You can’t talk about Inshriach Gin without mentioning the estate where it’s made. Inshriach is a small but unique family-run estate, managed with conservation and nature in mind, in the heart of the Cairngorms. Here, visitors can rent the fantastically quirky estate house or one of the 5 prize-winning glamping options. Really – you need to check them out! It’s also a very popular location for photoshoots and filming.
In true quirky Inshriach style, the Inshriach Distillery started out in a chicken shed (which won channel 4’s Shed of the Year in 2015). At the time it was the home of Crossbill Gin but by the time they moved on Walter had caught the distilling bug. With a new business established and a new still he launched Inshriach Gin at the end of 2016, using only ingredients that can be picked on the estate. Following on from this, Walter collaborated on the creation and production of Duncans Gin and Fidra Gin.
The Inshriach Gin business has grown slowly but organically and Walter and his family have built everything by hand, even the bonded warehouse and bottling room which went up in 2018. Between running the estate, hosting weddings and open days and juggling 3 small kids and a constant string of building projects Walter has precious little time for marketing the gin but thankfully it sells itself in just large enough numbers to make it worthwhile.
Inshriach gin is an exercise in craftsmanship rather than salesmanship or fancy packaging, it’s Walter’s tribute to the amazing part of the world in which he lives and the abundance of amazing botany that can be found in the local area. And it’s a fine excuse for a party – the open days held at the distillery in the summer are like mini-festivals. And this is certainly a true small-batch craft gin – The Original 43% is produced in batches of 500 and the Navy strength 57% in batches of 250.
Check out the Inshriach Instagram account for the sheer variety of activity that takes place on the estate. They are spending their lockdown building a log cabin!
(All locally picked) and spring water
Upfront it’s resinous but fresh like a winter’s forest walk, opens into grapefruit and peach, then dry with potpourri and a backbone of aniseed.
On the palate:
Warming peppery juniper, with an olive oil feel on the tongue (when taken neat), spiced and tangy but not hot, superbly creamy all the way through into the finish, with a gentle prickle of juniper re-emerging at the back to bring it all together once the vanilla creaminess fades.
Powerful enough to be enjoyed neat or with a few cubes of ice, and if you have to mix it, Walter recommends you stick to a very dry martini to experience its character.
The Douglas fir really compliments an orange garnish for a gin and tonic or in orange-based cocktails such as a Negroni or something involving Cointreau.
Walter Micklethwait – all roles!
Given that this gin hails from the almost bohemian beauty of the Inshraich Estate, the simple, clean(yet wonderfully old fashioned) label is something of a surprise. However, the gin inside is anything but simple. Undoubtedly the piney juniper takes centre stage, but it is joined by fresh citrus hints, becoming sweet and fruity with an unexpected peppery kick. An exceptionally bright and refreshing gin which is excellent in a long G&T.