From the bartender’s corner – Gin #17: The Botanist
This is another great gin from an unlikely place – Scotland! I was surprised long time back to find that Hendricks was from Scotland. You usually do not mentally map cucumbers (Hendrick’s key feature) to Scotland.
This is another of those anomalies. Right off the mainland of Scotland on the west side is a bunch of islands called the Inner Hebrides islands. One of the bigger islands there – if not the biggest – is the Islay. This island, along with the neighboring island of Jura, is particularly known for their famous whiskies.
Well, Botanist 22 is made in the Bruichladdich distillery in the island of Islay.
A few distinctive features of this gin:
First the distillation process is very very slow. When I was visited some distilleries in Oregon making American Style Gin, I saw the distillation processes for gins taking about 5-6 hours. This one takes 17 hours!! The pot is affectionately referred to as “Ugly Betty”! Apparently, it looks like “an oversized, upside down dustbin made of copper”. It was originally designed in 1955 and primarily for the purpose of making whiskey!
The gin has 31 individual ingredients. 22 of them – including the staple juniper is local from the island. The “22” marked in the bottle refers to those local ingredients.
The nose this gin is very floral and you should be able to sense the juniper. The palate is rather mellow but picks up on warmth and citrusy notes if you let it settle for a few seconds. The length (finish) is distinctly spicy.
I also tried this gin with some Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water later in the evening. My personal opinion is the tonic water overwhelms this particular gin. If you care about the complexities and feel everything that is going on, stay with the gin and a king ice. If you just are looking for a good G&T, go ahead with the Fever Tree.