Note: The team at Orkney Distilling kindly sent me a bottle of Aurora gin to try, but as always I’ll let you know what I think.
Back in May 2017, I tried Kirkjuvagr gin (pronounced kirk-u-vaar) and since then, the Orkney Distilling team have grown their range with a navy strength gin and two seasonal editions. Today we are trying their winter Aurora gin. Named after the Aurora Borialis, a phenomenon that appears in the sky over Orkney as winter draws in, this gin is inspired by cosying up by the fire – cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves bring a warmth alongside pink and black peppercorns. They recommend pairing this with ginger ale to amp up the spice. So, how does it taste?
Note: I contacted the Orkney Distillery and they kindly sent me a sample. As always, I’ll let you know if I don’t like it.
Kirkjuvagr gin comes from the Orkney Distillery – and FYI, is pronounced “kirk-u-vaar”. Kirkuvagr means “church bay” in Old Norse and evolved to be Kirkwall, the island’s capital. The gin is a reflection of the island’s history and the boldness of their ancestors, making a contemporary gin using old ingredients. Angelica grows wild on the island, which is blended with Ramanas Rose, Burnet Rose and Borage and Orkney barley. Distilled in small batches in copper stills, they channel their Norse heritage into every bottle they make.
Note: I emailed Wild Island to see if they would send me a sample and they kindly did. I’ll let you know if I don’t like it.
Wild Island Botanic Gin is produced by Colonsay Beverages in the southern Hebrides on the Isle of Colonsay – home to just 120 inhabitants. Distilled with 100% British wheat, it is then infused with 16 botanicals – six of which are sourced locally including lemon balm, wild water mint, meadowsweet, sea buckthorn, heather flowers and the yummy sounding bog myrtle* (Moaning Myrtle spring to mind for anyone else?). The gin was launched in December and has already sold four batches of their gin – but I’m feeling like this is pretty special to have got some outside of Scotland. Wild Island Gin are another Scottish gin to use a beautifully designed label – it features an expressionist watercolour interpretation of the local Kiloran Bay (fun fact: you can buy Harris Tweed lampshades to match the bottles).