Gin Reviews

The Botanist

International Gin Exchange 2011Another of the wonderful gins sent to me by David over at http://www.summerfruitcup.com/ 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?

The Botanist
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.

Price: About the U.S. equivalent of $43 for 750mL
Best consumed: In as many different ways as possible
Website: http://bruichladdich.com
Availability: Europe
Rating: Good, but hard to recommend above other high-end gins
(3.5/5)

2 thoughts on “The Botanist

    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.

    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.

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