March’s Gin of the Month is another Scottish gem - Barra Gin. Barra is a small island off the West Coast of Scotland and its unspoilt beauty provided the inspiration for the Gin.
Initially, on the nose the gin has a fresh, light and crisp smell, immediately transporting us to those beautiful Barra beaches. Barra has a population of just over 1000 and you may know it as the island where they filmed the original Whisky Galore film, so it is only fitting that the island produces some more wonderful spirits.
Michael and Katie Morrison, the couple behind Isle of Barra Distillers, put a little bit of Barra into their gin by using locally foraged carrageen seaweed as one of their 17 botanicals. The carrageen seaweed is collected after the springtime tides when the waters are furthers from the shore. Whilst the distillation of the gin is currently outsourced there are plans to build a distillery on the island which would be great for the local community.
The bottle is a beautiful marbled design that makes us think of the beautiful clear waters of Barra. The shape of the bottle reminds us of a vintage style bottle that wouldn’t look out of place washed ashore with a scroll containing a message in it.
Tasting it neat, we got a very smooth and creamy taste. The saltiness of the seaweed gives a lightly salted, coastal aftertaste that lingers nicely. It is a very palatable gin that can definitely be served on the rocks.
In terms of perfect serve, the distillers recommend either Lemon or Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary and a dash of Mediterranean tonic. We whole-heartedly agree with that and really believe you should add the tonic sparingly. The gin has a range of delicate flavours and too much tonic would overpower it. We also experimented with some of Fentiman’s Connoisseurs tonic water and with s garnish of some herby lemon thyme from the garden and thought this was a beautiful serve. The connoisseurs tonic does not have the overpowering quinine flavours that can often drown out the flavours of a gin and the lemon thyme brings out a beautiful and delicate earthy citrus taste. We like it as an alternative to the often overpowering lemon slice.
Overall it was a winner in our house. The gin is delicate and we think it is a fancy gin. It is one that the flavours should be savoured. It is a gin to sit and appreciate the intricate flavours. We think it is definitely one to put on your Gins I Must Try list. Sit back relax and think of the sunny beach days there are to come!