Well, what a year that has been.

As 2020 draws to a close, it is safe to say that it has been a year of the unexpected.  Looking back, who would have thought that what we knew as the ‘norm’ would all change drastically within a short space of time?  It has been quite a year and we have been reflecting on the last 12 months.

Early January, we were in the distillery office busy making plans for the year ahead. Little did we know, that these plans would not quite go to plan!  We did however get to watch Thomas on the telly.  Thomas was on the programme SAS Who Dares Wins as a part of the “Hunter Force” and was aired on Channel 4.  Well worth a watch if you are looking for something on the TV.

In February we had a list of all the trade fairs and events that we would be attending throughout the’ year.  We did manage to attend the “Gin Thing” in Glasgow before things started to change.  We thoroughly enjoyed the event and, fingers crossed, we will be able to attend more fairs in 2021 (we shall keep you posted on our plans).  Misty Isle Gin was also featured on The Scottish Gin Society’s Consumer Choice Awards this month – thanks to everyone who voted!

At the start of March we released our first new addition of the year: Misty Isle Old Tom Pink Gin.  This expression is jam packed with raspberries and blackberries that have been grown in our distillery garden and has become a firm favourite amongst the team.  It has been great to have received such positive feedback and reviews regarding our Pink Gin and if you haven’t yet had a taste, we highly recommending trying when you can.

Before the pandemic, we never once would have thought that we would have diversified from making gin to making sanitiser, but, as we said, it has been a year of the unexpected!  With the announcement of lockdown, we made the sad but safe decision to shut our Gin School doors and turn our attention to producing sanitiser.  This year, we have donated 1,000’s of litres of sanitiser to many organisations working on the front line including the Police, NHS and the Ambulance Service.  We were glad to have been able to help respond to the national shortage.

A donation we hold especially close to our hearts was the 580 x 100ml bottles of sanitiser that we donated to each pupil and staff member at Portree High School.  Our distillery sits directly behind the school grounds and we are both former pupils of the school.  We have fond memories from our time there but we doubt that our teachers would attest to that!  We also continue to support the Skye Community Response and once a week during the night, deliver donated food all over the island.  This year has been a challenging time for everyone but it is great to see the community coming together with such strong community spirit.

During the summer months it was great to be able to re-open our Gin School and Shop again and we look forward to hopefully seeing some of you next year.  In August our second new release, Cill Targhlain, was launched.  Portree was originally known as ‘Kiltaraglen’, or ‘Cill Targhlain’ in Gaelic, and this London Style Gin is distilled with sea orache from the shores of Loch Portree.  This gin makes for a lovely G&T garnished with a twist of lemon peel.

 As spooky season approached, we truly embraced the Halloween ‘spirit’ and realised our third expression of the year: Misty Isle Limited Edition Spookily Spiced Gin.  With notes of spicy pumpkin seeds, it was a Spooktacular tipple for Halloween and we loved seeing all your Halloween photos featuring our Halloween edition. 

We have welcomed two new members to our team this year.   Philipp is our Exports Manager and is based over in Germany and Sonas, who joined us in July, is our Marketing Manager.  We are also glad to say that this year we have partnered with Vincent Becker and have been exporting our gin to Germany.  If you are in Germany, hopefully you will be able to find a bottle of Misty Isle near you!  We did have plans to further increase our export market this year but sadly we had to put these plans on hold.  We are still working on our export market and, fingers crossed, we will have some added locations in the near future.

The last three months have flown by for us.  Thank You to everyone who purchased a bottle of Tommy’s Gin.  With each purchase, we made donations to several local Military Charities.  These donations were greatly received.

Although the festive period has been different this year we hope that you and your family have had a lovely Christmas and have a great New Year.  As 2020 draws to a close we are thankful for the continued support that we receive, and we are looking forward to what 2021 has in store.

With that, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2021,

Thomas and Alistair.