An exciting and unusual gin from Islay whisky distillery Bruichladdich, The Botanist is made in a Lomond still christened Ugly Betty and contains no fewer than 31 botanicals, of which 22 are native to the Southern Hebridean island itself. These latter include the likes of Mugwort, Meadow Sweet and the enigmatic Lady's Bedstraw flowers, and the resultant dry gin is described, perhaps unsurprisingly, as 'floral'.
Nose: Complex and overtly floral nose with elderflower and mint being the two botanicals that really start to stand out above the crowd after a few minutes.
Palate: A rich yet silky smooth gin that is a rare beast in that it is pleasant to drink neat. A citrus note from the lemon balm is prominent throughout, balanced by a smorgasbord of floral flavours from the many botanicals used. Sometimes too many ingredients can be a bad thing, but in this case the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Finish: Long and complex, with the botanicals slowly disappearing, one by one to leave a lovely minty freshness at the very end.
Comment: I can count the number of gins I have enjoyed neat on one hand and this is one of them. However it’s versatile too and can stand up to Fentiman’s tonic as well as making a deliciously floral martini. Betty’s not done badly for an old girl!
Body: The spirit is satin smooth gliding over the palate like no gin you have ever tried before. A totally seductive experience.
Nose: The aromas explode like an olfactory aurora borealis filling the senses with meteorites of smell sensations as they explode from the glass. Sweet delicate menthol, apple mint, spring woodlands, juniper, coriander with aniseed undertones, lemon and orange peel, a bouquet of summer flowers on the machir, honey from thistle, coconut from gorse, wild mint and summer meadows. It’s a magical melody of Islay’s natural bounty from the atlantic washed beaches to the summit of heather covered hills. Inhale and you’re there on the queen of the hebrides!
Palate: The taste is rich and mellow; cool on entry then as it reaches the back palate you can feel the warmth and absolute purity of slow unhurried distillation. This is a bewitching, delectable and luxurious gin; its citrus freshness excites and stimulates the taste buds allowing you to experience a starburst of flavours as they explode across the palate.
Finish: All this from a beaten up old pot still, operated by beaten up distillers on the coast of heaven.
Customer Reviews: (21 reviews)
Good gin from a great distillery, like with other Scottish small batch gins the flavours are subtle and will be a bit lost with the introduction of a mixer, even a tonic. So this is one of the few gins I recommend to drink neat. It has a wonderful complex flavour and is very rewarding to sip and dissect much like a Laddie whisky! 86/100
- anonymous, 7th April
Received as a gift for my 70th birthday. It was worth the wait!
- Frank in NH, 3rd March
Bought this for her indoors thinking "gin is woman fodder" Boy was I wrong. This is a beautiful Gin. Don't overdo tonic etc, it needs to be savoured. Another bottle is on the cards methinks.
- John Hudson, 12th January
An outstanding spirit, without doubt the best of all Gins. Many are great but the Botanist is the greatest of all. We love it.
- Hugh de Laurier, 10th January 2014, 10th January
this stuff is gorgeous and have it with a fever tree tonic not to much tho a marriage made in heaven mmmm
- george & karen, 7th January
Wow, what a gin. Ordered this before Christmas, but only just got round to trying it. Such a beautifully crafted gin. Very subtle with a slight sweetness that eases on it smooth finish. Wonderfully accomplished spirit, that's equally at home in a G&T or in a martini. It doesn't get lost despite its subtleness. To bring out its best use a premium tonic which it deserves not a supermarket own brand. Gin, glorious gin!!!
- JH007, 30th Dec '13
An incredibly flavorful gin. My brother, my son, and I polished off a bottle via martinis on one very pleasant Saturday afternoon. Have kept a bottle in the cabinet ever since.
- Harry, 18th Dec '13
There 3 Gins that are always in my house, The Botanist, Gin Mare and the US made Death's Door. Botanist has the edge, it is a beautifully smooth gin just don't drown it with tonic as it deserves to have all its flavour savoured. I fell on this by mistake and I love it!
- anonymous, 12th Dec '13
I tried this at the distillery a few years ago. Took a bottle home and have done so every year since. Now I can buy it by the case. I am a whisky devotee, but this gin has captured my fancy. Great stuff!
- anonymous, 10th Dec '13
WOW!! try it, love it, you wont be disappointed, it's the BEST gin on the planet
- Tom B, Yacht Mia, , 3rd Dec '13
I am a huge fan of Gin.....I have 26 different ones at my house. But, without a doubt, The Botanist is the best of the lot.......smooth, flavorful yet not overpowering.
- Pete, Nov. 21, 22nd Nov '13
I'm not a great fan of gin. I was offered a taste of this at the Bruichladdich distillery last week, and have to say, I may now be a gin convert. It is outstanding.
- DWinyard, 27th Jun '13
Bought while in the UK, wonderful gin! Told all my family in the UK to give it a try,
shared my bottle with many! Expensive in the UK but I love it! Hope to find it at home.
- Lynn, 26th Oct '12
Suprisingly subtle and smooth but with hidden power - makes a superb multi-textured G & T but can be overpowered in Martini - well worth buying.
- Moles Friend, 13th Jul '12
- anonymous, 10th Jul '12
This is the best ever gin with smooth taste, worth every penny. Enjoy!!
- Eve, 5th Apr '12
Awesome gin, make's a smashing bramble and other fruit cocktails. Great for the standard G&T as well. Not a big fan of the martini it makes but for all the things this gin does right it does them arguably better then any other gin. Always keep a bottle handy.
- anonymous, 26th Feb '12
This is a pretty complex gin and for the big gin fan the 31 botanicals (the most that I know of) is a big draw. We had a tasting of Scottish Gin and this did quite well.
- DB Smith, 24th Jan '12
Tried this on holiday and can't wait to get home to buy a bottle. A very smooth, tasty gin.
- Anna S, 21st Sep '11
Just ordered, looking forward to giving this a taste.