buy Shetland Reel in some supermarkets.
Thank you to the wonderful team at Shetland Gin for sending me some samples to test! I will be posting some more cocktails and ideas throughout February on my Instagram page.