A gin made with herbs gathered from around the walls of the Castle of Mey and a rare, limited edition single cask whisky from Glen Ord distillery have been launched by a brand inspired by HRH Prince Charles.

The launch of the two products marks a major milestone for Mey Selections, which was established in 2005 and is managed and retailed by Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd, with the support of His Royal Highness.

Named after the beloved Highland home of Prince Charles’ grandmother, HRH the Queen Mother, the award-winning range was created as part of a charity initiative to help surrounding communities by supporting the local food and drink industry.

The Mey Selections Rare Cask Release is the first in a series of rare whiskies specially selected for Mey Selections by a team of Highland whisky experts who worked with one of the world’s top whisky makers.

It is a limited edition, non chill filtered, cask strength 12 year old whisky from Glen Ord distillery, the only remaining single malt distillery on the Black Isle.

Casks from this distillery are normally reserved for Diageo’s premium Singleton single malt whisky as well as being a key component of Johnnie Walker, the world’s most popular
Scotch whisky.

The cask was hand selected by Goldfinch Whisky Merchants for discerning whisky lovers, and as whisky collectors know, a single cask of whisky is unique and can never be repeated.

The gin

royal whisky and gin

Picture: Mey Selections gin

The Mey Selections Traditional Scottish Gin – newly bottled in an eye-catching dark blue glass – is made at Dunnet Bay distillery in Caithness, the home of Rock Rose gin.

As well as containing all the botanicals used in their famous Rock Rose recipe, the Mey Selections Gin contains three additional herbs: sweet cicely which grows beside hedgerows around the castle, applemint which grows locally in forest areas and bog myrtle which is sourced from around the walls of the castle itself.

All Mey Selections produce originates from artisan producers within 150 miles of the Castle of Mey. From his childhood, Prince Charles spent many happy days at the castle, inspiring him to contribute something of lasting local value.

The first bottle of each gin and whisky will be sent to HRH Prince Charles and a percentage of the revenue from sales is reinvested in supporting the Highland food industry.

Simon Briggs, Sales Director for the brand’s distributor, Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd said: “Demand is increasing for the Mey Selections range due to its quality, Scottish provenance and the royal connection.

“We have opened up new markets in the USA and Switzerland and, because of global booming markets for whisky and gin, we expect these two new products to widen interest even further.”

royal whisky and gin

Picture: The botanicals in the gin include new additions from the Rock Rose recipe

Whisky maker Max McFarlane, who has ensured the quality of some of the industry’s most iconic brands, and who is selecting exceptional whiskies for release by Mey Selections on behalf of Goldfinch, said: “I sampled casks from all over the North of Scotland but this particular cask had superior sensory and palate qualities. It has the wonderful flavours of a sherry cask which is filled with whisky for the first time.

“It is fresh and fruity on the nose with hints of white grapes and aromatic spices followed by a breath of warm butterscotch. Beautifully formed and well rounded on the palate, sweet notes of vanilla and prunes are enriched by suggestions of malted barley and linseed oil.

“A whisper of light spice heralds a deliciously smooth and lingering finish. Add all this to good maturation and natural colour and we have a product fit for a King.”

Martin Murray, founder of Dunnet Bay Distillers said: “The gin we have created for Mey Selections contains our award-winning blend of 18 botanicals but also three herbs which grow close to the Castle of Mey.

“Applemint gives a slightly sweeter flavour than other mints and grows in the local forests. Sweet cicely, gathered from the hedgerow, has a gentle aniseed flavour, whilst the bog myrtle from the walls of the castle itself lend a herbal, menthol flavour. It is a great gin for a gin and tonic with a slice of orange or grapefruit peel. ”

Where to buy

royal whisky and gin

Picture: Mey Selections

The Mey Selections Rare Cask Release and Traditional Scottish Gin will be available to buy online from Loch Fyne Oysters and the whisky is available via Goldfinch Whisky Merchants.

Following the sale of the first cask, further bottlings from other notable and distinguished distilleries in the Highlands are planned.

The gin is priced at £40 and the limited edition whisky retails at £118.

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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