The Botanist

The Botanist Gin is a small-batch, artisanal Islay Dry Gin combining nine classic gin botanicals with a further twenty two others that are local to the island. With 31 botanicals, one could easily think that the gin might be a confusing mess, but thankfully – it’s anything but.

As the name suggests, discussing The Botanist is first and foremost a discussion around the botanicals they use and how they distil them. To begin with, the team source 9 classic botanicals (juniper berries, angelica root, cassia bark, cinnamon bark, coriander seed, lemon peel, orange peel, liquorice root and orris root) from around the world. They then bring together a further 22 locally sourced botanicals, hand picked by foragers who search across the hills, bogs and shores of Islay to find apple mint birch leaves, downy birch, bog myrtle leaves, sweet chamomile, creeping thistle flowers, elderflower, gorse flowers, heather flowers, hawthorn flowers, juniper (prostrate) berries, Lady’s Bedstraw flowers, lemon balm, meadowsweet, spearmint leaves, mugwort leaves, red clover flowers, sweet cicely leaves, tansy, thyme leaves, water mint leaves, white clover and finally wood sage leaves..

With only 15,000 bottles of The Botanist released in 2010 and a huge response to the liquid, it was a given that there were going to be more batches to follow. So far, the team have managed to create the consistent liquid year after year but to do so – the recipe has had to change slightly to account for the seasonal effects and wild nature of the crops they are foraging.

You can buy The Botanist Gin at most supermarkets or at The Whisky or on Amazon.

Botanicals include angelica, apple mint, birch, Bog Myrtle, Cassia, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Clover, Coriander, Elderflower, gorse flowers, Hawthorn, Heather flowers, Juniper, Lady’s Bedstraw flowers, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Liquorice  Meadowsweet, Mugwort, Orange, Orris Root, peppermint, Sweet Cicely, Tansy, Thistle, Thyme, Water Mint and Wood Sage. 


What the Honest Crew say …

  • Honest Tom

Honest Verdict

We haven’t completed enough reviews yet to make an Honest Verdict.

User Rating 5 (1 vote)
Our Honest Verdict … We would recommended The Botanist Gin to both fans of the classic London dry and also contemporary gin, though it may be just that little too classic for the true contemporarians and, on the flip side, too contemporary for the most classicists. This is really an excellent sipping gin, not for mixing.


What other experts say …

The Gin is In  says … Cool mint and juniper, slightly pine-forward juniper at first. Citrus, primarily lemon zest on the early mid-palate before sweet spices and flower come through. Woodruff, chamomile and herbs de provence. Warm juniper late with echoes of vanilla cream, licorice and birch bark. Fairly long, fairly dry finish with a gentle, pleasing astringency.

I really like the way the seemingly boundless list of woodland herbs and flowers come together so nicely to create a harmonious, well-balanced accord. Whereas many gins with a kitchen-sink list of botanicals seem to be a battle for attention; every botanical amped up as if to scream, “I’m in here, notice me,” The Botanist Gin manages to include a lot without seeming like there’s a lot. It’s focused, and surprising to the palate, in the way that a good perfume seems to be composed of so much less. I’d say that the Botanist Gin on the palate is a perfumers’ gin.  Continue reading review …

Gin Foundry  says … It’s a highly distinctive, complex, floral gin which works impeccably in a Gin & Tonic. On a pernickety note, the “non-chill-filtered” term used on occasion in communications is always something we’ve thought of as an “in” joke from the team, playing on their whisky background where the topic can often lead to heated debates (chill filtering is a process of chilling a liquid to remove impurities before bottling). In that light, we have always found it amusing when we’ve seen it.

However, for the many gin fans that have e-mailed to ask us – no it is not something that we know happens in other distilleries, it’s mainly for whisky production and really not a practice that is common in Gin (we have never heard of anyone else doing it). Yes, some gins do filter the end liquid – but it’s different to chill filtration. Think giant sieve vs molecular chill and filter threads.  Continue reading review …

The Gin Guide  says … The Botanist Islay Dry Gin is clearly a labour of love, from hand-picking 22 different botanicals to the 17 hour distillation. The 31 botanicals (of which the 22 Islay botanicals are embossed in the glass of their redesigned bottle), are masterfully well balanced in this complex, herbal and floral gin. The Botanist gin is exquisite and it makes an outstanding gin and tonic.  Continue reading review …

The Botanist Gin

Image – Botanist Gin