The Botanist Gin is a Hebridean treat from Islay, an island in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. It’s a truly impressive gin, with 22 (really!) locally hand-foraged botanicals working alongside some core ones. Bottled at a punchy 46%, our review of The Botanist Gin finds a fresh, clean and beautifully balanced gin distilled with fresh Islay spring water. It’s a premium gin that’s priced attractively, and presented in a bottle that makes a great addition to any gin shelf.
Those 22 hand-foraged botanical are placed in a botanical basket for the main distillation, which itself only takes place after an overnight maceration of the nine core botanicals. This is a gin that’s been made with real pride, effort and skill by the distillers. And, as an aside, it’s actually made by the same distillery as Bruichladdich whisky, which is a lovely dram…
So what are the 22 hand-foraged botanicals you ask? Well, deep breath: apple mint, chamomile, creeping thistle, downy birch, elder, gorse, hawthorn, heather, juniper, lady’s bedstraw, lemon balm, meadowsweet, mugwort, red clover, spearmint, sweet cicely, bog myrtle, tansy, water mint, white clover, wild thyme, wood sage.
A few of those might well resonate with you if you take an interest in the botanicals in your gin. Certainly bog myrtle and chamomile, for example, might be familiar. Many of the list, however, are likely to be new names. It’s fantastic to see a distillery take inspiration from the nature that surrounds them. It’s also where the name comes from; a clear nod to the botanical inspirations behind this gin.
The Botanist Gin review
On opening the bottle, you’re confronted by a delightful aroma. I’ve had The Botanist many times before, but it’s not something I’ll ever tire of. There’s a nice hit of juniper, and the citrus peel from the core botanicals also makes an early showing. That heady and floral botanical mix is also there though; there’s a lovely subtlty and clean quality on the nose.
To taste, there’s an earthier quality that also comes through in this gin. The warmth of the cinnamon and coriander lay a solid foundation alongside the juniper for those lighter botanicals. The citrus is still there in the background too. With 22 hand-foraged botanicals it would always be quite difficult to pick them out individually (and the uniqueness of some them would compound that), but hats off to the distillers here; The Botanist Gin is a triumph of balance.
How to serve The Botanist Gin
The best serve for The Botanist Gin? This is a versatile gin, and one that you could use as a base for cocktails. It’s also very well crafted, and balanced as we note above. It therefore makes for a great drink over ice, and it already features on our list of favourite gins that are good to drink neat.
Garnish-wise, we really liked serving The Botanist with grapefruit. The slightly acidic nature of the grapefruit really contrasts well with the floral botanicals. It’s a gin that would work well with any citrus garnish though. And the same goes for a more floral garnish too. I wouldn’t be afraid to experiment with anything like cucumber, mint, thyme, chamomile, or slices of apple; all of them would complement those lovely foraged botanicals. A Botanist and Tonic, over ice with any of those garnishes, is a sublime serve. The more radical in us could even try The Botanist with ginger ale; it truly is versatile.
Overall, I would thoroughly recommend you try The Botanist Gin if you haven’t already. It’s a gin that’s proud of its island home and its heritage, and all that those can offer, and that pride shines through in a quality drink.
The Botanist Gin Planter Gift Set
Now, for most of the reviews on this website I normally feature an image that I’ve taken of the bottle. However, for this one, I’ve opted for a picture of The Botanist Gin Planter Gift Set. I was very kindly sent one by the team at The Botanist, and I think it makes for a fantastic gift.
The gift set features a 70cl bottle and, as you can see, it comes in a tin planter decorated with the same Latin botanical names that can be found on the bottle. The idea is that you fill the tin with soil and get planting! You can grow your own herbs, garnishes (what else!), or whatever you fancy. The gift pack also includes foraged cocktail recipes, some seeds and garnish inspirations. It’s a great, sustainable gift.
The pack itself retails for about £45, but do shop around. For example, you can buy it from Amazon below.
Where to buy The Botanist Gin
In the UK, you can buy The Botanist from Amazon by clicking here, or via the link below. You can also but it direct from The Botanist website in many bottle sizes. Check out their other gifts too, such as highball glass tumblers, stainless-steel straws and aprons.
For reader in the US and Canada, the good news is that you can buy The Botanist from Drizly by clicking here.
I believe in full disclosure and, as noted in the article above, I was gifted The Botanist Gift Planter Gift pack. No other remuneration was received. I only feature gins and gifts on this website that I would be happy to recommend. This is certainly the case with The Botanist Gin.
Cheers! Andy, Founder, whichgin.com