Distilled in a traditional copper still, in the heart of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute comes the first oyster gin in the world.
Isle of Bute uses Scottish oyster shells from Loch Fyne Oysters to add a delicate maritime essence. When blended with citrus and other botanicals, this creates a savoury gin which is a perfect pair to seafood and the ideal base for a martini. Initially sampled near, this gin is certainly unique in its flavour profile. It's certainly a more savoury flavour with saline qualities and subtle citrus notes. Bold, fresh aromas of the seaside, citrus and pine reel you in and hint at the balance of sweetness and salinity that follows on the palate. While relatively light in mouthfeel, a layer of pepperiness adds depth and emerges well through the finish which remains smooth. It is a distinctive and characterful gin. For my first serve I went for a Vesper Martini. 60ml isleofbutegin Oyster gin 20ml shantyspirit botanical vodka 10ml lillet The seaweed botanicals from the vodka worked well with the savoury notes of the gin. As a gin and tonic, it worked amazing well with the savoury notes mellowing slightly against the sweetness of the tonic and then cooled down with a slice of cucumber. A super gin! As for the heather gin, again it is handcrafted in small batches, this Scottish gin is made using heather which is handpicked from the Isle of Bute. The wild heather is then mixed with a number of botanicals including pink grapefruit for a gin with a fruity and citrus finish that showcases the floral beauty of the Isle of Bute. The wild purple heather gives the gin a vibrant floral nose. The floral notes are balanced with the sweetness of pink grapefruit for a subtle fruity and citrus finish. My favourite serve for this one was again in a gin and tonic, simply served with a wedge of grapefruit. Sweet, floral and delicious.