Our featured gin this month comes from Isle of Bute Gin. Oyster Gin, the world’s first Oyster-charged gin, is distilled with botanicals harvested across the picturesque island on Scotland’s West Coast.
Head Distiller Simon Tardivel, who’s worked all over the world as a multi award-winning distiller and brewer, fell head over heels for the island and it is this that inspired him to create Oyster Gin and its siblings.
Founded in 2018, following a chance encounter at an industry event, when Simon was introduced to the team behind Glasgow Beer Works craft brewery, the idea of Isle of Bute Gin was born. Fast forward a few years, the distillery and gin garden are now publicly accessible and a 200L copper still takes pride of place.
For Simon, there’s a very clear driving force behind his work: “The Isle of Bute is a magical place and it has inspired very special recipes for exciting craft gins that capture the essence of island life.”
Oyster Gin is handcrafted using an Oyster shell charged copper still. The Oyster shells originate from Loch Fyne, a sea loch that extends 65 miles inland from the Sound of Bute, and they bring a delicate maritime hint to this citrus-based savoury gin.
Isle of Bute’s 200L copper still, is not only a central part of the newly renovated Isle of Bute distillery at the heart of Rothesay, but an integral part of the subtle flavour profile you’ll note in Oyster Gin. Traditionally, copper stills were used for their ability to evenly distribute heat and at the same time absorb sulphur - a natural bi-product of the process - which results in a smoother and more subtle flavour.
The Perfect Serve
Serve over ice, along with Bon Accord tonic water and garnish with fresh cucumber and cracked black pepper. Replace cucumber with sea kelp for a real maritime twist.
Location: Rothesay, Isle of Bute
Released: July 2019
Aside from the Loch Fyne Oyster shells, key botanicals include coriander, lemon, lime, angelica and nori seaweed.
All images © Isle of Bute Distillers