Botanicals are the very essence of gin, its reason for being.
For this, "The Botanist", small-batch, artisanal Islay gin we 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 our expert foraging team from the windswept hills, peat bogs and Atlantic shores of this Hebridean island of Islay.
This truly seasonal and exotic cocktail is then slow "simmer" distilled in our unique and cherished Lomond pot-still, affectionately known by our head distiller Jim McEwan as "Ugly Betty". Betty prefers to work at low-pressure and won’t be rushed. So our precious botanicals are slowly and gently coaxed into releasing their complex, signature aromatics.
This was a unique project for Jim. Jim says he had to "learn a new dance" with Betty, and none of us knew what to expect 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.Read more about our Lomond Still >
What are the botanicals in The Botanist ? >
The spirit is satin smooth gliding over the palate like no gin you have ever tried before. A totally seductive experience.
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!
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 starburst of flavours as they explode across the palate.
All this from a beaten up old pot still, operated by beaten up distillers on the coast of heaven.
Carefree. The electric buzz of illicit anticipation.