The Botanist is a small-batch, artisanal Islay gin made by Bruichladdich Distillery. It is the only gin made on Islay and is distinctive for its augmentation of the nine classical gin aromatics with a further 22 locally picked wild Islay botanicals. It is these botanicals – and the two local botanists who collect them – that inspire its name.
The Botanist is slow distilled in “Ugly Betty”, a Lomond Still, one of the last in existence. The distillation takes seventeen hours, distilling at 0.2 atmospheres of pressure, four times longer than an average whisky distillation.
The gin is distilled after an overnight maceration of the nine base botanicals - the seed, berry, bark, root and peel categories - in spirit and Islay spring water. This alcohol vapour infusion from the distillation then passes through the botanical basket containing the 22 more delicate Islay aromatic leaves and petals. It is this double infusion that gives the Botanist gin its distinctive flavour, allowing the more delicate aromatic leaves and petals to influence the gin vapour without being destroyed.
This artisanal dry gin is influenced exclusively by botanicals - no essences, oils or flavourings added.