New gin is in the spirit of island’s traditions
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.