As always, we find ourselves at the end of December questioning “Where has this year gone?” It does not feel like that long ago we were enjoying the previous festive season (all be it a bit different than the ‘norm’) and welcoming in 2021! It has been quite the year for us here at Isle of Skye Distillers and as 2021 draws to a close, we have been reflecting upon the various events that have occurred over these last 12 months.
We all had a slightly different start to the New Year with the continuation of the second lockdown. Usually in early January we would be back in the office outlining plans and locking in ‘dates’ for various events but it was hard to consolidate this with all the uncertainty. Despite this, the last 12 months have been very busy.
2021 has been a fantastic year of awards. In February we received the news that Misty Isle Vodka had received the Gold Award at The World Vodka Awards! At The World Gin Awards our Misty Isle Mulled Christmas Gin also received a Gold Award and was named the Best Flavoured Gin in Scotland! The great news was continued with Misty Isle Cill Targhlain achieving Silver and Misty Isle Gin and Misty Isle Pink Gin achieving Bronze at the event.
Throughout the lockdown we were kept busy with distilling and while our Island Shop was closed, we took this time to refit the interior. We hosted several online tastings with Andrew from The Virtual Tasting Company and released a few Military Gin Editions for The Commando Gunners and the Highlanders Museum (located at Fort George).
In April it was fantastic to open our Island Shop and Gin School doors again! It was great to be able to welcome everyone back. The London Spirit Competition results were announced this month, and it was fantastic to hear that Misty Isle Vodka had received its second Gold Award of the year! The news was made even better with all Misty Isle Core Gins achieving Silver at the competition. Furthermore, we were then thrilled to hear that Misty Isle Vodka achieved its third gold award of the year at the IWSC Awards 2021 and was also awarded the overall vodka trophy! Misty Isle Cill Targhlain was awarded Bronze at the event. Additionally, Misty Isle Gin was a winner at the 2021 Gin Guide Awards and also achieved the Best in Scotland Badge. We were absolutely delighted with the results.
Over the summer, our Gin School was fully booked - there were some fantastic gins created and we greatly enjoyed meeting all of our visitors. We also welcomed Jenny, Jemma and Pauline onto our team this year, which took our team total up to 10.
Did you see Misty Isle on the TV this year? Another exciting thing to mention is that we had a TV advert on the telly. If you have not seen it yet, keep a look out for it! It might be making its way onto screens near you soon. 👀
Philipp, our Export Manager is based in Meschede and had a successful year expanding our Export Markets. Misty Isle Spirits can now be found in various places across Germany and throughout Europe. Our most recent partnerships are with EDEKA Bandelt in Hamburg and KIO in Warstein. Additionally, it has been great to establish a partnership with Jan and Jasper at Jazou Spiritz in Holland. To find out more or to locate the nearest Misty Isle stockist please visit www.vincent-becker.de or www.jazou.nl. To keep up to date with Philipp and Jasper’s latest export news check out @misty_isle_spirits_de or @mistyisle.nl on social media. We aim to further expand our export partners in 2022.
It was great to see the Camanachd games resume at the start of the season. We are all big Camanachd fans and as Thomas and Ceitidh are on the Board, we try to support our local team as much as possible. This year we donated shinty sticks and sponsored the ladies team. Furthermore, we donated bench seating (which Thomas made) for spectator use around the Shinty Park in time for the games resuming. We are already looking forward to the 2022 season!
In September we had a Royal visit to our Island shop from the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay. Prince Charles enjoyed a Misty Isle Pink Gin with tonic and went away with some Misty Isle gin, tablet and a Blair Douglas CD in his sporran! HRH also chatted with Thomas about his time in the Parachute Regiment as Charles is their Colonel in Chief. HRH Charles admired the Mural Wall that we completed (alongside Iain Smith and Donnie Munro) to pay tribute to a couple of local people whose talents in both music and Gaelic have really put Skye on the map. Find out more about the Mural Wall here.
It has been wonderful to have had Elizabeth (Skye Cakes Founder) host several pop-up shops in our Gin shop this year. As always, Elizabeth has had a fantastic range of cakes and goodies on offer. We like nothing better than a Misty Isle G&T paired with a delicious, sweet treat. Thank you to everyone who supports these events and we hope to hold many more this upcoming year.
We hope that you and your family are enjoying the festive season and that you had a Merry Christmas. On this note, we must mention, last Christmas we had a lovely addition to the family. Alistair, and his wife Brace welcomed their daughter Amelia on Christmas Day!
Thank you for all your continued support throughout this year. We wish you and your family all the best for 2022 and a very Happy New Year when the time comes
Thomas and Alistair.