NEW YORK—Winebow is pleased to introduce Bruichladdich’s Botanist Gin in the United States. The distillery, renowned for its Islay single malts, is now the first to produce gin on the island that is famed for its whisky.
This artisanal gin is flavored by an unprecedented 31 botanicals, 22 of which were locally harvested, including rare subspecies of juniper, bog myrtle, wood sage, heather flowers, peppermint leaves and others. The botanicals are then incorporated into the distillation process — nine by maceration and 22 by infusion — in a unique still named, affectionately, “Ugly Betty.”
“Ugly Betty,” the original and only existing Lomond still, was used for the first time in 30 years. Having been saved from a scrap yard, it was restored and especially adapted for the infusion of botanicals by alcohol vapor in the still neck. Running at an exceptionally low pressure, the still ran for a surprising 18 hours (four times longer than usual) at a slow, gentle simmer, producing maximum flavor and texture.
Dr. Richard Gulliver, a botanist, researched, located and harvested the Islay botanicals. A final selection for inclusion of 22 was then made by Bruichladdich’s Master Distiller and Production Director, Jim McEwan.
“This is no rebadged, industrial, centrally-produced gin,” says McEwan. “This has real Islay provenance, traceability and authenticity. It even has historical precedence. It may be heresy to say it, but illicit whisky made on the hills 200 years ago probably tasted more like gin than whisky. It was a clear spirit flavored with whatever was at hand, particularly juniper. The word whisky comes from the Gaelic Uisgebaugh, which means water of life—not single malt.”
“A unique still with 22 Islay botanicals—this is truly progressive Hebridean distilling,” added McEwan. It has an amazingly integrated flavor with a dryness that comes from a spirit distilled exclusively with a delicate mix of botanicals - no essences, oils, flavorings or sweeteners – the whole distilled so very slowly indeed."
The Botanist Gin is bottled on the island at 46 percent with Islay spring water and without chill-filtration. The 750ml bottle will retail for approximately $35.00.