An exciting and unusual gin from Islay whisky distillery Bruichladdich on Islay, The Botanist is an expression of the island's terroir in botanical form. Its 22 local botanicals and core of nine classic ingredients are distilled in Ugly Betty, a Lomond still saved from Inverleven distillery when it closed, to create a complex and worthily award-winning gin.
The still, Ugly Betty, was designed by Chemical Engineer Alistair Cunningham and Draftsman Arthur Warren in 1955 as a way to create a variety of whisky styles. Key to the design was the thick, column-like neck that could have three extra removable sections inserted for flexibility, imitating the effect of different still neck lengths. One section housed three rectifying plates that increased or decreased the reflux action. The plates, like Roman blinds, could be opened in varying degrees from a horizontal to the vertical position.
Correspondingly, the removable neck sections could lengthen or shorten the height of the neck, thus varying the angle of the lyne arm upward for a slightly lighter spirit, downward for a heavier one. To create The Botanist, the Bruichladdich team created a bespoke botanical basket for it, further adding to the elaborate set up. The Lomond still (the last in existence) may be a bit of a beast, but there's also a charm about this brute and while she may take a while to distil the gin, it is well worth the wait.
22 locally foraged botanicals with an overall total of 31: Local juniper berries, apple mint, spearmint, water mint, peppermint, downy birch, chamomile, creeping thistle, elder, gorse flower, heather flower, hawthorn flower, lady's bedstraw, lemon balm, meadowsweet, mugwort, red clover, white clover, sweet cicely, bog myrtle, tansy, thyme, wood sage, cassia bark, angelica root, coriander seeds, cinnamon bark, lemon peel, orange peel, liquorice root, orris root.
At 46% ABV The Botanist has a floral nose with a distinct sweet juniper hit. On the palate it is rich but mellow, perhaps even a little creamy and finishes with a zesty but gentle spice. There is a lot going on and overall floral notes balance out a clear juniper
This makes a delicious Southside cocktail.
Premium/Elderflower tonic garnished with a lime wedge and a mint sprig.