REVIEW: Colonsay Gin

I first came across Colonsay Gin a few months ago when I started following them on social media, and have followed their success ever since.


The story begins (well, sort of - keep reading!) in August 2016, when Finlay and Eileen Geekie moved from Oxfordshire, where they’d lived for over 30 years, to the tiny island of Colonsay, to start a new life and establish their new business – Wild Thyme Spirits.


* Presumably they didn't walk the 500 miles or they would have had to walk 500 more ... 😎

The move was sealed after a visit to the Junipalooza festival in 2015 where the couple met Martin & Claire Murray from Rock Rose Gin and thought… "we could do that!" - so they did, after a lot of hard work in firstly researching the gin business and then perfecting the flavour profile of their gin.

Their dream of living on an island off the West coast of Scotland had started back in in 2007 with the purchase of their house, although it took until 2016 for them to finally up sticks & make the island their home.


Not content with simply producing an artisan gin, Wild Thyme Spirits also runs a fabulous Gin Lover’s Retreat from its remote Hebridean HQ - I will feature this separately in a future post.

Tigh na Uruisg 

Colonsay Gin is in the classic London Dry style and is juniper led. In an increasingly crowded market place, where the next big thing is finding the wackiest & most obscure botanicals, Fin & Eileen have made the conscious decision to stick to a more traditional gin.

Colonsay Gin takes its inspiration from a mixture of Celtic folklore and the natural Hebridean beauty of the island. The Gin is hand-made in small batches of 160 bottles to a recipe that is closely guarded by our special helper, ALVA, a delightful, red-haired maiden, who lives at the home of Wild Thyme Spirits – Tigh na Uruisg – which means Home of the Spirit. Colonsay Gin is all about a sense of place and the heartfelt passion of those who make it.


"Smooth and slightly sweet, strong juniper notes transport you to a pine-fresh walk through the magnificent woodlands of Colonsay House, before the flavour develops into a delicate balance of spice, peppery notes and lemon sherbet"

During my tasting, I found the gin to deliciously smooth and with identifable notes which will make it stand out from some other London Dry gins where it can sometimes be very difficult to tell them apart.



Serve as a Colonsay G&T with Fever Tree Premium Tonic and a twist of orange peel or, for a change, why not try it as I did with a slice of green chilli which gives it a little kick - and is absolutely delicious.

You could also try making a classic cocktail, the Colonsay Bramble:

  • 2 shots (50ml) Colonsay Gin
  • 1 shot (25ml) Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 shot Sugar syrup
  • 1/2 shot Creme de Mure

Method:

1. Pour the Gin, Lemon Juice and sugar syrup into your shaker, half-fill with ice, and shake until ice cold
2. Strain into a tall glass filled with more crushed ice,
3. Drizzle the Creme de Mure over the top so it trickles through the ice all the way down the glass
4. Garnish with fresh blackberries and a slice of lemon



The gin is currently distilled by Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire but the couple has a definite vision of being able to establish a distillery on the island itself. The likelihood is that full production won't move to Colonsay until the summer of 2018. Wild Thyme already has an ‘in principle’ distilling licence which required the building works to be completed before the full licence approval is granted, The intention is to replicate the still set up used in Strathearn use to avoid disturbance to the recipe that is proving a hit with many gin drinkers, myself included.

Plans are also afoot to create a limited edition series of gins, potentially in time for the Festive Season, and you can be sure that you will read all about these here on the Ginstagram blog when full details are available.

Until then, I highly recommend that you look to invest in this high-quality gin - it's definitely going to become a firm favourite with me for sure.




Colonsay Gin is available to buy online priced at £11.25 for 10cl or £38.50 for 50cl, with free UK shipping


* Many thanks to the Brand Ambassador, Scott Rose of Dutch Courage Spirits, for my sample to review



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