Colonsay Beverages, producers of Colonsay Beers, which includes Pig’s Paradise, IPA and 80 Shilling has launched of its premium gin, Wild Island Botanic Gin, which is infused with botanicals hand foraged on the remote Inner Hebridean island.
The Fountain spoke with Colonsay’s director, Keith Bonnington, about their reasons for producing this botanical spirit, the Juniper festival and where we can expect to find this fresh, crisp spirit.
TF: Firstly, what made you move from your renowned beers to this exciting new gin?
I joined the company as a director 18 months ago with a background in premium spirits. I realised that the island on which our beer is made has some of the most amazing flora anywhere in the country and thought how interesting a gin using some of these botanicals could be. We played around with a few varieties and agreed that the influence of the lemon balm that grows wild was delivering a beautiful, subtle citrus note. We built the whole spirit around this core botanical so expect lovely citrus-lemon characters.
TF: Is this a limited edition product or is this a long-term product that we can look to enjoy with a tonic and a citrus peel in the years to come?
It is a long term product with a very clear signature serve strategy, so expect to see us around for a long time to come. In fact, when the timing is right, we have a couple of recipes that I am keen to bring to market using slightly different fruits and botanicals, so look out for those.
TF: I assume you will be taking it to Juniper this year, Edinburgh’s Gin Festival to showcase this new product?
Yes, we are in discussions with the organisers right now, so expect to see us at both the Edinburgh and Glasgow events. Make sure you come and taste Wild Island Botanic Gin.
TF: It’s presently available at Drinkmongers in Edinburgh, but are we to expect it cropping up anywhere else soon?
It is actually much more widely available than that. Drinkmonger fulfil our online orders via our website, but we are now in several wines and spirits merchants across the capital including, Fine Wine Company, High Spirits, Beets, Henderson Wines, Woodwinters, Raeburn Wines and, very soon, Appellation Wines.
TF: How does it fit on the island? How have the locals responded to the product and what role do they play within?
Our plants-woman is based on the island and has a real passion for the flora of the Hebrides. Our brewery has supported the local economy since 2007, so the launch of our gin will bring further interest to what the Isle of Colonsay has to offer. The gin has been well received by locals and is available to buy at the Pantry, the first food stop as you step off the ferry, as well as our brewery shop. We will be announcing some exciting activities taking place at our brewery over the summer months, which we are sure will garner the full support of locals and tourists alike.
For more information on Colonsay’s new spirit, Wild Island Botanic Gin, click on their website.