The Botanist proudly proclaims itself to be an Islay Dry Gin. No, this is not some sort of peated gin, but it is distilled on the famed Scottish isle using 22 foraged botanicals.
Its botanical makeup is the opposite of a secret: in fact, the Latin name of each botanical appears on the bottle in raised letters. It features nine “core” botanicals—cassia, coriander, juniper, orange, cinnamon, lemon, licorice, angelica root, and orris root—which are supplemented by other botanicals including chamomile, apple mint, wild thyme, and more.
Another interesting point of differentiation for The Botanist Gin is its still. It’s made in a “Lomond still,” a sort of column-pot hybrid developed after WWII. The original Lomond still used by The Botanist was originally installed at the now-defunct Inverleven distillery in 1959 and rescued before the distillery’s destruction.
The Botanist starts cool and light on the tongue with crisp juniper notes followed by lemon and mint. The initially mild spice gets more action at the center, where it is joined by caraway and licorice. The spice increases as the experience moves to the back of the palate, but a final swerve takes the finish away from juniper-bomb territory and into a surprising but welcome detour filled with citrus and floral notes. In particular, lemon and chamomile are prominent; it’s hard not to imagine oneself sipping from a chipped teacup as the unexpectedly bright finish concludes.
When used in a Gin and Tonic, the lemon and mint notes feel particularly prominent, perhaps surprisingly so for a self-described dry gin. But there’s still a hearty juniper presence: It’s just shifted to the back when mixed with tonic, still grounding the experience while allowing some of the other botanicals to play up front.
— 46% ABV