The Botanist Islay Dry Gin 70cl
A perfectly balanced exploration of the Scottish Islands flora
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
Islay, the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides islands off the coast of Scotland is where The Botanist is distilled. It takes it's name from the wild local botanicals which are used in the recipe, and from the local botanists who collect them.
This gin is truly of the Island, and a real exploration through taste and experience of the Hebridean Flora.
The 22 native, hand-foraged local botanicals delicately augment more traditional gin botanicals (Cassia, Coriander, Juniper, Orange, Cinnamon, Lemon, Licorice, Angelica Root and Orris Root). These 22 are, Apple Mint, Chamomile, Creeping Thistle, Downy Birch, Elder, Gorse, Hawthorn, Heather, Juniper, Lady's Bedstraw, Lemon Balm, Meadowsweet, Mugwort, Red Clover, Spear Mint, Sweet Cicely, Bog Myrtle (Sweet Gale), Tansy, Water Mint, White Clover, Wild Thyme and Wood Sage.
The achingly slow distillation happens in a Lomond Still (one of the last in existence). The still is brought to temperature (hand hot - no thermometers used!). The core botanicals are then layered in the still and let to steep for twelve hours. After this time, the still temperature is increased to simmering point and the island botanicals are infused. These are held in loosely woven muslin sacks through which the vapours easily pass.
This has a classical gin aroma. Plenty of pine from the juniper, along with a citrus note and a touch of floral from meadowsweet and woodruff.
On the palate this gin really comes alive. It's exceptionally smooth, coating the mouth perfectly - which helps impact flavours. Initially you can taste a cooling mint mixed perfectly with the juniper. Lemon zest, and a floral note come next - mixed with a little spice. Towards the end, the juniper comes back, with a warming note of vanilla, licorice and a little woodiness. The finish is long, dry and with an astringency which has you reaching for another sip.
In our opinion The Botanist really stands out from the crowd. Normally with gins where there are a large number of botanicals its easy for each to be very overpowering, almost shouting to be noticed. With the Botanist, the flavours all merge perfectly - each can be tasted - if its looked for, but they work perfectly together to really give a pleasant journey for the palate.
Read more about The Botanist
We love this gin as a classic gin and tonic. It works quite well with Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic, but this can too easily overpower the gin, so we would recommend Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water. Take a large glass filled with ice and add 50ml of the gin. Gently pour over 150ml of your chosen tonic and stir gently. Garnish with a slice of lemon, or some freshly cut (edible) flowers.
Totally amazingGreat flavours wich keep on building up while tasting it