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Attention gin lovers, we come bearing exciting news and the chance to win a bottle of Wild Island Botanic Gin‘s latest expression ‘Sacred Tree’.
Wild Island Gin was one a firm favourite in our collection last year, we drank that bottle dry and now have a new favourite to take its place – one lucky person will soon have a bottle too!
Wild Island Botanic Gin, the international gold medal-winning gin using botanicals from the remote Hebridean island of Colonsay, has launched its second permanent expression exactly a year after the much sought after release of its first.
‘Sacred Tree’ uses an array of carefully selected Autumn fruits, including brambles hand-gathered on the island, added to a composition totalling 22 individual botanicals to create an incredibly complex, ripe fruit, spicy-sweet contemporary London Dry style gin.
The ancient Scots observed a ‘sacred tree’ calendar of which the bramble vine was one representing the month of September. It was during the month of September that the fruits were gathered and it is the bramble to which the distillers are giving prominence due to its predominant character.
The producers, Colonsay Beverages, which also brews a range of three beers at its brewery on the island, began work on the gin last year with its partner distiller, the 200 year old family owned Langley Distillery, under the guiding hand of one of the world’s most renowned Master Gin Makers, Rob Dorsett.
After a rigorous process of testing and trialling, the company is confident that the final result is a gin that “has the Wild Island DNA running through its core but offers a subtly different flavour profile lending itself to diverse mixer and cocktail serves”.
While the additional fruits – brambles, rosehip, redcurrants, elderberries, rowan berries and crab apple – have a distinct seasonal feel, Wild Island’s plants-woman gathered enough when it was ripe and ready for picking to meet anticipated demand for the year ahead.
Director of Colonsay Beverages, Keith Bonnigton, said:
“We gathered and dried the fruits to preserve them for year-round production”
“The ripe dark fruit notes push through to make this new expression fit perfectly with the increasing demand for more contemporary styles of gin, even within the London Dry category and the trend for botanical driven flavour exploration.”
“It will sit alongside our original Wild Island Gin, which leads with fresh lemon-citrus notes, as a delicious alternative”.
In the first year of its launch, Wild Island Botanic Gin was entered into two high profile awards, winning a Gold Medal at the International Wines and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in the ‘Contemporary Gin’ category and being voted a finalist at the Scottish Gin Awards based on blind taste testing. Bonnington believes that the new gin, like its successful sibling, has the potential to win major international awards.
“Working with Rob at Langley has once again, allowed us to craft a bespoke spirit that we believe will be among the best-tasting gins launched this year. The berries, which are added as botanicals, not as flavouring, to ensure we maintain a London Dry style, give a subtle rich, sumptuous fruitiness to an already fantastic spirit”.
“A splash of tonic, lots of good ice, a slice of red apple and a scattering of blackberries is all you need to create the perfect refreshing long serve”.
Bramble:- Providing lots of natural sweetness, the fruit of the bramble vine was consumed in Neolithic times and was shrouded in superstition. It grows wild on the island and is hand gathered before being added to ‘Sacred Tree’ botanicals.
Redcurrants:- Even is small quantities, redcurrants add a tart, sparkling quality to our botanical composition. While their growth can be regarded as wild across the island, Colonsay Beverages grow and gather what they need on their croft.
Rosehip:- Flourishing in late summer and early Autumn, rosehip is gathered and dried to be added to Sacred Tree’s botanicals. The berries give off a slightly tart, honey-like sweetness.
Elderberries:- While the raw fruit is relatively bland to taste, elderberries pick up more intense sweet flavour when soaked and heated for distillation. A small amount contributes to the overall juicy mouthfeel of the spirit.
Rowan Berries:- Not typically eaten raw, the rowan berries hand gathered on the island give a subtle bitterness to the spirit when distilled. They have been used for centuries in liquors and cordials.
Crab Apple:- Crab apple has the same cheek-puckering effect as citrus fruit when eaten raw. Distilled by the right hands and in the correct quantities, however, it adds a gentle acidity to help balance the rich, sweet ripe fruit characters.
Half fill a highball glass with ice. Drop in a slice of red apple then fill the glass to the top with ice. Pour in a measure of Wild Island ‘Sacred Tree’ Botanic Gin followed by the tonic and lightly stir for a couple of revolutions to infuse the gin, the apple, the ice and the tonic. Add a scattering of berries (blackberries are perfect) for added aroma.
Colonsay Beverages have done it again – another gin that tastes as beautiful as the bottle looks.
Sacred Tree lived up to my fruity expectations, it’s a spicier gin than the original expression, but still incredibly smooth. The autumnal fruits linger long after your first sip, creating an incredibly satisfying gin and tonic.
I could see this gin working wonderfully in cocktails, a Bramble springs to mind for obvious reasons.
For more details, visit Wild Island Gin’s website.
For the chance to win a bottle of Wild Island Gin ‘Sacred Tree’, head over to one of our social media accounts or leave a comment below.