The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin is made from a blend of an astounding 31 different aromatics and botanicals (22 are local to Islay), including angelica root, apple mint, birch leaves, bog myrtle leaves, cassia bark, chamomile, cinnamon bark, coriander seed, Creeping Thistle flowers, elderflower, gorse flowers, heather flowers, hawthorn flowers, juniper berries, Lady's Bedstraw flowers, lemon balm, lemon peel, liquorice root, Meadow Sweet, orange peel, orris root, peppermint leaves, mugwort leaves, red clover flowers, sweet cicely leaves, tansy, thyme leaves, water mint leaves, white clover and wood sage leaves.
In order to produce the gin, nine classic botanicals, including orris root, cassia bark and coriander seed are macerated overnight in a grain-based spirit together with Islay spring water. Then, the gin is distilled through an antique Lomond still (one of the few Lomond stills in operation today) nicknamed Ugly Betty. During distillation, the 22 other botanicals, which are hand-picked by an expert foraging team from the windswept hills, peat bogs and Atlantic shores of Islay, are placed in the still's botanical basket. Distillation of the gin, which occurs at 0.2 atmospheres of pressure, takes 17 hours — nearly four times longer than it takes to distill whisky. I had to "learn a new dance", says Jim McEwan, Bruichladdich's master distiller, discussing the eccentricities of Ugly Betty.
As a result of the incredibly long and complex distillation process, The Botanist Gin has a bold and distinctive flavor. The nose is an explosion of robust botanicals, including apple, mint, honey, lemon, orange, pomegranate and juniper. The initial taste is mellow and tame, but is quickly followed by bursts of citrus and spices that ultimately lead to a satisfying finish.
Explosion of robust botanicals, including apple, mint, honey, lemon, orange, pomegranate and juniper. Initial flavor is mellow and tame, but is quickly followed by bursts of citrus and spices that ultimately lead to a satisfying finish.