In the immortal words of Ron Burgundy… I love Scotch! And, because I am a person who believes in equality and fairness, I also find myself loving other spirits too… like Gin.
Imagine how happy I was to find that one of my favorite Scotch whisky distillers now produces a Gin called The Botanist! Yep… you heard me correctly. Bruichladdich, the “Progressive Hebridean Distiller” has crafted a spectacular Gin.
You can learn a lot about why Bruichladdich is one of my favorite whisky distillers at their web site: http://www.bruichladdich.com/
Briefly, Bruichladdich is on the isle of Islay, which produces some of the most unique whisky in the world. I find that you either love the distinguishing peat flavor and briny iodine found in most Islay malt, or you simply don’t. Bruichladdich whisky has the definite soul of an Islay malt, but there is a purity and concentration that I find in no other whisky from the island.
According to the marketing materials, The Botanist is a small-batch, artisanal Islay Gin, crafted from nine classic gin aromatics, and then augmented by the addition of twenty-two native Islay botanicals. The aroma and flavor profile are wildly complex, but not over-the-top – truly a very pretty Gin. The materials also speak to the distillation process – apparently an agonizing seventeen hour affair in a still that their head distiller Jim McEwan affectionately calls “Ugly Betty.” Betty prefers long, low pressure runs, which allows for a very long steeping with the botanicals that clearly accounts for the depth of complexity. It also must have a lot to do with the smoothness of the spirit. On the palate the Gin is remarkably rich and mellow with almost no bite or excessive heat. This is truly a sipping Gin that I found needed nothing, not even ice as an accompaniment. A light splash of spring water did loosen the nose a bit, but the palate is fine without it.
I can only hope that Bruichladdich continues with their Islay Gin, it will make me a very happy man!