New gin is in the spirit of is­land’s tra­di­tions

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

The boys from the Sun­shine Isle have done it again, and in the most an­tic­i­pated event since their launch of their first bot­tling, Tiree Whisky Com­pany will in­tro­duce their first gin at the Tiree Mu­sic Fes­ti­val next week­end.

Own­ers Ian Smith and Alain Camp­bell, both na­tive islanders and mem­bers of the band Trail West, formed Tiree Whisky Com­pany to pre­serve and pro­mote the is­land’s whisky her­itage – af­ter all, at one time it was home to no fewer than 50 il­licit stills.

In May, they re­leased The Cairns­muir, a lim­ited edi­tion 19-year-old sin­gle malt, named af­ter an iron­screw steamer that ran aground off Hough on the Isle of Tiree in 1885 while car­ry­ing a 100-ton cargo of spir­its and beer.

‘ We are very ex­cited to fi­nally be re­leas­ing Tyree Gin,’ Ian said. ‘ We have worked very hard be­hind the scenes, from gain­ing all the rel­e­vant ap­provals to hand for­ag­ing the botanicals and the sea­weed our­selves. We are both very pas­sion­ate about Tiree and its his­tory and her­itage, so it has al­ways been im­por­tant that we have a big fo­cus on the is­land’s his­tory.’

No longer an ar­ti­san fad, gin is a ma­jor player in the Scot­tish econ­omy with gin bring­ing £1.76 bil­lion to the UK econ­omy, 70 per cent of which is pro­duced in Scot­land.

Tyree Gin is an ex­cit­ing ad­di­tion to the He­bridean gin mar­ket, with its flavour com­ing from lo­cally for­aged botanicals such as eye­bright, ladies bed­straw, wa­ter mint and an­gel­ica, to­gether with kelp and sea-belt from the At­lantic Ocean – all of which com­bine im­pec­ca­bly to cre­ate a true taste of Tiree.

‘We car­ried out a lot of re­search on the is­land’s whisky his­tory and it was that re­search which mo­ti­vated us to start the com­pany,’ Ian ex­plained.

‘ With the gin, we wanted to bring at­ten­tion to the is­land’s sea­weed in­dus­try. Even when it came to choos­ing the name we liked the idea of us­ing the is­land’s old spell­ing, Tyree.’

As well as be­ing stocked be­hind the bar for the fes­ti­val, Tyree Gin will have a stall in the com­mu­nity vil­lage where they will be hold­ing free tasting ses­sions and bot­tles can be pur­chased for lo­cal col­lec­tion.

Bot­tles are also avail­able for pre- or­der at www.tyree­gin.com.

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