The Botanist

Maker: Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay, Argyll, Scotland, UK

Style: Dry Gin

ABV: 46%

Appearance: Crystal clear

Nose: Vaguely rustic. Juniper, heather, sweet angelica.

On the palate: Full-bodied and well balanced. Dry on first entry, but then skewing sweet. Classic gin botanical notes, but few stand out. Also, as in the nose, a vaguely earthy, rustic taste on the back end, maybe a hint of seaweed and rainy beach.

Finish: Sweet, then dry, then herbal and fruity. Raisins, figs, thyme.

Mixed: Works well in most drinks. Gets the job done in a Tom Collins and a Gin & Tonic. Works fine in a Negroni too, but seems wasted in the above three drinks. In a dry martini it really shines, but go easy on the vermouth. My usual ration is 2:1 gin to vermouth. When using the Botanist, consider something like 4-5:1. It will taste fine the other way, but this gin has so many beautiful nuances, you’ll want to make sure the Botanist is leading all the way.

Parting words: The Botanist is made by Bruichladdich (Brew-kladdy), a (formerly) independent whisky distillery on the isle of Islay in the Hebrides islands in Scotland. It thinks of itself as “progressive”, though the way they make this gin seems more retro than prog. Bu that’s a good thing. In addition to what they call the traditional nine botanicals used in dry British gins, 22 herbs and spices are gathered from around Islay, including some native juniper.

At any rate this is an excellent gin, one of the few I’ve had that I can actually enjoy neat. It is subtle, complex and all around delicious. The Botanist is highly recommended.