In August 2016, husband and wife team, Finlay and Eileen Geekie, packed up all their worldly possessions, left behind the hustle and bustle of Oxfordshire, where they’d lived for over 30 years, and moved to their newly completed, self-build house, to start a new life on the tiny, remote Hebridean island of Colonsay. They wanted to create an opportunity to combine their love of all things gin with their desire to create a viable future, living and working on this wild island.
Further information about this distillery and the products they sell will be available soon.
Tucked away between the better-known islands of Islay and Mull, and nestling close to neighbouring Jura, Colonsay is just under a two-and-a-half-hour ferry journey from Oban on the West Coast of Scotland. Since relocating husband and wife founders have developed a range of award-winning products and become the go-to destination for gin fans and island visitors alike, offering not only, distillery tours and tastings, but also, luxury weekend breaks at their Gin Lover’s Retreat.
Launched in the Summer of 2020 their latest creation Cait Sith is an Old Tom-style take on Colonsay Gin, and like their other products, takes inspiration from a mixture of Celtic folklore and the islands natural beauty. The Cait Sith is a legendary spectral cat that roamed the Scottish Highlands & Islands, mysteriously bringing with it, either a blessing, or a curse, depending on whether householders left it a suitable libation or not. Not a cat as we know it, but rather a fairy-like creature that took the form of a cat In true Old Tom style it is sweeter than a London Dry, and is bottled at 40% ABV.
On the nose the sweet citrus aromas come through from the orange and pink grapefruit. The palate has hints on orange, pink grapefruit and vanilla, with liquorice at the finish I served mine with a Light Indian tonic water and garnished with a slice of red grapefruit and a sprig of thyme. This retails in 3 sizes at 50cl, 10cl and 5cl. I purchased the 50cl at £35.00 and delivery to Mainland UK is just £3.50
I’m not sure where to start with this gin…. as they have created one of the best gins I have EVER tasted so far. Now that’s a bold statement I know, and everyone’s taste is different of course. Let us start on this amazing go-to destination and gin – that’s right a destination, not only do they sell gin, do tours, but also a luxury weekend break for gin lovers. Colonsay, also known as the jewel of the Hebrides, is situated between Mull and Islay. It is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled islands in the world. With untouched beaches, stunning scenery, rare wildlife, and all the amazing gems of an island. Then, of course, there’s the gin.
If you stay at this amazing retreat they have a collection of over 200 gins from around the world for you to choose from and, over the course of the weekend, bonus right?
This wonderful craft gin is Owned and run by a husband and wife team, Finlay and Eileen Geekie. Their company is known worldwide with exports being fulfilled as far as Canada & Spain. The gin is made in small batches using copper stills we know and love. I mean did I mention its a multi-international award-winning gin company.
From ordering from their website, which is easy to navigate, with a great amount of choice and info. You can also keep up to date with new products or special offers by subscribing to a newsletter.
My order came within days, which I was impressed with (we all love gin mail right?) So the small wait was great.
When I opened my parcel it was filled with beautiful information cards on their gins. With their famous artwork on the front of each one. The artwork coming from inspiration from the island mythical Celtic folklore. They have incorporated the artwork so you can get involved letting out your creative side with their own colouring books.
If this Covid-19 lockdown has done anything it has shown me that its wonderful to let out your creative side, all while sipping their gin! Fab! I bought the Colonsay gin – CAIT SITH which is pronounced “Caught Shee”. They quote “Old Tom is dead, then I must be Queen”. A good gin reference, and yes this gin can be queen!
This gin is the first gin I have drank full glasses of just the gin on its own with ice. Yes, it’s wonderful! Its subtle sweet orange and bittersweet pink grapefruit with a rich vanilla sweetness. With its distinctive refreshing citrus flavour followed by the smooth flowing well know dessert flavor vanilla, its no wonder it’s in my top 3! This gin is a version on the traditional Old Tom style gin and i would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone.
My partner isn’t a big Gin fan… but I always make him try all my gins (partner duties, right?) and he was surprised how much he enjoyed it too!
Showing how this gin that was taken from the 18th & 19th centuries when distillers sweetened their juniper spirits with liquorice or sugar, and in doing so created a new category of gin which Wild Thyme Spirit’s have achieved here. This mouth-watering gin starts at £11.95 for a 10cl and then £40 for a 50cl, which in the world of craft gin a reasonable price for such full-bodied gin.
Now “the ancient Scots observed a “scared” tree calendar of which the bramble vine was the “tree” that represented the month of muin, or September as known today, that month being when the fruits were gathered”. Produced on the Isle of Colonsay, Colonsay Gin Bramble Liqueur comes in a tall, slim bottle. With the gorgeous art design on the label, which represents the Elven Princess Alva. Drawn by Illustrator Caroline Vos, the image depicts the princess and her turbulent journey to the Isle of Colonsay. The smell before you even sip this liqueur, you are hit by the Rounded fresh fruit sweetness of the berries foraged from the island’s hedgerows. On its own fresh fruit sweetness, balanced by a helping of peppery, woody juniper, plus a hint of citrus cutting through. Although you are hit with a hint of juniper which lingers in the background, just to remind you that there is the gin in there too!
The essence of blackberry, raspberry and strawberry all come through gorgeously though and isn’t as sweet as you may think. It has almost a new take on a berry-based liqueur. Though If you are a fan of sweet gins and fruity liqueurs this is definitely up your street. It serves brilliantly with sparkling wine (I know a lot of gin lovers love a prosecco with a berry liqueur) but it can also be enjoyed simply over ice with a few fresh blackberries. I served mine tonight with 60mls of the bramble topped with sparkling elderflower fresh mint and blackberries, I highly recommend it.