Ultimate Beverage Challenge 91 points - As the name implies, this is a floral and feminine gin mingled with peppery and juniper character. A subtle gin that might get lost in a Gin and Tonic, but is perfect for a classic Martini. (Mar 2013)
For this, "The Botanist", small-batch, artisanal Islay gin they 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 their 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 their unique and cherished lomond pot-still, "ugly betty". Betty prefers to work at low-pressure and wont be rushed. So their precious botanicals are slowly and gently coaxed into releasing their complex, signature aromatics.
This was a unique project for their head distiller, Jim McEwan. 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 labor of love and distiller's art. A breath of botanical Islay in every glass!