The Botanist Is The Gin You Should Be Having If Good Drinks And Good Stories Are Things You Love
This quicksilver-colored drink from Scotland's remote Isle of Islay deserves to be the guest of honor in your next night out, weekday get-together, and yes, even cheeky Sunday brunch.
It took over a century to perfect the flavors and distilling process of what is now one of Scotland's greatest treasures. Developed with the philosophy of honoring tradition, craftsmanship, quality, and authenticity, The Botanist is proudly a super-premium artisanal gin, as well as the first—and only—Isle of Islay dry gin, to date.
As much as a glass or two (or three) of this gin can encourage its drinkers to share a story or two (or three) about their lives, the story of The Botanist is certainly also one worth telling.
It was born out of irreverence and experimentation
The Botanist’s beginnings can be traced back to the Bruichladdich Distillery in the year 1881. Owned by brothers who were unable to maintain the facility or produce competitive products, the distillery was sold and eventually made it to the hands of world-renowned distiller Jim McEwan, decades later.
Along with his partners Mark Reynier and Simon Coughlin, Jim spotted the distillery's potential in producing a drink that the world had never seen before. Rather than modernize the facility in the style of its competitors who produced in large quantities, Jim chose to go back in time and put together machinery and equipment that brought back to life long-lost traditions that would, eventually, produce smaller—but highly unique and prized—bottles of gin.
Jim and his company searched far and wide for the equipment they needed, challenging convention each and every step of the way. Refusing to install mass-produced parts in their distillery, the group meticulously collected and purchased abandoned and unused equipment from other distilleries to make their own.
It took close to five years to adjust the Bruichladdich Distillery processes to perfection, but Jim had no doubt that it was worth it, and that he had finally succeeded: the Isle of Islay, the land he loved, had produced something entirely its own, something that no one in the world could replicate.
The formula to success
In The Botanist's story, the formula to success is, quite literally, a list of ingredients.
Not only is the gin distilled by unique equipment not used in anywhere else in the world, its ingredients are endemic to the Isle of Islay and speak volumes about the land's signature flavors, spices, florals, fragrances, and more.
Continuing the narrative of The Botanist, by sheer luck, Jim encountered Dr. Richard and Mrs. Mavis Gulliver, two professional botanists that lived on the Isle of Islay. After numerous rounds of experimentation, the group sealed the deal with a grand total of 22 island botanicals that now comprise the core flavors of The Botanist.
Each and every ingredient is collected seasonally, harvested only when the time of the year brings out their best qualities. During the distilling, all of them are similarly handled with the utmost care and subject to painstakingly long processes to extract their flavors and scents to secure their integrity from harvest to bottling to selling.
The sharp nose and palate can identify that Apple Min, Juniper, Thistle, Lemon Balm, Coriander, Anise, Gorse, Red Clover, Hawthorn, and Tansy among many other delightful flavors and fragrances are what makes The Botanist such a magnificent drink.
Into the wild
As The Botanist continues to grow in popularity since its introduction to the market in 2011, its guiding words remain unchanged: wild, foraged, distilled.
The three seemingly unrelated thoughts converge in the true spirit of The Botanist, and the one who takes pleasure in a sip or two of the drink; together, they encourage a sense of exploration and connection with the wild, the unspoiled land that one lives in and loves above all else.
The Botanist sets out to preserve the best of botanicals and coax their spirits to transform into something everyone from all corners of the world can enjoy: a unique gin that can be enjoyed on its own, or mixed into one's choice of cocktail, or even infused in one's favorite recipe.
Like The Botanist itself, be adventurous in finding what tickles yours taste buds, while always keeping a sense of curiosity and a desire to create the inimitable!
Content and cover images from @thebotanistgin