Quite literally, the distillery buildings look like something out of a fairytale. Overlooking one of Scotland’s most famous castles, Eilean Donan Castle, sits a collection of buildings that wouldn’t look out of place in a scene from Hansel and Gretel.
Thomas Gottwald and Manuela Kohne-Gottwald, originally from Germany, moved to Scotland in 2013 and brought a little bit of the Brothers Grimm magic with them. Manuela opened her Wee Bakery, with daughter Joline later adding her own business, Pizza Jo’s Pizza Parlour, to the site.
A few years ago Thomas, a long time gin fan, along with gin specialist Roger Knight, toyed with the idea of opening his own distillery in order to produce gins that used carefully selected traditional botanicals, but that also captured the magic of the local area. In 2019, the friends, with the help of Joline and two botanists Martin and Stefan, made the fairytale come true by opening the Fairytale Distillery. If you peek through the distillery window, you might just spot Tinkerbelle the gin still!
On the nose, delicate juniper, topped with fresh citrus and mint, chocolatey, blackberry-like, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, resinous and rooty, some gentian, a touch of lavender; a very straightforward concept. To taste, compact, aromatic, with subtle juniper, somewhat ethereal and oily pungency, orange-like, slight mushroom notes, mossy, green-grassy, tart and peely, nutty and kernel-like, with lavender. Overall full-bodied with long lasting finish.
Key Botanical(s): Juniper, Orange Zest, Summer Savory, Jasmine
Gin Style: London Dry
Strength: 41% vol
Goes great with: A slice of grapefruit, tonic and ice.
Location: Fairytale Distillery, Highland, Scotland
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You could be mistaken for thinking you’ve stepped into the pages of a Brother’s Grimm Fairytale. Hidden away in the Highlands is what must be one of the UK’s most quirky and unique settings for a distillery – a village of fairytale cottages, although this isn’t a case of make believe. A stone’s throw from the world famous Eilean Donan Castle, The Fairytale Distillery produces a range of Scottish Gin expressions all lovingly crafted in the distillery. With its rusty chimneys, squint slated roof and even a cat on the roof, a nod to the Old Tom style of gin, the distillery is just one of three businesses where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat in the cafe, visit the distillery or pick up some freshly baked bread. There are also gin tasting and gin school experiences available.
Gin School: Yes
Booking: Book a gin tasting or gin school experience by visiting their website here
Ardelve, Kyle, Highland, Scotland, IV40 8DY - View on Google Maps