The Botanist

the-botanist-islay-dry-ginAnother of the wonderful gins sent to me by David over at was one gin in particular which I had wanted so very badly. 31 Botanicals! and 22 of which are native to the island of Islay. The Botanist comes to the bar with an impressive resume to begin with: It’s a limited run (only 15,000 bottles) , is very much a part of the “locally sourced” trend in food and drink (see: Death’s Door Gin), and it is distilled at the well known and respected Bruichladdich distillery in Islay which is best known for its whiskeys and the unique terroir that Hebrides brings to their creations. But now on to the Botanist. How does it stand up to the very crowded market of high-end gins with obscure botanicals?

I only had a small bottle with which to sample. So I want to preface this review and let the audience know that my friend and I sipped it neat, and then I made a gin and tonic with it.

Neat, it was complex. There was a lot going on in there, but almost so much that you couldn’t really say that “this was in there,” or it felt like “this kind of gin.” Sipping, it has a vaguely vegetable like flavor, but juniper stands out. Side by side with other gins the Botanist when sipped neat doesn’t really taste all too different. It’s not as smooth as other gins at this price point, but that bouquet. I keep coming back to the scent. It is delightful and harmonious, but it’s a shame that those flavors don’t stand out when sipped; however, as I only had a limited sample I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. A good whiskey often takes time and multiple tastings for the depth and the different levels of flavor to reveal themselves. Perhaps as a gin from a whiskey distillery, this may be the case. But now onto the Gin and Tonic:

As a Gin & Tonic this was a surprise. Instead of the juniper you taste when sipping neat, or the complex, but mysterious scent- this gin has a surprisingly sweet taste. In fact, I detected hints of the floral flavors which are very popular in a lot of American dry styled gins. I found it refreshing and interesting.

The Botanist gin, in three different ways of experiencing reveals three distinctly different sides. Different preparations reveal different combinations of the 31 botanicals. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I think there’s a lot of depth here; however, as for other gins in the ultra-premium category, this limited tasting has left me thinking it might be hard to recommend as strongly as other options out there.

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Readers' Reviews

Post last updated by Aaron

8 thoughts on “The Botanist

  • July 26, 2014by holmesg

    I’m here in the UK. It’s way too early for a G&T but then again, way too hot not to be having one. So, my standard 35ml measure of The Botanist, 150ml of Schweppes tonic, perfectly chilled glass, loads of ice…
    What a magnificent drink. The gin is perhaps at the more pricier end of my range, but I can definitely smell and taste that it’s worth it. Made my day.

  • November 14, 2014by Martin Brewer

    As a 30 year Beefeater devotee, my first sip on the rocks with a twist left me at a loss for description of the flavor, except for my realization that the lemon twist was unnecessary. The Botanist definitely has multiple favors (more so than Beefeaters) that will appeal to a variety of taste buds when combined with other flavonoid accents.

  • December 13, 2014by Steve

    I highly recommend this Gin. It’s my new favorite. Now trying to find a good supplier here in the USA. I think I’ll call the distiller and have them ship several cases. I don’t want to run out.

  • August 16, 2015by Roger

    I have been buying high end gins over here in Perth, Aus for the past year and must admit The Botanist has been a stand out favorite (but then I did have a litre bottle from duty free of this one to work through!). Great flavour, very refreshing with tonic, especially Fever Tree.

  • September 25, 2015by Pat

    I prefer it neat so that I can savor the different flavors and smells. I use Hendricks for my gin and tonics.
    As an older female

  • October 1, 2015by Steve

    The Botanist is my Favorite. It is far to good to polute it with anything but an ice cube.

  • January 21, 2016by dan

    Two ounces of the Botanist, 6.8 oz bottle of Fever Tree Natural Light, a bit of lime and lots of ice. Perfection.

  • March 7, 2016by Tim Davis

    Acha Vermouth generously wetting the ice, then shaken with 3+ oz of this wonderful elixir. Two olives…Friday evening. Magical with oysters as a bonus. The Botanist is as smooth and balanced as any Gin I have had.

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