Shetland Reel – Filska

Filska gin is made on the most northerly inhabited island in the UK. The name means high-spirited fun and flighty behaviour.

Price: ~ £30
ABV: 40%
Known Botanicals:
Angelica root
Coriander seed
Ground Almond
Orris root
Red grapefruit juice
Red grapefruit peel

This gin was Craft Gin Club’s offering from all the way back in November last year and is described very much as a citrus forward gin, hence all that grapefruit! Shetland Reel make a number of other gins, none of which I’ve tried! It’s been a while since I’ve had this (as you can see, I’m a hoarder, not a huge drinker) so I’m keen to give it another go!


The bottle is a very standard shape and size, but with a nice thick base that’s coloured and fades up the bottle. It creates a very nice effect, and each gin they have is coloured differently. On the front is a nice, minimal label with the logo, name, vol. and ABV printed on textured paper. On the back is the same, with a little info on the distillery and the gin. It leaves plenty of room for the bottle to show itself off. It’s nice and simple.


Unsurprisingly, grapefruit is first off the mark, bright and fruity with a floral, limeflower aroma. It’s nice, but strong enough to border on essence, which can sometimes come across a little chemical-like. Within all this are hints of other things, namely juniper and coriander, perhaps even a little almond, but they’re faint.


Neat, the gin is lovely and clean on the tongue, and it’s the grapefruit again that really pushes through. It’s rich and sweet, and that sweetness is what leads to the other botanicals beginning to come through. The cinnamon creates a soft backdrop to the citrus, along with the almond, while the coriander touches on the slightly more herbal notes. It’s nice, but it’s not subtle.

Water dampens down the grapefruit beautifully and while it’s still at the front of the experience, it’s a much more natural flavour. This then allows for the cinnamon to come through a little more, bringing with it a nice level of bitterness to cut through the citrus. It’s nice, but it’s still not subtle!

Finally, I tried a G&T (3:1 Schweppes Light Indian Tonic) with a couple of slices of dried lemon. The ‘perfect serve’ calls for a slice of grapefruit but personally given how much it tastes of grapefruit already that sounds ludicrous!
Anyway the drink is very nice indeed. It’s still very grapefruity, but in many ways this is the best yet as it’s changed yet again to a very fresh flavour, which is lovely (and so I definitely don’t see the need for it as a garnish!). It’s a nice, crisp, citrus G&T but I must admit for me it’s lacking depth.


If you like grapefruit, this is a surefire winner! Otherwise it’s a bit of a one trick pony. The quality is there: the liquid is clean and clear with a good flavour, but for me that flavour is too one dimensional overall. I’d wager there are some out there who would even argue this isn’t a true gin. Even so, it’s a decent drink.

3 / 5 Feathers

Add up to half a feather if you love grapefruit.
Remove up to 1 feather if not.

Filska is available online




All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.

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