Templeton, Iowa was known as a hotspot for rye whiskey…
The Botanist is a small-batch, artisanal gin made on the isle of Islay, an area that is better know for whisky production than for gin. In fact, it is the only gin made on Islay and 22 of the 31 botanicals used to flavor it are locally grown. The ingredient list is long, but there is no need to memorize what goes into the gin because the ingredients are all embossed on the outside of the bottle.
What makes The Botanist unique is that the Islay botanicals include more herbs and flowers than you would typically see flavoring gin. These elements must be treated gently so that their subtle flavors aren’t stripped away by the distillation process. The result is a gin that is exceptionally smooth and very complex, with a kind of floral sweetness that you won’t find in other gins that have a more distinct juniper note to them. You’ll notice elderflower, mint, sage, clover and anise flavors, and while you will find juniper – two types are used in the botanical blend in this gin – you will notice that it sits neatly in the background of the lighter, more complex flavors.
Worth another round? Absolutely. This gin is incredibly smooth and has a great flavor that balances both herbacious and mineral notes. Its minerality makes it different than many other gins, which frequently have pronounced citrus notes. This means that it blends very well with the tonic water in a gin and tonic, rather than the lime, which simply becomes an accent (as it should be in a G&T). To be completely honest, I also enjoy handling the bottle – and while I’d buy this in regardless of what the packaging looked like, I’ll still keep the bottle around even after it is empty.