Wild Thyme Spirits to move gin production to Isle of Colonsay

Wild Thyme Spirits is to move the production of its gin from the Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire to its Hebridean home on the island of Colonsay, having established an exclusive agreement to forage for botanicals in the Colonsay Estate.

Image: Simon Lees

The distiller hopes to produce its first “island batch” of Colonsay Gin in May.

Founded by Fin and Eileen Geekie in 2017 after they relocated to the island from Oxfordshire, Wild Thyme has until now been produced with the assistance of Strathearn Distillery.

Speaking to the drinks business, the couple stated that it was their plan “from the outset” to move the production to Colonsay.

“The success we’ve had and the feedback from customers on our product in the first 12 months has gives us the confidence to accelerate those plans,” they added.

“We have planning approval for a much larger and grander distillery building which is a couple of years off, but setting up this operation in existing premises allows production to be brought home to the island much sooner than our original business plan projected”.

Wild Thyme has invested a “substantial sum” in the business already, with further investment planned upon completion of its bespoke distillery in the coming years.

While there will be no formal tours available to the public, at least at first, the couple do offer a two-night gin retreat priced at £325 per person.

Fin and Eileen Geekie. Image: Simon Lees

Wild Thyme has replicated its set-up at Strathearn Distillery “to avoid any up-scaling (or downsizing) issues with the recipe”.

The gin is made in 100-litre copper stills in batches of 162 bottles. The gin will be bottled on site, Wild Thyme has confirmed.

Colonsay Gin has over 100 stockists in the UK and is also exported to Canada and Spain.

The couple also hopes that the move will also “cement our provenance as an Scottish island producer, create much needed local employment opportunities, generate production cost savings, improve quality control of branding and packaging and heighten our on island tourism profile”.

Colonsay is located between the Scottish islands of Islay and Mull, close to neighbouring Jura, and is a two and half hour ferry ride from Oban on the Scottish mainland. The distillery itself will be situated in the Upper Kilchattan area of the island, four miles from the pier and Scalasaig.

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