Isle of Bute Island Gin - February 2021

Ally Hardy

Our featured gin this month comes of the Isle of Bute Gin Co. and is one of their latest expressions - Island Gin.

We are big fans of all the gins released by the team at Isle of Bute Gin Co. and the west coast island has a special place in our hearts, especially at this time of year.

For the last 3 years, we have spent the second weekend in February running the Bute Gin Festival and we are devastated that we can't be there this year. 

Therefore, we wanted to celebrate the island and the fabulous gins produced there this month. We hope you enjoy your little piece of Bute and you may join us there next year! 

Isle of Bute Landscape

The Isle of Bute Gin Co. Story

Launching in 2018, the Isle of Bute Gin Co. used the landscape around the island as the inspiration behind their gins. Head Distiller, Simon Tardivel, worked all over the world as a multi-award winning brewer and alcohol expert before falling in love with Bute while living there.

The first two expression launched were Gorse and Oyster. The Gorse Gin celebrated the land with the Oyster Gin being a nod to the water surrounding Bute.

Sadly the company could not find a suitable premises for a permanent distillery in Rothesay so had to make the decision to temporarily relocate to a shared space in Glasgow, travelling to the island to forage for the botanicals. The dream was always to find a permanent space for a distillery, visitor centre and tasting room and project Back to Bute was on.

While still in Glasgow, a third gin was launched. Heather Gin is a refreshing gin that is perfect for lovers of fruity & floral gins. The hand foraged heather is combined with pink grapefruit for a perfectly balanced gin.

In late 2019, a premise was found right in the heart of Rothesay with the space being secured in February 2020 and production moving back to the island soon after.

Although delighted to be back on Bute, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the opening of the tasting area and visitor centre. However, after some rearranging, the Gin Garden was able to open in summer 2020 offering G&Ts, tasting flights and some locally sourced snacks.

The Isle of Bute Gin family grew again in July 2020 with the additional of two new expressions: Oaked and the Island Gin.

Isle of Bute Gin Range

Island Gin Key Facts

Launched: July 2020
ABV: 43%
Location: Rothesay, Isle of Bute

Island Gin

Life on the quaint Scottish island was the inspiration behind the Island Gin.

It features a range of traditional and more contemporary botanicals including juniper, coriander, angelica, pineapple, basil, mint, rosemary, lime, lemongrass and lemon.

On the nose, you will get fruity and herbaceous notes. To taste, the fruity and herbaceous flavours shine through with mint, pineapple and rosemary being particularly prominent. The finish is long, fresh and aromatic.

The bottle features artwork by Scottish landscape artist Emma S. Davis. The piece is called Morning Reflections captures the bay at Port Bannatyne, a village just to the north of Rothesay.

Bute Island Gin & Tonic Serve

Serving Suggestions

When serving a G&T, we find that the Island Gin is best served in a bulbous tumbler glass with plenty of ice. A naturally light tonic works best and we recommend garnishing with a wedge of lime and fresh basil, rosemary or mint.

Our favourite cocktail with the Island Gin is a Pineapple & Ginger Garden Mojito. The ingredients are easy to get hold of, it's easy to make and it tastes delicious!

You'll need the following:

1 x highball glass
Crushed ice
50ml Island Gin
25ml lime juice
12.5ml sugar syrup
6 x mint leaves
2 x pineapple cubes
Grated ginger
Soda water

Directions

Add the pineapple and ginger to the glass and muddle. Fill the glass halfway with crushed ice, add the mint and top with more crushed ice.

Pour in the gin, sugar syrup and lime juice, stir well and top up with soda.

Garnish with pineapple, ginger and mint.

Enjoy!

Bute Island Mojito Cocktail