I always think it´s interesting when a producer of some kind of good beverage gives it a try on gin. Like my favourite producer of Calvados, Christian Drouin, who last year released a very nice gin made from apples.
Or the Danish beer maker, Mikkeller, who makes a great gin from beer.
Although I´m not a whiskey drinker I got really curious when I heard about a famous whiskey producer from the Scotland’s Islay, which I understand is the place for smoky and expensive whiskeys, had made a gin.
Bruichladdich makes The Botanist Islay Dry Gin with 31 botanicals, 9 classic and 22 local from Islay. They have produced whiskey since 1881 with a stop between 1995 – 2000. 2001 the production started again after a renovation and change of ownership.
In 2010 they started producing The Botanist Islay Dry Gin.
The production of the Gin is very ambitious. The local botanicals are handpicked on the island, they´re using local spring water, the distillation process is slow and they use very special pot called “Ugly Betty”.
They have some of the botanicals simmer overnight in the base spirt while the more delicate ones are added during the distillation into the steam, vaporising the spirit.
All this sounds very craft focused and old fashioned but with some modern touches.
The first impression is about the bottle. Stylish, even beautiful with a nice label that feels like an expensive business card is, and with all the botanicals engraved in the glass makes a perfect impact!
I recently got my first The Botanist from my girlfriend who bought it in a tax free store. I looked forward to taste it but waited for the perfect moment and I felt very award when I finally opened it.
Nose: An amazing and complex aroma. I can´t detect especially many of the 31 botanicals but it has a big, rather flowery aroma, it´s warm and smooth but with a crisp finish. No detectable alcohol at all, and I can recognise distinct character of juniper and some tones of citrus, liquorice and mint.
Neat: Smooth and with a full body, without anything too dominant. I first tasted some the juniper and liquorice, then the kick of juniper, and an aftertaste of mint and flowers.
I tried several combinations with different vermouths and different ratios. A tasteful gin like this shouldn’t have too much vermouth so a higher ration of gin versus vermouth than what I normally use was necessary, 7:1 with Dolin Vermouth and a small zest of lemon became my favourite.
This makes a strong and very tasteful Dry Martini. After every sip you get an extra kick of aftertaste and warmth.
Completely without a taste of raw alcohol, you can´t taste the high ABV, but you will notice it in your spirit and soul.
A dry Martini that absolutely gets in to my top 10 list
Gin and Tonic
It´s almost too bad to mix such a great gin with tonic, but in combination with Fever Tree Indian Tonic and a slice of grapefruit you get a really nice G&T.
Lots of flavours but still smooth and nice, the tonic complements without dominate and a little extra citrus makes a nice finish.
The Take Home
Absolutely 5 out of 5 stars! An amazing gin in so many ways and it´s works all-round. Drink it neat, as a G&T or as a Dry Martini!
Totally worth the price and it will have a given spot in my liquor cabinet from now on.
That´s all from me in my first review here at The Martini Whisperer!
It was very pleasant to start of with such a great gin.
- Website here
- Find them on Facebook
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- Follow via Twitter
- Where to purchase: check your local quality supplier
- ABV 46%
Our Guest Contributor
I used to be a chef, but now I am the head of a web agency. Living together with my girlfriend Emma and our two Italian Greyhounds in Göteborg Sweden.
I still have a big interest in good food and good beverages with gin and a good Dry Martini as my biggest passions.
I prefer my Martinis stirred, ice cold and with zest while enjoying Frank Sinatra, a good view and the company of my girlfriend.
You can follow Jens on instagram here.