The Botanist Islay Dry Gin Review

The Botanist’s Robe

  • Hue: transluscent
  • Clarity: Hazy
  • Viscosity: Thick

When it comes to the visual aspects of The Botanist, there is not much to be said about the color, since we’re sampling a clear, distilled spirit.  What’s notable thought is the hazy one can immediately detect in the glass after pouring.

The viscosity is thick and oily, even though the legs run down the side of the glass in a rather quick fashion.

The Botanist’s Nose

  • Notes: Juniper, dry herbs, seaweed
  • Nosefeel: Mentholated

First things first: the opening juniper blast reminds me that I’m about to savor a rather classic, dry style gin. The dried berry’s fresh, ethereal quality hits me right up front, right in my nose. Whilst there’s not much citrus to be found, The Botanist offers more herbaceous notes, seaweed and saltwater. In correspondence to the gin’s heritage and origin, the briny, maritime character is prominently featured.

I sense sweet lovage, a slight reminiscence of sweat, similar to bruised mint that has become dark and resinous. Funky thyme, dried rosemary, bitter roots and caramelized milk. Camomile is there as well, chiming into the multi-faceted overall olfaction, with an interesting interplay of sweet and dry elements.

The Botanist’s Palate & Mouthfeel

The-Botanist-Gin-Review-Glas-backbar

  • Primary Taste: Sweet-sour
  • Mouthfeel: Mentholated
  • Opening:  Thyme, lemon peel, juniper
  • Heart: Sea salt, pepper, juniper
  • Finish: Medium [mint, umami, angelica]

The mellow beginning on the palate is soon transformed into a noticeable piquancy with salted mineral. The maritime character of the nasal expression is perfectly translated to the gustatory sensations as well. Again, it speaks to the overall provenance and the terroir of the distillery itself.

As a matter of fact, this is not your typical London dry gin, but rather a new interpretation of the overall theme. It almost evokes memories of New nordic cuisine, a Hebridean connotation that radiates ruggedness and depth. It’s all a bit rough around the edges, in a positive way, almost as if you’d be sitting on the shores of the isle of Islay.

There’s a slight evolution on the palate, from a creamy, sweet beginning, to a lively herbaceousness and a dry finish. Towards the very end, there’s pepper spice, yellow bell pepper, before the juniper comes back full circle. The mentholated flavors round off the entire experience, which I would describe as rather complex, nuanced, and well-balanced.

How To Drink The Botanist

The-Botanist-Gin-review-Robe

It might sound counterintuitive to drink gin neat, or even pure over a block of ice. I have to confess though, that I’m a big fan of sipping The Botanist with just a chunk of ice and maybe a sprig of thyme or rosemary.

All Gin and Tonic lovers rest assured, this Islay Dry Gin makes for a delicious longdrink. Depending on your preferences of sweetness or dryness, you can go on a treasure hunt for your perfect Tonic Water companion. Fever-Tree Mediterranean, however, will gracefully underline the maritime and herbaceous qualities of The Botanist.

The Botanist Cocktail Suggestions

The-Botanist-Gin-Review-Martini-Cocktail-Drink

As mentioned above, The Botanist is typically served as a Gin & Tonic. However, you could perfectly use it for all your favorite gin cocktails as well. We certainly recommend the following cocktails with The Botanist:

  1. Dry Martini
  2. Ramos Gin Fizz
  3. Hanky Panky
  4. Negroni

Try your Dry Martini Cocktail with The Botanist and Noilly Prat Original Dry in a ratio of 6:1. Green olives on the side as a perfect accompaniment. Nothing else.

Best Pairings With The Botanist

The-Botanist-Gin-Pairing-Snack

Said green olives are also an excellent snack pairing with this gin, no matter if you drink it straight, as G&T or in a cocktail.

Alternatively, you should try crispy breadsticks and maybe a small piece of blue cheese.

In terms of cigar pairings, a classic Davidoff White Label smoke will proudly sit alongside various drinks with The Botanist. In my opinion, a Signature 2000 or Signature No.2 would be a perfect match. The shade-grown Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, the soft and mellow body with a touch of bitterness in the back are all attributes that wonderfully underline the gin’s character.

The-Botanist-Gin-Review-Cigar-Pairing-Davidoff

Overall Experience & Value For Money

In short: this gin offers great value for money. It’s most definitely a bottle you could and should have in your back bar and daily spirits rotation.

Pour it into your Gin & Tonics, stir it into your dry martinis, or have it neat. Whether you serve it at a fancy cocktail party or presented your beloved ones with a bottle, The Botanist is a very versatile gin that is suitable for many occasions.

Closing Thoughts

The Botanist offers a delightful tasting experience, all whilst staying true to its heritage, unique character, and proud origin. Besides the delicious Single Malts from the island, drinking this gin is probably the next best thing to traveling to Islay.

“A versatile gin, that lets your mind wander and travel to places afar in the glass.”

Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★

Further Reading

Once you’ve finished reading our review, feel free to peruse our wide range of related content such as the following resources:


Reinhard Pohorec

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