Islay, the Scottish island famous for its whisky, now has an artisanal gin that is outselling whisky.
Bruichladdich, renowned for their single malts, has distilled The Botanist, a gin with genuine island pedigree. It is flavoured by an unprecedented total of 31 botanicals, 22 of which (including juniper) are native to the Hebridean island.
An absurdly slow ‘simmer-distillation’, three times longer than usual, on a unique “Lomond” still known affectionately as Ugly Betty, has produced a full textured and floral flavour profile for this decidedly dry gin.
An Islay ‘gin’ may not be that novel: clandestine Hebridean distillers of old also used hillside aromatic plants such as bog myrtle and juniper to improve the taste of poorly distilled, Illicit usquebaugh – the Gaelic for ‘water of life’.
Usquebaugh, the original whisky, was a clear spirit and probably tasted more like gin than the single malt whisky we know today.
Botanist Islay Gin has been outselling Islay single malts at the distillery shop since its launch.
2,500 cases (6/1) of The Botanist, bottled on Islay at 46% with Islay spring water, have been released for sale at at £25.95 per 70cl bottle. Available from www.laddieshop.com