Shetland Reel Gin

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From the only distillery in the romantic, subarctic Shetland Islands (closer to Bergen than to London), Shetland Reel Gin is a small-batch gin distilled on a copper still on the Island of Unst. Featuring a traditional bouquet including juniper, coriander, orris root, cassia, and citrus peel, they add some local Unst-grown Apple Mint. Apple Mint at its core is still mint, but it has a somewhat fruity flavor. Apple Mint is also favored by many bartenders for Mojitos. But I digress, did you know Shetland Reel is among the only gins I know who have a song writ about them*?

Tasting Notes

The nose is actually quite light, with the top notes dancing off Shetland Reel Gin nearly immediately. Classic juniper and light coriander as well, with citrus peel present, but not too loud. The palate is crisp and clean with a long, changing, complexity. First, a hint of savory spice on the tip of the tongue, robust juniper shortly follows with a slight lemon zest lift. The back end begins shortly with a dash of cassia followed in short order by a bold note of mint. The menthol notes take over and stay with you through the quite long finish, that does have touches of juniper as well. The finish is crisp and somewhat dry with an herbaceous twang.

Quite nice overall, smooth with a slight warmth. The spirit is of good quality, with a somewhat rich texture to it. Definitely a gin I’d like to take a closer look at.


Mostly classic with that bright mint note on the finish.  Fans of classic gin will find plenty of juniper to like in Shetland Reel Gin, but the mint is definitely the star.

Fans of contemporary gins will like the minty-fresh take on gin. Sure the mint trick has been done before, but rarely has it been executed this well. Strongly grounded in tradition, Shetland Reel Gin looks forward without forgetting its roots.


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