Blackwood’s gin uses local botanical ingredients from Shetland, to produce a premium spirit that has all the aromatic richness of classic gins with a strong hint of fresh citrus.
Produced in small batches in Shetland Islands (North of Scotland), Blackwood’s Vintage Dry Gin draws on the local botanicals and history to create a crisp and aromatic gin. It has been allegedly reported that gin (amongst other spirits) has been smuggled, traded and illicitly distilled in the Shetland Islands for centuries. This premium Dry Gin uses a local Nordic recipe reflecting the local distilling legacy in the Shetlands that has its origins in Viking times. Local crofters harvest the regional botanicals each summer (roughly between June and September depending when summer comes), in proportions that do not disturb the fragile habitat.
The botanicals used include wild water mint (gathered from around lochs in the remote outer islands), sea pink flowers, juniper berries, angelica, coriander, dried lemon and orange peels, cassia bark, liquorice root powder, nutmeg, cinnamon bark, orris root, violet flowers and tumeric. The outcome is an award winning gin, subtle on the nose with a smooth, fresh taste complete with citrus and herbal notes. Furthermore, although faint, the meadowsweet and sea pink flowers bring a slight sea green colour to the liquid.
Interestingly, Blackwood’s don’t attempt to maintain a consistent, identical taste year-on-year. Instead, they allow the climate to dictate the flavours of their gin as depending on weather conditions, the quantity of the wild botanicals vary each year. While there are similarities between years as well as an obvious quality control, there’s a definite shift in flavour caused by the climate’s seasonal effects on either the herbal or floral botanicals, giving each “Vintage” distillation its own unique flavour signature.
Blackwood’s gin is triple-distilled using a similar technique to Caorunn Gin –i.e slowly distilled in a small copper still, layered with perforated trays of the hand-gathered wild botanicals. Spreading the botanicals on these trays allows the grain spirit vapour to meet the botanicals on the largest possible surface during a long and careful infusion process. It is then bottled at 40.0% ABV.
Blackwood was founded in July 2002 with the aim of building Shetland’s first Scotch whisky distillery. However in May 2008, the company went into administration, with a new company, Catfirth Ltd, being established to continue the business. It’s difficult to separate fact from rumour (sometimes malicious) about what happened to date, the plans going forward or the distillery and it’s producers- but suffice to say the gin was born from this enormous distillery fiasco. Now managed by Blavod Wines & Spirits the actual Blackwood brand now has nothing to do with the original company, however it continues to be dogged by incessant rumours not helped by a lack of official information.