The Botanist Dry Islay Dry Gin Part One: The Taste Test

So, we were legitimately fascinated when we first came across information about The Botanist. You see, it was using terminology that we have more often come to associate with scotches more than gins.

Which stands to reason, actually, at The Botanist comes from the Bruichladdich distillery along the Rhinns in Islay. Scotch is their bread and butter. In fact, their scotch is the bread and butter that we tend to be exceedingly fond of. After all, they do make the Rocks scotched – an unpeated Islay that is absolutely out of this world.

So, it only stands to reason that we have high expectations for their gin. Now, traditionally we tend to regard distilleries that make more than one liquor with caution. After all, we’d rather be indulging in a tipple from a company that has dedicated itself to kicking ass in one area. Those that spread their brand too thin tend to have horrific, horrific abominations of liquors. We’ve been so impressed with scotches, however, that we’re holding out hope for a scotch company’s gin.


From the Botanist website:


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 wild, native island 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, “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.

Price: $33

Nose: Strong herbal scents right up front. Distinct scent of juniper and coriander. No harsh alcoholic burn on the end.

Neat: The juniper flavor is straight on the tip, with an increasing depth of flavor as it spreads across the tongue. There’s a bit of a bite on the end, with a more savory flavor than some other gins that have a sweet after taste.

On the Rocks: Some of the bite is evened off, with a beautiful accentuation of the gins aromatics. Distinctly different from many of the other gins we’ve sampled, it has a drier, more savory profile.


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