The spirit is satin smooth, gliding over the palate like no gin you have ever tried before. Think sweet, delicate menthol, apple mint, spring woodlands, juniper, coriander with aniseed undertones, lemon and orange peel, a bouquet of flowers from Machir Bay, honey from thistle, coconut from gorse, water mint and summer meadows…It’s a magical melody of Islay’s natural bounty, from the Atlantic washed beaches to the summit of heather covered hills. The taste is rich and mellow; cool on entry then as it reaches the back palate, you can feel the warmth of slow unhurried distillation. This is a bewitching, delectable and luxurious gin; its citrus freshness excites and stimulates the senses.
Wild. Local. Seasonal. Foraged.
These are words people have begun to associate with some of the world's most innovative chefs -- Renee Redzepi, Megnus Nilsson, David Chang, the Cook it Raw experimentalists and many others -- chefs who are looking into the cycles of nature for their ingredients rather than towards a shop or supplier. Perhaps simply to try something new. To make something theirs. To challenge themselves. Perhaps fro a yearning for connection. Perhaps the desire to paint with fresh colors. Perhaps for thrill. For discovery. For passion. For inspiration. To connect. For fun. Or just because. Everyone has their own reasons.
The Botanist team also reaches for the wild. Their inspiration comes from Islay, their wild, fertile, Herbridean island home on the west coast of Scotland. The 22 botanicals used to make The Botanist speak of the place, of the seasons, of the island's spirit. The Botanist is then a manifestation of the team's island home. Of the botanists who go out into its landscape and of the distillers who coax the delicate spirit into being. But this is just the starting point of the botanical journey. The team creates the spirit. But you create the drinks.
The team has been working with wonderful people -- inspired and progressive bartenders such as Thomas Aske and Ally Kelsay, forager and foraging tutor Mark Williams, chefs Craig Grozier and Jack Buchanan to name just a few. Together they taste the landscapes of Islay, exploring the boundaries where wild, foraging, food and drinks merge.
Enjoying an enthusiastic resurgence in modern cocktail culture, Gin, a.k.a. ‘Dutch Courage,’ was originally touted as a 16th century cure for cowardice and stomach ailments. Arguably the broadest and most dynamic category of spirits in terms of flavor profiles and production styles, Gin is a distilled grain spirit that derives its primary flavor from juniper berries and secondary flavors from a dazzling array of spices, herbs, fruits and botanicals. It is both produced and enjoyed all around the world and is most commonly mixed into cocktails such as the Martini or simply added to tonic water.