The Botanist Gin is a progressive exploration of the botanical heritage of the Isle of Islay. 22 hand-foraged local botanicals delicately augment nine berries, barks, seeds and peels during an achingly slow distillation. This first and only Islay Dry Gin is a rare expression of the heart and soul of the remote Scottish island.
For this, “The Botanist”, small-batch, artisanal Islay gin they use nine of the classic gin aromatics – orris root, cassia bark, coriander seed, etc – and augment these with a heady harvest of 22 local botanicals, hand-picked by an expert foraging team from the windswept hills, peat bogs and Atlantic shores of the Hebridean island of Islay.
This truly seasonal and exotic serve is then slow “simmer” distilled in their unique and cherished Lomond pot-still, affectionately known by former head distiller Jim McEwan as “Ugly Betty”. Betty prefers to work at low-pressure and won’t be rushed. So the precious botanicals are slowly and gently coaxed into releasing their complex, signature aromatics. From that first, achingly-slow 17 hour distillation, the result: a highly distinctive, complex, floral gin with outstanding finish and impeccable provenance.
In an age of re-badged industrial gins, the Botanist stands out as a truly artisanal, small-batch, hand-crafted labour of love and distiller’s art. A breath of botanical Islay in every glass.
Tasting Notes by Jim McEwan:
Body – The spirit is satin smooth gliding over the palate like no gin you have ever tried before. A totally seductive experience.
Nose – The aromas explode like an olfactory Aurora Borealis, filling the senses with meteorites of smell sensations as they explode from the glass. Sweet delicate menthol, apple mint, spring woodlands, juniper, coriander with aniseed undertones, lemon and orange peel, a bouquet of summer flowers on the Machir, honey from thistle, coconut from gorse, wild mint and summer meadows. It’s a magical melody of Islay’s natural bounty from the Atlantic washed beaches to the summit of heather covered hills. Inhale and you’re there on the queen of the Hebrides!
Palate – The taste is rich and mellow; cool on entry then as it reaches the back palate you can feel the warmth and absolute purity of slow unhurried distillation. This is a bewitching, delectable and luxurious gin; its citrus freshness excites and stimulates the taste buds allowing you to experience a star-burst of flavours as they explode across the palate.
Finish – All this from a beaten up old pot still, operated by beaten up distillers on the coast of heaven.
Mood – Carefree. The electric buzz of illicit anticipation.
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Original article published by The Botanist Gin